iNVEZZ.com, Monday, September 29: BT Group Plc (LON:BT.A) today launched a cloud-based IP voice service aimed at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The service, dubbed BT Cloud Voice, is available to firms with a BT Business Internet connection, with clients able to choose from three user feature packs – Basic, Connect and Collaborate.
In today’s trading, BT shares were 0.6 percent lower at 381.30p, as of 14:31 BST.
Describing the new service, BT said: “BT Cloud Voice is a virtual phone system hosted in the cloud, so no more hardware or maintenance.” The telecoms giant continued: “The clever bit is that all your calls are made over the internet.”
BT claimed that Cloud Voice had all the features of a traditional phone system, but offered more flexibility in that it allowed users to work from any device they want. Some of the features offered by the service include call recording, call centre, and audio and web conferencing, amongst others.
The company didn’t reveal details on how the different packages would be priced, but it said that the service was more cost-effective than traditional systems, as users don’t need to buy, install, maintain or upgrade new telephone systems, hardware or software.
The Inquirer quoted Graham Sutherland, head of BT’s business division, who noted that 60 percent of SMEs in the UK were already seeing the benefits of cloud-based applications and that “using a cloud-based telephony system is a natural step for many businesses”.
Sutherland described BT Cloud Voice as “a highly reliable and flexible business communications system and future-proofed solution for small and medium-sized businesses”.
“Our customers expect great value and high quality products and BT Cloud Voice delivers on both counts,” he concluded.
**Analysts on BT**
According to the Financial Times, the 20 analysts offering 12 month price targets for BT have a median target of £4.50, with a high estimate of £6.20 and a low estimate of £2.45. As of September 26, 2014, the consensus forecast amongst 38 polled investment analysts covering the company has it that the company will outperform the market. The same consensus estimate has been maintained since the sentiment of investment analysts improved on November 05, last year, the FT notes.
**As of 14:55 BST buy BT shares at 381.90 pence**
**As of 14:55 BST sell BT shares at 381.70 pence**