Partners Line Up for Microsoft Response Point

Microsoft has forged partnerships with Cbeyond and New Global Telecom (NGT) to provide fully-integrated voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services in anticipation of the summer release of Microsoft Response Point Service Pack 1. This integration will make the product more scalable and allow smaller businesses to better leverage Response Point.

"Small businesses that combine our BeyondVoice with SIPconnect service and the Response Point phone system will gain the advantage of communication tools that big businesses enjoy, at an affordable price," Rob Consolazio, vice president of marketing and business development at Cbeyond, said in a release.

Response Point phone systems have a push-to-talk button that opens the phone to voice control. Thus a user can navigate a company directory vocally. The system makes it easy to add new employees and their extensions into the directory. The system also routes incoming calls via the voice-activated company directory.

Microsoft claims it selected Cbeyond and NGT because of their focus on coverage, service, and customer support. Both providers use industry-standard SIP trunking, which increases network robustness.

Mike Donnelly, president and CEO of NGT, emphasized that the company’s Digital Voice Partner Program was designed "to cater to the needs of Microsoft small business specialists."

Response from analysts in the blogosphere has so far been positive. Fiercevoip.com noted that while response to Microsoft’s PBX has been lackluster, the company tends to improve its products over time. David Greenfield from Zdnet.com announced VoIP as an aspect that had been missing in Microsoft’s attempt to gain traction in the small business marketplace.

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