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Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Sphere Communications for Innovation in Services-Oriented Enterprise Telephony

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan presents the 2007 Product Differentiation Innovation Award in the North American enterprise telephony system market to Sphere Communications.

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire/ — Frost & Sullivan presents the 2007 Product Differentiation Innovation Award in the North American enterprise telephony system market to Sphere Communications.

Sphere Communications receives this Award in recognition of the company's accomplishments in providing one of the few commercially available service-oriented architecture-based telephony solutions along with developing some niche delivery models to differentiate in the market.

The company's flagship telephony solution, the Sphericall IP PBX, is one of the ways the company differentiates from other vendors in the market. As part of the solution, Sphere provides OEMs, ISVs and application developers with the Sphericall Web Services SDK, enabling communications to be easily integrated into business applications and purpose-built communication systems.

"Being one of the first in the market with IP PBX technology that can act as a business application in a service-oriented architecture, Sphere Communications is years ahead of even some of the top vendors in the market," states Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Krithi Rao. "With the importance of communications-enabled business processes growing in the market, Sphere's architecture differentiation may become the company's strongest competitive advantage."

Sphericall IP PBX is an open, software application that operates on industry standard operating systems and servers. Customers can utilize their current IT partners to procure the underlying server and just purchase the telephony software from Sphere. Having a SIP-based solution, and understanding that most of the market is still in hybrid legacy-IP environments, Sphere provides customers with a choice of a full line of its own distributed enterprise-class voice media gateways or allows usage of 3rd-party voice media gateways.

The Sphericall platform hosts an extremely rich PBX and unified communications feature set. Each Sphericall Access License (SAL) includes access to desktop video, instant messaging, softphone, voicemail, and unified messaging.

"Where many vendors provide multiple components to enable new communication services such as presence, text messaging, voice, video, unified messaging, etc., Sphere has integrated these into a common software engine that is designed to be distributed across the enterprise. This approach provides more value for less money, makes the solution quite easy to deploy and manage, and provides a level of resiliency that cannot be achieved through centralized or clustered approaches," adds Rao.

Sphericall and its core SphereCSE engine align with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiatives allowing rich communication features to be leveraged by other mission-critical business systems. Sphere's open approach enables easy integration with 3rd-party applications and allows resellers, integrators and ISVs to come together and deliver purpose-built solutions very quickly — without designing capabilities deep inside of a core engine. This provides partners with an opportunity to add a layer of value without needing to alter the core of the solution and increase the margin they gain.

Sphere Communications' standards-based open-architecture solution, strategic pricing model and innovative OEM strategy is helping the company differentiate among a myriad of vendors.

Due to the openness of the SphereCSE, the company has also attracted the attention of a number of channel partners that want to use such a development platform to bring highly customized communication systems to the market. Sphere Communications is one of the few vendors to have a solution that can leverage the OEM model to cater to the vertical-specific solution trend that is gaining traction in the market.

"Enterprise communications is transitioning rapidly to software-based business applications," said Todd Landry, Senior Vice President at Sphere Communications, "We're pleased to see the execution of our strategy aligning so well with the evolution of the marketplace, and are even more pleased to have an organization like Frost & Sullivan recognize Sphere for our innovation."

Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to the company that has best demonstrated the ability to develop innovative products that are gaining commercial traction and that allow it to differentiate from competing vendors and products, Sphere ranked the highest in this regard in the industry.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Sphere Communications

Sphere Communications is the first to deliver IP PBX technology as a business application for Service Oriented Architecture. A software company, Sphere delivers the most robust IP-based software communications technology available in the marketplace. The Sphericall platform hosts an extremely rich PBX and unified communications feature set and is proven in deployments that scale to more than 20,000 users. Sphere provides OEMs, ISVs and application developers with the Sphericall Web Services SDK, enabling communications to be easily integrated into business applications and purpose-built communications systems. Founded in 1994, Sphere Communications is headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois and provides its products to a wide variety of customers worldwide. For more information please see the Sphere Communications web site at http://www.spherecom.com or contact us at 1-888-774-3732.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics. For more information, visit http://www.awards.frost.com or http://www.enterprise.frost.com.

Contact: Stacie Jones 210.247.2450 Stacie.jones@frost.com

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

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