Microsoft Response Point – the death of traditional small telephony systems?
Mark Deakin of the the unified communications team at Microsoft has posted about a Microsoft announcement regarding new SOHO software package Microsoft Response Point. Response point is a software application that takes all the pain of managing a small telephony system and adds some pretty nifty features like auto attendant and voice activated calling from your office system.
all web managed from a PC
it’s to be launched on specific hardware but a quick look at the ports on the back of the D-Link DVX-2000
and the Uniden Evolo appliance
seem to pretty clearly show that this is just an SFF PC in a natty box, I’m guessing XP embedded or XP under the hood.
Quanta are a little more coy preferring not to show the Syspine’s undercarriage
it looks like there’s limited traditional PSTN connectivity and no indication of capacity for endpoints although each of the hardware vendors accompanies their kit with hardphones
and Quanta in two (still uninspiring) colours
even so I’m hoping we’ll see SIP out of the box as well to further loosen that proprietary headlock the traditional telephony vendors have.
I also hope there’s a software only option as well for those really thrifty users out there. (like me)
This is pretty exciting as most small systems are installed with default settings and this (dependent on cost) and interfaces could set the long tail of telephony on fire.
Microsoft see Office Communications Server 2007 ripping up the corporate telephony standard, this is a direct attack on the smaller business market, I’m guessing there will be some integration of Response Point as a branch office extension off the OCS product set.
The whole system is designed to use voice recognition for complex functions and will integrate with exchange and your AD for directory services.
so not only are Microsoft looking to erode the profits of the traditional telephony guys in their high value applications market place they’re also battering their bread and butter basic products.
fun times ahead
Interestingly Linksys’ offering in the small telephony space the SPA 9000 which can provide 16 SIP terminals doesn’t use Response Point, I’m pretty certain we’re going to see a Call Manager / SPA 9000 v OCS 2007 / Response Point tag team tussle shortly.