Cincinnati Bell offsets cable threat to SMB market with hosted voice solution

Cincinnati Bell introduced a new service to entice small businesses to migrate to a cloud-based voice services system as it looks to thwart emerging threats from Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and its soon-to-be parent Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR).

Connected Office Voice service enables small businesses to integrate voice, email, instant messaging & presence (IM&P), mobility and call recording services into a single, cloud-based, communications system.

Leveraging the internet as the access method, Cincinnati Bell is offering two main service configurations: Key System and PBX.

The new platform is applicable for either new businesses or existing ones that want to replace their premises-based PBX systems with products for businesses with up to 15 phones per location. 

Connected Office Voice is the first product to be introduced in Cincinnati Bell Business' new Connected Office suite of products. The service provider said that it would introduce additional products later this year.

The small business segment is a diverse and often underserved market that often doesn't have the requisite IT staff to handle complex voice service implementations, so handing off these functions to Cincinnati Bell makes sense.

Cincinnati Bell said that it can reduce a small business' communications spend while also performing necessary maintenance and upgrades on all components of the offering.    

Providing hosted voice services is just one of several moves that Cincinnati Bell has made to better address the small business segment.

Earlier this year, Cincinnati Bell developed a unit focused on the needs of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) that have unique needs that differ from the larger enterprise customers served by its CBTS division.

This unit will provide a suite of voice, data and technology integration and support services to companies that have less than 100 employees in its home Cincinnati market.

According to the telco, there are over 50,000 customers Cincinnati Bell can support with the new unit.

These new services come at a time when its main cable competitors are luring customers with a mix of higher speed services via HFC and voice services. Cincinnati Bell can strengthen its bond with SMBs with the new hosted voice services as well as its growing suite of fiber-based services such as its 1 Gbps offering.

For more:
- see the release

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