Response Point Service Pack 2 – Get Ready!
I am loving the updates to Response Point on Service Pack 2. I can’t wait to see it released, our customers are going to love these new features. Some bits are a gimme, other improvements simply make me giddy.
Innovative Phone System Benefits Local Company
As our little telecommunications company continues to grow Microsoft continues to take notice. Most recently our partners in Redmond have completed and published a case study on one of our customers “True North Drafting” (TND) a specialist in creating the detailed shop drawings that guide the fabrication and on-site installation of commercial-grade glass and aluminum structures.
TND has been a long time customer of ours and before purchasing their Response Point small business phone system they were using the Lypp conference call services.
This marks the second Lypp case study by Microsoft. The first was on Lypp itself, as a value added reseller for Response Point.
Thanks goes out to Rex and his team at Microsoft for the mention and to our customer of the month, “True North Drafting”, for their ongoing support.
Small Business IP Phones Now Cordless
Aastra recently launched it’s AastraLink RP™ platform in support of the Microsoft® Response Point™ phone system software. Let me say, the Aastra IP Phones kick butt!
Aastra really went the distance on the IP Phones for their initial roll out of AastraLink RP™. They incorporated some features you are not going to find on any other Response Point handset, namely the cordless version (6757i CT RP) seen above.
Microsoft® Response Point™ is now available in 3 flavors; D-Link, Syspine and now Aastra. They each have their strong points and all will certainly be contenders in the rebirth of this market. They can all be bought online at SMBPhoneSystems.ca
I will be doing a full review of the AastraLink RP system once I have find time to write it up.
Response Point – Small Office Phone System – Install 3
Yesterday marked my 3rd installation of a Response Point small office phone system.
This time the customer opted for the Syspine system simply because of the Power over Ethernet features that Syspine has integrated.
They are a small company based in Vancouver and needed a system that offered maximum flexibility, virtual operator features and could scale to 30 or 40 seats.
Since they are all working during the day, having a receptionist answer the phone was not going to fly. When I showed them the virtual operator feature for Response Point coupled with the Voice Recognition and Voice mail to Email features, they flipped.
“It’s exactly what a company like ours needs.” Was the comment I received.
I set them up with a the Syspine system and 6 handsets, a Gigabit PoE switch, UPS and about 250′ of Cat6 cabling. I already knew the LAN layout so when I showed up for the install I knew it was going to go off without a hitch, or at least it should have.
Since my previous customers went with the D-Link VoiceCenter system, this was to be my first Syspine installation. I am not new to PoE so stringing the cable and getting the phones powered up went rather quickly. Then something strange happened. The devices on the LAN started picking up IP addresses that were not coming from my router. Hmm, my lab system never did this. On top of it the router was dropping wireless connections like crazy. Then I remember my distributor saying something about an embedded security gateway that shipped with the production Syspine systems, and that the lab systems did not come with the gateway.
I started poking around in the admin interface and sure enough I found the gateway DHCP settings tucked away in a hidden advanced settings menu.
Since we are not using any VPNs here and the administrator wanted to administer the LAN via the WAN IP, I connected all the LAN drops via the gig switch to the LAN router .
Now the the network was happy and so was I. Since the install spanned over a couple of days the timing actually worked out well. I was able to get the Response Point Service Pack 1 installed and now the customer can use SIP trunks (VoIP) for his call forwarding without using up an analog line. You should have seen the smile on his face when I told him that 🙂
I will give them a week or so to do some discovery and then I will get them up to speed on the Click to Call capabilities, Windows screen pops for incoming calls and some SIP call forwarding.
Response Point Phone Systems for Canadian Small Business
I thought it was time I chimed in on the new service pack [SP1] that has just been released to the Response Point manufacturers and what it means to Canadian small businesses that might take some interest in buying a Response Point PBX.
Response Point Service Pack 1 is mostly about the VoIP Gateway (SIP Trunking) capabilities with some extras like Click to Call and Call Presence.
The software based VoIP Gateway will allow the Response Point systems to connect to a SIP Trunk provider for PSTN connectivity. So now we can add capacity not just by plugging in telephones lines to the system but we can also connect virtual phone lines provided by a SIP Trunk service vendor over the Internet.
First question is, do we want to connect our phone system in our office to a virtual phone line over the Internet? Hmm, good question.
If you are like me and need to have your phone system working 100% of the time you might think that using SIP trunks for your telephone connectivity via the open Internet could be risky. If the Internet in your office drops so does your phone system. That means not only can you not work online but now you can’t receive or make phone calls either. Yikes!
It might not be as bad as it first would seem. The SIP Trunk provider or ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider) can facilitate some interesting features that could help alleviate this problem. Most SIP Trunk service providers are capable of delivering services like simultaneous ring or twinning that can ring your primary line and your cell phone at the same time. If your main system goes down for whatever reason your business is not completely out of business. Although, this theory doesn’t really hold up when you have multiple lines in a hunt group with a primary line and a few over-lines.
Something else to consider is 911. 911 can be a bit of headache when dealing with SIP trunks. If you rely on SIP trunks for all of your telephone connectivity you will have to fill out some paperwork that ties the VoIP telephone service you are getting from your ITSP to your address.
LNP (Local Number Portability) is also a major headache. As an existing business you likely have had your existing telephone number for quite some time and are not really all that interested in changing it now. LNP laws in Canada say that the telephone company you are dealing with for that number must comply with your wishes when you ask to have that number ported to another provider, an ITSP in this case. Well, yes, they must comply but that doesn’t mean they will make it easy. It’s not abnormal in Canada for a number porting request to take upwards of a few months to complete. Yes, months!
In my mind I don’t think I would ask my customers to endure that kind of headache. I would likely use the SIP Trunks for additional capacity on outbound dialing which does not require any number porting and is not likely mission critical to the daily operations of the business. Since most of the traffic generated on most small office telephone systems is outbound, SIP Trunks could fill a potential requirement there.
I have been beating the Response Point Phone System drum pretty hard lately and for good reason, it’s a great SMB phone system. We have decided to start carrying the phone systems through Lypp as well. I also posted a quick summary on a Response Point installation I did for one of my customers on the Innovedia blog a few weeks back, the customer is loving that system.