AT&T CallVantage announced their CallVantage Small Office Plan yesterday..
Here's the release in case you missed it...
February 8, 2005 - BEDMINSTER, N.J. – AT&T announced today the immediate availability of its
AT&T CallVantage® Small Office Plan targeting Small Office/Home
Office (SOHO) workers with a broadband phone service that delivers tremendous
calling capabilities and cost benefits to help them grow their business.
This feature-rich, two-line offer includes unlimited local and long-distance
calling throughout the U.S. and Canada, plus the ability to send and receive
faxes for $49.99 per month.
“The Small Office Plan is a robust solution for small-office communications,
providing substantial savings over traditional telephone services and increasing
productivity through advanced features,” said Cathy Martine, AT&T senior
vice president for Internet Telephony. “Most home offices will find they can
keep their existing telephone numbers and expand their community or geographic
visibility by purchasing additional numbers in other areas.
“And, it’s loaded with features strengthened by the introduction of our
industry-leading sub-account capabilities that we delivered to users late last
year. Called AT&T CallVantage® Plus, SOHO workers can receive
calls when and where they want, providing each member of their business a
completely customizable telephone experience. No other broadband phone provider
delivers this unique control.”
At the heart of the offer is the AT&T CallVantage Service platform that
provides the ability to subscribe to as many as nine distinctive telephone
numbers on the primary line. For an additional monthly charge of $7.49 per
number, each additional number’s inbound call experience can be managed
independently, even though all the numbers share the same line.
In this manner, it’s possible for users of the AT&T CallVantage Small
Office Plan to receive multiple calls by using AT&T’s powerful ‘Locate Me’
feature while sharing two lines. ‘Locate Me’ makes it possible to ring up to
five phones, all at once, or sequentially. If the primary office phones are
busy, calls would be automatically redirected to alternate locations such as
employee home phones, cell phones or voicemail.
“Now the SOHO community has the ability to economically assign each of their
workers or departments with their own individual telephone number without the
investment of dedicated telephone lines or the installation of expensive PBX
equipment,” explained Martine. “Imagine running a small home-based business with
the ability to assign separate numbers to each of your virtual workers. By using
features like ‘Locate Me,’ those workers can receive calls at home or while
traveling at no additional expense.
“These additional numbers can be local to the SOHO or be assigned area codes
that are strategically located throughout the U.S. It’s a great way to look like
a much larger player in the marketplace, with minimal expense.”
The AT&T CallVantage Small Office Plan also includes all of AT&T’s
standard and advanced VoIP services with access to all of its premium features.
An example of a premium feature would be the recently introduced ‘Call
Filtering’ capability that, when combined with other service features, provides
the ability to direct calls based on who is calling. ‘Call Filtering’ carries a
monthly recurring charge of $1.99.
Workers might elect to use ‘Do Not Disturb’ to send all calls directly to
voicemail when meeting with clients, while allowing calls from the boss to
always ring through.
A small-office worker might use AT&T’s ‘Record & Send’ feature to
update as many as 20 key clients or colleagues at once with important product
availability or pricing information with a single message delivered by phone,
rather than making repetitive calls.
AT&T also delivers this market segment its popular ‘Conference Calling’
feature that enables callers to establish a 10-line conference call. The account
holder is charged a very affordable flat rate of 35 cents per minute, regardless
of whether four conference lines are used or all 10.
“Based upon IDC's view of the market, AT&T’s latest offering will meet
the needs of the small business customer," said Will Stofega, Senior Analyst at
IDC. “IDC believes that there is no substitute for experience, given the
potential that VoIP holds in reshaping the telecom ecosystem. The AT&T
CallVantage features move AT&T to the head of the class in terms of product
flexibility and enhancements that accommodate ease of use.”
According to a Small Business Administration office automation study by
TeleNomic Research in March 2004, smaller businesses spend more per employee on
telecommunications than do their larger counterparts. The study cites the
typical small office comprised of four or fewer employees using two telephone
lines spending, on average, $153 a month.
“A typical four-person business might spend $65 a month for unlimited service
giving each user their own telephone number which represents rather significant
savings over traditional business calling,” said Martine. “It’s a no lose
proposition for those ready to take the plunge into VoIP.”
Introduced in late March 2004, AT&T CallVantage Service is now serving
customers in more than 170 markets in 39 states and Washington, D.C.,with a
customer supplied high-speed Internet connection such as cable or DSL. It’s
estimated that about a third of all small offices maintain a broadband