Apptix Adds Voice to On-Demand Repertoire

Monday Mar 19th 2007 by Dan Muse
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Best-known for its hosted Exchange service, Apptix today announced a VoIP service designed to offer a small businesses enterprise-class unified communications features and support.

Apptix has a simple, but ambitious goal. Amir Hudda, the company's CEO, said he wants to make buying hosted Exchange and Voice over Internet Protocol services as easy as it is to buy a book on Amazon.com.

Apptix has for several years specialized in offering small businesses on-demand e-mail and collaboration products. However, today the company expanded its service offerings with the introduction of Apptix Voice, a new hosted VoIP product designed to offer affordable IP telephony services.

Apptix Voice is available through the company's MailStreet division and is also integrated with Hosted Exchange, which is designed to unify voice and e-mail applications. Hudda said that the MailStreet division is aimed at business with between one and 20 employees. The company's other divisions include ASP One, which is targeted at small businesses with between 21 and 100 employees and the Mi8, which is best-suited for organizations with between 101 and 1,000 employees.

When considering on-demand communications services, "for a lot of small businesses, the cost, the complexity and the number of vendors to deal with are too much," Hudda said. He added that there is a gap in the market, leaving small businesses without a fully supported business-class VoIP service. "You have Cisco and Alltel for the enterprise and lots of consumer products, but there's a void in the SMB space."


Apptix Voice
Apptix Voice is designed to you let you manage your calls through Microsoft Outlook.

Beyond the Price Point
Paying a lower price than you currently pay for traditional phone service is pretty much a given when you look at VoIP products. "Anyone who offers VoIP is going to be able to offer lower total cost of ownership," Hudda said.

What sets Apptix Voice apart from providers of consumer-grade VoIP, Hudda said, are features and the service-levels. "We offer enterprise-class features and we also offer SLAs." For example, Apptix Voice guarantees 99.9 percent uptime, geographically dispersed redundant data centers and built-in disaster recovery, and 24/7 toll-free and e-mail support. "The capabilities we offer are the icing on the cake," he added.

As provider of hosted Exchange, Apptix naturally focused on integrating voice calls with Outlook and Exchange. Apptix Voice, for example, offers an Outlook toolbar to ease the integration.Small businesses, Hudda said, want one bill and one point of contact for all forms of communications — e-mail, collaboration and voice. By obtaining voice, e-mail and collaboration services from Apptix, small businesses can address all of their business communications needs from a single service provider, Hudda said.


Apptix Voice
Apptix Voice's voice-to-e-mail features are designed to help you stay better connected.

Apptix Voice Basic service costs $39.95 per month and includes unlimited local and U.S. long distance, extension dialing, voice mail, voice-to-e-mail capabilities, caller ID, auto attendant, softphone and basic call forwarding.

The Premium Enterprise Edition costs $49.99 a month and includes the following additional features: selective call forwarding, selective call acceptance, MailStreet Outlook/IE Toolbar, account/authorization codes, remote office capabilities and find me/follow me features.

To make it easier to configure and add new users and services, Apptix Voice offers a Web portal for management. Apptix claims its VoIP service can be deployed in less than 30 days. The company says it manages the entire process, which includes an optional on-site network assessment, porting of existing phone numbers, hardware and plan selection, and installation services.

Later this year, Hudda said, Apptix plans to add an instant messaging product to round out it communications offering.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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