Microsoft Adds VPN To Small Business VoIP


Specifically designed for SMBs, Response Point is a full-fledged IP PBX system that supports up to 50 phones and doesn't require Active Directory or a DNS server, which helps minimize licensing costs.

Released last week, Response Point Service Pack 2 reflects the rapid growth of the home office and small business segments, and Microsoft's inclusion of VPN support makes it possible for companies to offer VoIP to remote workers, according to Richard Sprague, senior director in the Response Point group at Microsoft.

But VPNs also require partners with networking skills, and that's opening opportunities for channel partners to participate in more lucrative projects, Sprague said.

The addition of VPN support also gives VoIP VARs a way to broaden their customer base, said Andrew Swingler, president of VoIP VAR Crewe Technologies.

Sponsored post

With Response Point, "Microsoft is catering to the smaller businesses that have historically not been well served," he said. "They've essentially created the first plug-and-play phone system for consumers and small businesses."

Microsoft has gradually been weaving more features and functionality into Response Point, and last July added SIP trunking and downloadable call records to the mix when it released the first Response Point service pack.

Microsoft last May inked a deal with Costco to sell Response Point through its website. While some VARs grumbled about the move, Microsoft said it steers customers seeking installation help to VARs, which gives the channel opportunities to provide ongoing services.