Gary Morgenstern from AT&T sent TMC an email regarding AT&T CallVantage's new features.
The AT&T email states:
This is the single largest introduction of new feature and capabilities to AT&T CallVantage Service since its initial launch last March 29. With the addition of 'AT&T CallVantage Plus,' (the sub-account capability referenced), 2nd-line and Call Filtering, subscribers are able to configure a very sophisticated suite of customized capabilities that trump any competitive services to date. Taken in total, we have now matured AT&T CallVantage Service to a feature-rich offer in just 9 months.
Hmmm..."trump any competitive services to date"? Nothing like a good marketing or PR person that knows how to write good copy, eh?
Below is the full AT&T CallVantage release. One interesting feature is the Record & Send,' which "blasts" a recorded message to a maximum of 20 phone numbers. This is kind of like an automated predictive dialer (though predictive dialers in the traditional sense connect you to a live person). Hmmm, does this then make every AT&T CallVantage user a potential telemarketer? Well with only 20 numbers, I'm sure they won't run afoul of the DNC (Do Not Call List). Plus I'm sure this feature will be used for personal and not business. Though perhaps one day AT&T will offer a business version of CallVantage with unlimited predictive dialing capabilities. It will be like Centrex all over again except with much more advanced features. Already IP-Centrex solutions exist, but I digress...
Anyway, check out some of the new features in CallVantage.
AT&T Makes AT&T CallVantage Service "Family Friendly"
Innovative Service Delivers an Industry First and Many New Capabilities
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2004
BEDMINSTER, N.J. - AT&T said today it is introducing a number of exciting new feature enhancements to AT&T CallVantageSM Service, including immediate availability of the industry's first sub-account capability that provides up to nine distinctive telephone numbers along with the ability to manage each as a separate calling experience while sharing the same line.
In addition, the company is debuting additional new features and services, including a second-line offer, support of facsimile machines and some modems, call filtering capabilities, a record and send feature and more.
"With the introduction of these innovative new capabilities, AT&T CallVantage Service is now poised to provide subscribers a truly differentiated calling experience," said Cathy Martine, AT&T senior vice president for Internet Telephony. "With AT&T CallVantage Plus, everyone can receive calls when and where they want providing each user a completely customizable experience on the calls they receive. No other provider currently offers this level of control."
The new features are the latest in a series of innovations AT&T promised to deliver to this popular Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. These new premium capabilities include:
'AT&T CallVantage Plus,' that provides each user a distinctive telephone number and the ability to manage their individual experience on the calls they receive. This enables as many as nine individuals the ability to configure the features like 'Do Not Disturb' and 'Locate Me' to receive calls when they want and where they want. It also provides a discrete 'Call Log' for each user and personal voicemail. The monthly cost is $7.49 per additional user.
'2nd Line,' service is now available and must compliment the primary line's local and long-distance bundle for $29.99 a month, or the local only plan for $19.99 a month.
'Call Filtering,' an exciting new capability that when combined with other AT&T CallVantage Service features provides the ability to direct calls based on who is calling. For example, using 'Do Not Disturb' users might elect to send calls from friends directly to voicemail, while allowing calls from children always to ring through. The monthly charge for this feature is $1.99.
'Record & Send,' makes repetitive calls easy and convenient so that classroom 'moms,' soccer coaches and the like can record a message and quickly deliver it to as many as 20 separate phone numbers. Record & Send is free during this introductory period depending on the calling plan and whether it's used for long distance or international calls. This feature will cost $0.49 per use beginning in February 2005.
"While some of these new capabilities are priced a-la-carte, we are also introducing a number of new features to enhance the already feature-rich calling experience at no additional cost," said Martine. "This will help ensure our customers that they're receiving the very best broadband calling experience at incomparable value."
The service enhancements being added to the existing AT&T CallVantage Service platform at no additional charge include:
'Fax and Modem Support," now makes it possible for most commonly used facsimile machines and some modems to interoperate with AT&T CallVantage Service. It may also work with some Personal Video Recorders and satellite TV systems.
'Safe Forward Number,' automatically activates a prescribed location to deliver calls whenever there is an interruption in service due to conditions such as a commercial power outage that may affect the ability to receive calls. The 'Locate Me' feature does not need to be active for this automatic redirection to take place. (This feature is currently available only to customers with a D-Link 1120 TA connected directly to the modem.)
In addition to these new features, the company also introduced today additional service enhancements that include:
* 'International Calling Support,' that now makes it possible to mix international locations with existing features including 'Call Forwarding,' 'Click to Dial,' 'Locate Me,' 'Phone Book' and 'Speed Dial;'
* 'Locate Me VIP List,' that provides the option of forwarding all calls, or only a select group of numbers;
* 'Phone Book Import/Export,' provides synchronization of up to 250 names to Microsoft® Outlook, Outlook Express and Palm PoweredTM handhelds;
* "Set your Time Zone," makes it possible to select and customize the time zone associated with features such as 'Call Logs' and 'Conference Calling.'
Just as important, responding to consumer feedback, the company unveiled a completely redesigned Internet Home Page to support the service. The new page provides instant access to the features used most and to search on the Help and FAQ sections of the site.
Additionally, the company announced the end of its introductory calling promotion that offered 'Personal Conference' at no additional charge, and renamed the feature 'Conference Calling.' Effective immediately, all 'Conference Calling' calls will be billed at $0.35 per minute.
All of these new features and capabilities are available immediately.
Introduced in late March, AT&T CallVantage Service is now serving consumers in more than 170 markets in 39 states and Washington, D.C. The service, which works with a customer's broadband connection, provides a complete calling solution that provides unlimited local and long-distance domestic calling, including calls to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, unlimited calling to Canada, discount rates for international calling, and a suite of advanced features for $29.99 a month with the first month free to new subscribers who sign up before January 31, 2005.
Under its AT&T CallVantage Local Plan, customers receive unlimited local calling and access to the entire AT&T CallVantage Service advanced feature set for $19.99 per month. All local toll and long distance calling and feature use in the U.S. and to Canada will be billed at $0.04 a minute.
To learn more about AT&T CallVantage Service, consumers can visit http://www.CallVantage.com, call 1-866-816-3815 extension 70339, or visit one of its valued retailers.