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Commentary

Low End VoIP Networking Options Swell

Simple to install, inexpensive, and reliable, those are the traits that small and medium businesses desire in their VoIP products. Because the underlying infrastructure needed to support such call is complex, most vendors have been unable to deliver such features. To try and fill that void, one of the industrys most influential suppliers enhanced its VoIP system.
Simple to install, inexpensive, and reliable, those are the traits that small and medium businesses desire in their VoIP products. Because the underlying infrastructure needed to support such call is complex, most vendors have been unable to deliver such features. To try and fill that void, one of the industrys most influential suppliers enhanced its VoIP system.Microsoft announced a second release of its Response Point SP2 system, which features Caller ID and Click to Call features to help streamline employee communication. The systems voice dialing enables hands-free voice-activated commands to dial, transfer, and retrieve calls. The system also integrates with Microsoft Office Outlook contact lists. New features include intercom support and a gateway so analog phones can be used. An After Hours Receptionist Setting enables a company to change the systems responses depending on the time of day. To address users security concerns, Response Point now works with Virtual Private Networks.

Microsoft has been relying on third parties to OEM the system and then package it up delivery to small and medium businesses. Aastra, D-link, and Quanta have been reselling the product. Long term, it is unclear whether such a strategy will be successful. In most cases, VoIP suppliers have relied on their own distribution channels to move their products.

As VoIP systems have matured, the small and medium business section of the market has gained more attention. That is one reason why open source solutions have become more popular. Microsoft is certainly a name to be reckoned with in any market segment and is now flexing its muscles in this market segment with the latest enhancements to Response Point.