Bell takes on Vonage with Business IP Voice targetting SMB users

“This is one more arrow in our quiver for our IP strategy,” said Jon Wiese, senior vice-president of marketing, SMB, Bell Canada. “We’re aggressively as a company moving away from legacy networks to IP networks. We’re also looking for other applications that we can use on top of the IP network.”Vonage has had a small business offering in North America for around three to four years.
While both Bell and Vonage offer customers access to an online Web portal for managing and modifying account features and services, Vonage Canada’s vice-president of marketing and business development, Joe Parent, said his firm offers a more “functional” Web portal than Bell’s.
Vonage, because of its roots in the U.S., offers secondary lines throughout Canada and the U.S., plus virtual lines in the U.K. and Mexico City with plans to expand to other international locals in the near future, said Parent.
Wiese, however, points out that Bell offers both a hosted and premises solution.
“Telecom providers in the recent past have kind of overlooked the SMB,” said Carrie MacGillivray, senior analyst for Canadian market strategies at The Yankee Group. “Bell put a big push to the SMB in providing services through their Virtual CIO and their productivity pack.
“This is the next logical step for them to offer VoIP.”
The Business IP Voice kit includes voice adapter, telephone cable, Ethernet cable and DC power supply.

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