SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Allan Sulkin
Allan Sulkin, president and founder of TEQConsult Group (1986), is widely recognized as the industry's foremost enterprise communications market/product analyst....
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Allan Sulkin | May 17, 2010 |

 
   

It's Finally Official: Microsoft Response Point is Dead

It's Finally Official: Microsoft Response Point is Dead OCS, initially targeted at larger line size customers and thought to be too costly for the SMB market, has undergone continual design enhancements to make it a more viable Response Point replacement.

OCS, initially targeted at larger line size customers and thought to be too costly for the SMB market, has undergone continual design enhancements to make it a more viable Response Point replacement.

One year after layoffs decimated the Microsoft Response Point product team and future development of the offering was placed in severe jeopardy, the company has issued the following statement on its website:

After transitioning Microsoft Response Point to engineering maintenance status a year ago, Microsoft has made the decision to discontinue the sale, support and development of the Response Point phone system for small businesses, effective August 31, 2010. Current customers will be able to continue to use their Response Point product(s) as per their equipment manufacturer purchase agreement.

Despite favorable initial response from customers and channel partners since launch, we have not seen the necessary demand materialize to sustain Response Point as a viable standalone business. To continue to support the needs of the small business community, we expect to consolidate our efforts and offerings in this space around Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS).

Since last year's announcements, the market has been waiting for Microsoft to make it official. Response Point was launched with much fanfare in March 2007, targeted at the SMB market for customers with up to 50 user stations. As Microsoft alludes to in its statement, the product never gained market momentum as expected and will soon join the numerous other IP telephony systems that have come and gone during the years.

Fortunately for Microsoft, its OCS offering, initially targeted at larger line size customers and thought to be too costly for the SMB market, has undergone continual design enhancements, i.e. reduced server requirements, to make it a more viable Response Point replacement for some, if not all, customers in the small line size space. Microsoft can be very flexible regarding SMB market software pricing, if they wish to do so. Though the current multi-server architecture design is not optimal for small system customers, I believe Microsoft will be able to consolidate all OCS capabilities, including gateway functions, into a single appliance (similar to the recently introduced Survivable Branch Appliance option) to make it a more attractive SMB market space solution. I'm sure that Microsoft will have no problem working with its various hardware partners to develop such an offering.

Though the SMB market often takes a backseat to the larger enterprise system market segment during industry discussions, it still offers substantial revenue opportunities. The market for standalone communications systems less than 50 line stations accounts for about one fifth of all product revenues in North America, but closer to half on a global basis. It is too large a market segment for Microsoft not to offer a functional and price competitive product offering.OCS, initially targeted at larger line size customers and thought to be too costly for the SMB market, has undergone continual design enhancements to make it a more viable Response Point replacement.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

February 22, 2017

Sick of video call technology that make participants look like they're in the witness protection program? Turns out youre not alone. Poor-quality video solutions can give users an unprofessional ap

March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.