Thursday, March 27, 2008

Allen will be at SMB Summit in Dallas 4/18-21

I'll be at the SMB Summit - an IT Conference in Dallas, TX next month 4/18 - 4/21. I am going to be doing the Vendor Presentation with Microsoft of the Response Point system. If you are going to be there drop me a line and let me know.
Microsoft Response Point is advanced phone system software designed especially for small businesses that have 1 to 50 employees. The user-friendly management center empowers an average PC user to setup a phone or make system changes in minutes. The unique voice-enabled user interface instantly connects employees and customers with the people or information they need. With everything you need in one affordable package and support for both traditional phone service and VoIP, Response Point phone systems are easy to manage, even easier to use, and the easiest choice for any small business. The Response Point team will co-present with Allen Miller of Allen Miller Computer Consulting on how Microsoft Partners can build a practice around Response Point. This presentation will give partners everything they need to know to be successful selling Response Point.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Richard Sprague @ Small Business Summit on Response Point

Here's the video for Richard Sprague's presentation of Response Point at the Small Business Summit. I wouldn't suggest trying to play this on-line - try right-clicking and downloading and then playing after you download.

Kevin Royalty @ Small Business Summit

Here's the video of Kevin's great live presentation on Working from Anywhere - at the Small Business Summit today. I wouldn't recommend trying to view this online - but you might want to download it and then watch. Try right-clicking on THIS link.

Great People

My IT Practice is built around consulting services for small businesses - after all, I'm a Microsoft Small Business Specialist. In addition to all my business clients, I do have one or two home users, mostly because they are so admirable I just like being around them. That's the case with Ed, one of my home user clients. Ed is 97 (shown here resting and very much alive) and today he told me that he doesn't know if he'll make it to 98. I'm always glad when Ed calls me with a computer problem a couple times a year because then I know he is still 'on this side of the dirt' as he says it. Ed goes to his office downtown, travels to Europe, and relies heavily on his computer for email correspondence with colleagues all around the world and to order books on Amazon. The doorbell at Ed's house sounds like the buzzer that is sounded just before the industrial conveyor belt is started - it is LOUD! Ed's hearing is a little weak but he is sharp as a tack. When he called me today the problem was connecting to the internet. I think Ed is the only person I know that uses dial-up access. Since I have known him his ISP has been aquired by another ISP two or three times. The problem today we found was that his dial-up access telephone number was for a line 'no longer in service'. Even Ed commented it would have been nice if they notified their customers before making a change like that. I was wondering if this should have been stated in the singular instead of plural. About two years ago (at age 95) Ed told me he had been giving it a lot of thought and decided he wasn't going to keep saving his money and that I should get him a new computer to replace his Windows 95 pc! A year or two ago when I was at his house one time he showed me his Outlook Express inbox and said: LOOK AT THAT - CAN YOU BELIEVE IT - THEY WANT TO MAKE MY PENIS LARGER - AS IF IT MATTERS! When I was saying goodbye to Ed today he asked 'what do I owe you'. I told him he owed me nothing and to put his wallet away. Then I tried a tactic that I used to use on my mother-in-law whose memory wasn't what it used to be. I told Ed that I would just include this service time in my bill the next time. He looked at me and said 'that's what you told me last time'. Life is Good - and part of it is the privelege of knowing people like Ed.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Microsoft Small Business Specialist Nascar Racer

Okay folks, check this out. There is now a Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community sponsored NASCAR racer.

You can read more about it at Eric Ligman's Microsoft Small Business Community Blog

Response Point SP1 Announced 3/24/08

Today Microsoft announced features of the SP1 (aka Service Pack 1) of Response Point. Some of the highlights are:
  • SIP Trunking/VOIP added - system will now work with analog and VOIP lines

  • Simple (Free) Upgrade

  • Direct Inbound Dialing (DID) Capability

  • Enhanced Call Logging and Reporting

  • On-Hook status of telephones visibile within your organization

  • Click-to-Call - inside and out

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

AMCC Hosts Small Business Summit 2008 - 3/24 - 27

Catch the Small Business Summit 2008 during the days of March 24 through March 27. To get there - just click the link on the right of this blog that says Small Business Summit 2008.

Kevin Royalty (of CiNPA and the Small Business Server User Group) is one of the famous presenters. He will be presenting the segment titled "Run Your Business from Anywhere".

ALSO, if you register at the Summit web page, you will have a chance to win a Response Point telephone system!

another Syspine Response Point Award

Way to go Syspine (and Microsoft). Syspine just received another award - the 2008 Von Magazine Innovator Award which "recognizes the Internet communications industry's best and brightest companies" for its Response Point product. You can read the press release here.

Previously, Syspine had received the 2007 Internet Telephony Product of the year (previous blog post).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Some Response Point Motivations

A few customers have told me that what they love about Response Point is that it lends credibility of their business to their customers. Their callers experience is now like it is for people calling the 'big corporation'. What they are talking about is the automated attendantAND the voice recognition built into the system - callers can just speak the name of the person they are calling and they will be transferred to the proper extension.

One new customer, a money manager, said to me - "Allen, I hate my rolodex - and now with the voice activated dialing I will not have to use the rolodex any more!". This was his main decision point for choosing Response Point.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Is Response Point system down?

This afternoon I was at a customer's site doing some IT consulting. During our conversation I mentioned the new Microsoft Response Point telephone system. In trying to describe its voice recognition I figured I would just demonstrate it using his desk speakerphone. I dialed in to my office and told him 'just listen to this'. Well all we heard was ringing and ringing and ringing! Not wanting to loose my rhythm I said 'what do you think of it so far?' Then - just kidding - I'm not sure what is wrong - I'll have to check into it when I get back to my office. To myself I was thinking - great - 3 months old and has this system already failed?

After leaving this customer I ran a few errands and then headed back to my office. I never gave it a second thought when I had to wait for a police'person' who was directing traffic at an intersection two blocks from the office. When I unlocked the office door I was greeted by NO POWER! Duh - no wonder Response Point was answering. Nothing electrical was working. We rarely have power outages in this area - an hour later power was restored and Response Point was back on-line.