BT launches ‘plug and play’ IP phone product for small businesses

Transferring calls to out of office employees and simplicity said to be key advantages for small firms ready to dispense with traditional phone systems

BT Business has launched a ‘plug and play’ IP phone for small businesses considering replacing their traditional phone system.

The BT Cloud Phone enables users to transfer calls to members of staff outside the office, either working remotely or on the move.

Accessible wherever customers can access a BT internet connection or Wi-Fi, the communications giant promised the system will eliminate the need for on-premise central processing hardware.

It added that setting up the system would require no technical knowledge, with customers plugging into their internet connection.

If not using a BT IP phone, users will need to install the BT Cloud Phone app to use the product via iPhone or Android smartphones.

Speaking to Startups.co.uk, BT’s UK SME Business managing director Danny Longbottom said the move towards IP and hosted services is “one of our biggest things”.

“Up until recently I don’t think you could say we’ve been driving it,” he added. “Over the last 12 months we have been evolving the product and portfolio to help existing customers transition to new services – and making sure we’ve got a credible journey from fixed to IP.

“It you look five to seven years out we’ll switch off the traditional network and switch to an IP network. Hundreds of thousands are on traditional products. There are lots of physical, on-premise set-ups that will slowly migrate to off-premise solutions.”

“Connectivity is becoming increasingly important. As soon as you put large parts of it in the Cloud there is an expectation of permanent access anytime, anywhere. It used to be ‘you have the line you have the customer’ but broadband has now become the line.”

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