This morning we announced a new telephone product we built for small businesses, called "Microsoft Response Point": an innovative and easy to use new phone system, designed specifically for small businesses. http://www.microsoft.com/responsepoint
I'm really proud to be a member of the Microsoft Research incubation team that built Response Point.
From the beginning, we had only one goal in mind: radically simplify the total phone experience for small businesses. We did extensive primary research of small business customers and built a telephone solution that focuses on this theme.
1. (User) We implemented an easy-to-use speech recognition system, to remove the need to memorize extension numbers and arcane keystrokes for doing things like transferring calls.
2. (Administrator) Our management console allows you to complete phone moves, additions or changes with a few quick and easy mouse clicks. No special phone training or networking expertise is required.
3. (Owner) Response Point offers a complete phone system at an affordable price that grows with your business.
Response Point is a self-contained VoIP hardware product that will be manufactured by Quanta, D-Link and Uniden. You just need a LAN, some analog phone lines, and a PC (to run the management console). You just plug the Response Point hardware into the LAN, then install the Management Console on the PC, and run through some wizards to setup the phone lines and phones. Then you're ready to make and receive calls. Easy.
Some other Response Point posts today:
Microsoft Small Business Channel Community Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/archive/2007/03/19/say-hello-to-response-point-the-new-product-just-announced-by-kevin-turner-at-the-small-business-summit.aspx
Mary Jo Foley: http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=334
Jayman Dalal (another one of the Response Point team members): http://blogs.msdn.com/jdalal/archive/2007/03/19/microsoft-announces-response-point-an-easy-to-use-phone-system-for-small-businesses.aspx