Folks – just bloogin this out of ITEXPO in LA! Goodto see the RP ecosystem grow and grow. Kindly note that several of these vendors will be present at the SMB Nation 2008 fall conference in just under three week is in Seattle if you would like to learn a bit more:
Microsoft Response Point is participating in the Internet Telephony Expo West in Los Angeles this week. In addition to a keynote address given by Xuedong Huang, general manager, yesterday afternoon, Response Point is also pleased to welcome seven new service, peripherals and certification partners to the growing Response Point partner community. The addition of these industry-leading and high-quality partners helps to enhance the ease of use experience for customers, and offer expanded service and revenue opportunities for VARs.
- Keynote: Xuedong Huang, general manager, Microsoft Response Point
Xuedong Huang spoke yesterday about how he believes simplicity and natural user interface are core to the adoption of next-generation communications products. Huang expects software to be more prevalent in communications and that more attention will be paid to ease of use – all products will be far easier to set up and use.
- Service Providers:
Response Point Service Pack 1, released in July 2008, allows customers the option to use VoIP phone service with their Response Point phone system. In addition to VoIP providers, NGT, Cbeyond and Junction Networks, Response Point welcomes 8×8 and Bandwidth.com. These two service providers offer expanded carrier choice and greater flexibility to customers and Response Point VARs.
· 8×8 (also known as Packet 8) – 8×8, Inc., provider of Packet8 business, mobile and residential communication services, will now offer Packet8 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service for Microsoft’s Response Point small business phone system.
Companies using the Microsoft Response Point business phone system in conjunction with Packet8 VoIP phone service are assured reliable E-911, CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act), USF (Universal Service Fund), TRS (Telecommunications Relay Services) and CPNI (Customer Proprietary Network Information) compliant digital voice service. Response Point customers using Packet8 as their service provider automatically enjoy free calls to and from any other Packet8 subscriber worldwide. Response Point with Packet8 is available immediately through select Microsoft agents and resellers nationwide. For more information, please visit www.packet8.net.
· Bandwidth.com – As the second largest provider of business VoIP in the U.S., Bandwidth.com offers industry-standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) based voice services that seamlessly provide dial tone to small businesses using Response Point all across one of the largest and most advanced IP networks in North America. For more information, please visit http://bandwidth.com.
- Peripheral OEMs:
The following three hardware peripheral vendors will offer add-on devices to enhance Response Point’s capabilities. The Microsoft Response Point team has listened to customer and VAR feedback to add these hardware options, and partnered with industry leaders to test and ensure highest quality with the Response Point phone system.
· Quintum – Quintum Technologies, an innovator in VoIP technologies and a subsidiary of Network Equipment Technologies, Inc., announced today a VoIP T1 gateway and an FXS gateway for the Response Point phone systems. The digital gateway will support a T1, E1 or PRI connection, and the analog gateway will support up to 4 FXS ports.
Quintum will release two Response Point gateways that are designed specifically for easy installation and use with all Aastra, D-Link and Quanta IP telephone systems based on Response Point. For more information, please visit http://www.quintum.com/responsepoint.
· ClearOne – ClearOne, a leading provider in premium audio conferencing systems will soon release MAX IP Response Point, the first Response Point enabled conference phone. The ClearOne conference system will retail for $699 and is compatible with all Response Point hardware systems. MAX IP Response Point contains ClearOne’s sophisticated HDConference™ audio technologies and is expandable for better room coverage and control. For more information, please visit www.clearone.com.
· Sangoma –Sangoma’s NetBorder Express Gateway Card for Microsoft Response Point gateway card will be a complete SIP-compliant, VoIP Media Gateway solution. Cost-effective for developers, system integrators, and OEMs, the card comes in a convenient PCI or PCI Express form-factor. Production quantities will be available by November 2008. Single-port T1/E1 SIP to TDM solutions ncluding the PC host will be priced at approximately $2,000, and $2,800 for dual-port solutions. Higher port densities will be available upon request. Gateways based on NetBorder Express for ResponsePoint will initially be available from IpPhoneShack (www.ipphoneshack.com). For more information, please visit
Certification Program and Partners:
Microsoft Response Point is partnering with two leading certification labs to ensure a robust set of criteria is in place to evaluate and certify voice service providers for the Response Point phone system. The programs give VARs and customers the confidence that certified services will seamlessly work with Response Point systems.
· tekVizion – tekVizion, an independent test facility located in Richardson, TX, will leverage their VoIP expertise to certify hardware products and service providers for the Response Point system. tekVizion has already performed qualifications for Office Communications Server (OCS) and Exchange Unified Messaging (UM). tekVizion Labs was selected as The Authorized Test Facility for Microsoft Response Point. For more information, please visit http://www.tekVizionLabs.com.
· AST Technology Labs – AST Technology Labs, located in Melbourne, FL, has been selected by Microsoft Response Point to provide telephony certification testing for Response Point products and systems. This partnership will ensure customers will be provided with high level satisfaction related to Response Point features and network interfaces. For more information, please visit: www.asttechlabs.com.
Microsoft and Third-Party Quotes:
Response Point, Xuedong Huang, General Manager: “We are committed to partnering with industry leaders who will offer the same high quality and simple experience that we expect for Response Point phone system users,” said Xuedong Huang, general manager, Microsoft Response Point. “The addition of these seven new partners will enrich Response Point solutions and provide more choice for our customers.”
8×8, Bryan Martin, Chairman and CEO: “We are very pleased to provision Packet8’s broadband agnostic VoIP phone service for Microsoft’s innovative Response Point platform. Our combined solution will allow any company, regardless of size, location or network configuration, to experience the benefits of advanced IP telephony technology while dramatically reducing recurring monthly phone charges. With accessible and compelling telecommunications alternatives like this, no company should feel forced to settle for inadequate, high priced or overly complex telephony systems from legacy telecom providers.”
Bandwidth.com, David Morken, CEO: “The combination of Microsoft Response Point and Bandwidth.com’s complete communication offerings is the natural progression from product to solution,” said David Morken, CEO and President of Bandwidth.com. “Leveraging our respective competencies means the customer wins.”
Quintum, Chuck Rutledge, Vice President of Marketing: “Quintum recognizes that all sizes of companies need to support and maximize the investment in their existing organization infrastructure, particularly in this economy,” said Chuck Rutledge, Vice President of Marketing for Quintum. “We are very excited about working closely with Microsoft to meet the needs of Response Point customers.”
ClearOne, Zee Hakimoglu, CEO: “We are proud to be the first to market with a conference phone developed for Microsoft’s Response Point phone systems,” said Zee Hakimoglu, CEO at ClearOne. “The MAX IP Response Point conference phone is the perfect add-on to Response Point phone systems, giving small businesses a powerful audio collaboration tool that will make their group communication more effective.”
tekVizion, Leland Phillips, President: “The telephone is the life line for any small business. Our independent approach, combined with the rigor of our certification program, will provide a level of confidence to the consumer that these products can be deployed and will work as advertised.”
Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com
Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP
PS – did u know I host an annual conference in Seattle each october for SBSers and SMB consultants? This year we help launch SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server (EBS) between October 4-6!