Hosted VoIP Service, Toktumi, Now Available through Staples

We got our first look at the intriguing Toktumi service back in January of this year, just before it was launched in beta.

Today is the service’s official, real-life launch, and to go with that event, the company has announced its first distribution deal: As of today, Toktumi is available from Staples (here).

That is, you can now purchase the Toktumi adapter—which works with ‘any phone’—at the office supply giant’s website . . . and at a substantial discount: $10 off the ‘official’ price of $29.95.

“Part of our goal is to find ways to reach very small businesses cost effectively,” Toktumi founder and CEO Peter Sisson told in a recent briefing, “so we’re really focusing on doing deals with channels that already have effectively tapped into that target.”

“Because Staples is such a credible company, and because it symbolizes business and small business—in terms of who shops there—it really helps our positioning,” he said.

To recap Toktumi’s basic metrics, you can download the PC-based client application for free (here). You get a ‘real’ phone number (aka DID) that rings your adapter-connected phone and/or your PC, plus free calling and call forwarding to/from other Toktumi users, voicemail, and the very cool “search dialing” feature that taps into PC-based address books and online search to find people and places by keyword.

Once you sign up for the business service ($12.95 per month per phone number), you can pick your own DID from any of 80 markets in the U.S.—or port your existing number to Toktumi—and set up the auto assistant to forward incoming calls to your ‘extensions’ (phone numbers of your workforce, wherever they may be).

For paying customers, calls can be placed, transferred, and forwarded to any phone, not just to Toktumi users. Outbound calls to the PSTN cost about $0.02 per minute to most phones, worldwide. (Incoming calls are free.) Toktumi’s audio conferencing accommodates as many as 20 participants. You can record calls, and the application keeps a detailed call history.

Among the improvements introduced since we saw the service in January, Sisson mentioned enhancements to voicemail—including voicemail to e-mail—robust support for voice over Wi-Fi, features to support, manage, and bill for multiple incoming numbers, and, perhaps most important, an expanding network of carrier relationships for improved overall quality of service.

“Over the summer, we’ll be expanding the infrastructure and rolling out new features and doing more work on QoS, so we can continue making incremental improvements to the service quality,” Sisson said.

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