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Microsoft Got It Right! Small Business Telephone System – Response Point

For the past 15 years I have been dabbling in VoIP and IP Telephony and recently it occurred to me that the major benefits that excited me about VoIP and drove me down this entrepreneurial career path, are now finally past early adoption.

When Microsoft announced that they were entering the SMB phone system market you have to believe that the innovation in that scene is largely over. In saying that, I also have to mention that the new Response Point PBX from Microsoft is impressive. In fact, it impressed me to the point that I actually bought one for a client of mine.

As expected, yes, it is closely tied to XP and/or Vista but not so much that you can not configure it if you have a Mac, as I found out.

You will not find a full review of the system here but I will point out a few of the pros and cons of the system.

The Good

  • Easy to Configure: It took me about 1 hour to go from unpacking the equipment to making the first call, using all of the system defaults
  • Easy to Customize IVR: Record via handset or upload your own WAV files
  • Speech Recognition – It Works!: This is quite unique in a PBX offering for this market. When someone calls in and says “Sales” it will actually direct that caller appropriately, getting it right almost every time
  • Open Standards – SIP 3261: This is great as it mean interconnection with a SIP trunk (SP 1) will not be an issue.

The Bad

  • Outlook Assistant works only on XP or Vista

If you are looking for a small business telephone system (1-20 seats) with some great bells and whistles, at a reasonable price ($2800 for 5 sets) then Response Point is a great candidate.

WebRTC

Business Communications in Canada

Canada is a green field opportunity in SMB telephony, more so than the US. We adopt new technology at a rapid rate but as business owners and consumers we are frugal and quite cognizant of capital spending.

It is a delicate balancing act, proving out the technology while delivering real value for dollars spent, hmm.. sounds reasonable.

In practice it’s tough, to say the least. To be at the bleeding edge and still deliver reliable affordable services to small and medium businesses, it’s not easy. That being said, the average SMB consumer in Canada today has been bent over the barrel so many times by “big telco and big cellular telco” they will do (are doing) just about anything to escape them, and fast.

Something else to think about, Local Number Portability (LNP) for cellular is coming up quick, you can be certain that there will be some interesting deals in the next 12 to 18 months.

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