Microsoft plans this summer to release the first service pack for phone systems that run its Response Point communications software for small businesses.
Unlike many service packs that provide patches but no new features, Service Pack 1 for Response Point will add new capabilities to the system’s voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) functions, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) said in a statement.
The announcement came during the first day of the company’s Small Business Summit (SBS) 2008, its third such annual event. SP1 will be available as a free download to existing customers of phone systems running Response Point.
Along with the bundled hardware, Response Point provides a simplified VoIP phone system for small business that includes interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities. It supports both VoIP as well as analog phone lines.
Microsoft’s Response Point is sold as a bundle with the phone system hardware. Aastra Technologies, D-Link, and Quanta Computer will offer Response Point phone systems pre-loaded with SP1 when it becomes available this summer, the statement said.
In fact, this summer will bring the debut of Aastra’s system.
“I am … very pleased that Aastra will join as a new OEM partner, shipping their Response Point system later this summer,” Bob Taniguchi, senior director in the Response Point group, said in a post on the team’s blog earlier this month.
One new VoIP feature aims to enable customers to scale their phone service using a VoIP account setup wizard in the Response Point Administrator. Using it, a small business can connect with Internet telephony service providers to provision additional VoIP phone numbers in minutes instead of days, the company said.
Another feature coming in SP1 will let customers take advantage of Direct Inward Dialing, which can be used to selectively forward inbound calls to a particular extension or group of extensions.
The company debuted Response Point at last year’s SBS event.