BT has folded the Ribbit internet call management service into its Onevoice business offering, combining functionality equivalent to Google Voice with the backing of a proper telecommunications company.
BT bought Silicon Valley-based Ribbit for $105m almost two years ago, but integrating the service into BT's corporate offering has taken a while, during which time Ribbit has only been available to individual beta testers. Now BT plans testing with corporate customers over the summer and a general launch before the end of the year.
Ribbit provides not only a single number for incoming and outgoing calls, integrating with existing VoIP services where necessary, but also an open API. This allows companies to create their own applications for integrating with those cloud-based systems that are so popular these days.
BT also reckons companies can save a fortune by routing calls over VoIP connections when out of the office, and get access to the full exchange functionality too. So no excuses remain for failing to dial into the conference call while travelling.
Ribbit also integrates with mobiles, offering custom applications for the iPhone, among others, and is capable of integrating with any network and handling incoming and outgoing calls on any handset (using call forwarding).
So basically Ribbit Onevoice has everything Google is offering with Google Voice, but it's backed by a telecommunications company which will integrate it with your existing systems. BT also won't listen into your communications for demographic profiling purposes. The catch is that the service costs money. ®