Unified Communications: Click to talk

Jan 24 2009   2:08PM GMT

Book Review: Microsoft Response Point Primer – Cut The Strings

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Bottom Line:
Microsoft’s Response Point phone system is like a quiet revolution in small business communications. Harry Brelsford has been an integral part of the Microsoft community and the small business community, and has been involved on some level with Microsoft Response Point since it was but a concept. Harry is passionate about Microsoft small business solutions and passionate about Microsoft Response Point and it shows in this book. Whether you are a Microsoft partner that wants to learn about Microsoft Response Point, or a small business owner or manager that wants to understand how Response Point can help you, Microsoft Response Point Primer – Cut The Strings is a great investment of your time and money.

My Review:
Small and medium businesses have traditional analog or simple VoIP budgets. They want more features and functionality, but they can’t afford a dedicated PBX or IP PBX- never mind the personnel with the skills to implement and maintain them.

Microsoft understood the needs and budgets of small and medium businesses when they developed Response Point. Response Point provides features and functions normally reserved for enterprise systems, combines them with some basic unified communications capabilities, and delivers them at a price that SMB’s can swallow.

The cover of the book says “For Partners and Consultants”. I agree that this is the primary audience and the group that will get the most value from this book. However, customers who have Response Point or are interested in learning more about Response Point will also benefit from reading Harry’s book.

Beginning with a brief history of Response Point (and how he almost missed the meeting that got him involved with the Response Point group) and a recap of its basic features, Harry provides detailed information about how to deploy and configure Response Point, as well as how to maintain and troubleshoot the system. He provides some real-world case study scenarios and discusses advanced capabilities such as the auto-attendant and music on hold.

Beginning with Chapter 6 the book is certainly aimed more at partners and consultants. Harry talks about who the customer market is for Response Point and talks extensively about tips and advice that Microsoft Partners and consultants can use to effectively sell Response Point to their customers.

The book goes on with an overview of the available hardware options for Response Point, and the VoIP providers that are currently working with Microsoft on Response Point. It then wraps up with a discussion of the future of Response Point and a collection of valuable Response Point resources the reader can use to dive deeper and learn more. In addition, Harry has filled the book with little trivia factoids- there is a new one on almost every page.

I am perhaps not quite the evangelist that Harry is for Response Point, but I am an evangelist nonetheless. Response Point is nothing short of awesome. The features and functions it delivers with the simplicity of use and affordable price have no comparison or competition. Microsoft Response Point Primer – Cut The Strings is an excellent resource and a worthy investment to learn about this fantastic solution.

Features and Facts:
Microsoft Response Point Primer – Cut The Strings
Price: $59.95 (available from Amazon.com for $41.97)
Published: 2008 by SMB Nation, Inc.
ISBN: 0-9770949-8-7 (ISBN-13: 978-0-9770949-8-1)
Pages: 396

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