Microsoft ResponsePoint

There’s a couple of videos up at http://www.microsoft.com/responsepoint/default.mspx explaining Microsoft’s new "ResponsePoint" product – a Telephony server aimed at Small Businesses.

First impressions are that the system is very impressive. POTs and VoIP integration, the simplicity of installation, the integration with Microsoft Outlook and the excellent Voice Recognition features (pick the ‘phone up, press the blue button, say who you want to call… it rings that person!) should immediately win over many small businesses.

There is the question of how the system will be priced – if it’s considerably more expensive than a bog-standard small office PABX, I can see many small business owners still going for a lower price over any additional features.

ResponsePoint is OEM only – but does that mean we’ll only see solutions from the like of D-Link and Dell – or will Microsoft Partners be able to build their own ResponsePoint solutions directly?

So is ResponsePoint an Asterix (the Open Source Telephony System) killer? I’m guessing not. I can see ResponsePoint having a great up-take in the sub-10 user market – and it does look incredibly easy to manage meaning very little ongoing maintenance. But any company with more advanced needs from a Telephony system will probably continue to look towards a good Asterix deployment, or, heaven help them an expensive traditional PABX solution.

In the past quarter, I’ve seen two of my clients spend a fortune on a "traditional" PABX solution from an old-school supplier, only for me to tell them the equivalent VoIP solution would have double the features and cost half the price. Ouch! You might say I need to work harder on being these clients "trusted advisor", not just their IT guy, but the thing is – many people still consider IT and Telephony to be two separate areas. I think the reality is that Telephony now is just as much a part of what is considered IT as e-mail, database or the PC on your desk is.

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2 Responses to “Microsoft ResponsePoint”


  1. 1 Vijay July 29, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Response Point does seem to be specifically aimed at the sub 10 user market.
     
    If you were going to deploy Asterisk then you\’d want to use Trixbox (http://www.trixbox.org) which has an installer that does everything for you and a web based management interface and you get SugarCRM as default. Trixbox is a completely software based PBX, so you can install it on any Intel based hardware and supports interface cards for analog and ISDN. It has a programming interface so you integrate with LOB apps. There is no limit on number of users and is dependent upon the hardware, network, QoS, etc. There is also VMWare image you can download and install using either VMPlayer or VMWare Server. Trixbox are also releasing an appliance box. Trixbox is just Asterisk underneath but making it easier to use and deploy. Asterisk can be deployed onsite or provided as a hosted solution.
     
    I\’m not saying that RP isn\’t an interesting solution but it isn\’t available in the UK yet and if you want to get into delivering VoIP to your clients then you don\’t have to wait for RP.

  2. 2 Richard July 29, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Have already played with Trixbox quite a bit – for me it really is a shining example of how an Open-Source package can blow away it\’s Commercial rivals. Am considering deploying it is my main Telephony system here at the office, as I know other SMB Consultant\’s have already gone down this road with great success.I wasn\’t aware Trixbox were going to be offering an Appliance Box though – that\’s very interesting.I\’m not deploying VoIP solutions to clients as yet, but there is some interest there so I do need to get my act together on that score.I should say that Trixbox specifically won me over when I realised I could play Zork-over-IP on it (http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/article.php/3675741) <grin>


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