OCS is RTM

Microsoft’s office Communications Server takes the next step forward

I know I’m a bit late, I’ve been well beaten by Arthur,  Johann, James and Eileen but I’ve had the cricket to think about and recover from and despair about  but anyway….  

It’s out – well sort of, both Office Communications Server 2007 and it’s Uber client office communicator 2007 have been released to manufacturing ( RTM). expect full MSDN versions over the next few weeks and full availability by the autumn.

the release includes :

  • Office Communicator 2007 : the soon to be ubiquitous client
  • Office Communications Server 2007 : the core server product  
  • Office Live Meeting Console 2007 :  The web collaboration and presentation tool
  • Communicator Web Access 2007 : think of this as OWA is to outlook CWA is to Office communicator 2007
  • Microsoft RoundTable 2007 : Microsoft’s innovative 360° video and audio conferencing tool
  • Office Communications Server 2007 Speech Server : Microsoft’s IVR server suite

there have also been some disclosures about likely pricing  as well over on the Microsoft Presspass site Gurdeep Singh Pall VP of the UC groups is quoted :

As with Live Communications Server, the predecessor to Office Communications Server, customers need both server and client access licenses (CALs). There are two types of Office Communications Server CALs: Standard and Enterprise. The Standard CAL has the IM and presence capabilities including new group IM and rich presence features and costs roughly $21 for the average enterprise. The new Enterprise CAL provides all of the new conferencing and VoIP call management features and costs roughly $97 for the average enterprise. The Office Communications Server Standard and Enterprise CALs will also be included as part of the Microsoft Enterprise CAL Suite, a bundle of several Microsoft server CALs available at a discount.

the approach is very much one of evolution rather than revolution and that the average enterprise needn’t replace that aging TDM PBX to realise the advantages that  Unified Communications can bring. I’ve still to digest the interop white paper so I can’t really comment in too much detail on the practicalities of this.

This is the phoney war before the battle that will rage between traditional telecoms providers, the IP vendors (notably Cisco) and Microsoft. things are going to get really interesting over the next few months.

This is the biggy… Communication is so much more emotional and important than the choice of browser you make. There’s a whole lot more money to be made and lost ($45 Bn by 2010)  and it’s Microsoft Pitching into a Market that it’s relatively new to with a lot of established vendors who have their share of the billions to protect. 

I’m hoping that the customer is in a win-win situation however I am a bit wary that this period of upheaval is going to lead to a bit of blood letting and I hope  the collateral damage is kept to a minimum.

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4 Responses to OCS is RTM

  1. Arthur says:

    Hello,
    I’ve just published the OCS 2007 documents after finding them in the public domain …

    http://mucuguk.org/blogs/microsoft_unified_communications_user_group_ap/archive/2007/07/31/165.aspx

    Happy reading

    Arthur

  2. alasdairford says:

    hi arthur, thanks for that, I tagged a few from Julian’s Blog – I’m just reading the QoE document – interesting attempt to move the arguement on – I’ll be posting something tomorrow I think

  3. Luke says:

    wondering if you had any more thoughts / info on the following paragraph:

    the approach is very much one of evolution rather than revolution and that the average enterprise needn’t replace that aging TDM PBX to realise the advantages that Unified Communications can bring. I’ve still to digest the interop white paper so I can’t really comment in too much detail on the practicalities of this.

    I.e im trying to figure out what advantages/disadvatnages a company would be at if it upgraded its current system Vs. buying the new OCS phones (i.e the nortel UCT-100 and polycom CX700). or maybe the answer is no difference.

    thx
    luke

  4. alasdairford says:

    Hi luke – sorry for the delay in responding – I’m still recovering from Canada – I’d suggest that it depends on your strategy – Microsoft would suggest that evolution by adding OCS woudl be better than Revolution by ripping out the PBX I suppose it depends on where you are in your PBX lifecycle. Avaya were pushing this idea a few years ago with some success albeit proprietary

    Your PBX will determine the best route there are a plethora of upgrades from traditional PBX manufacturers and if you have a smaller installation this might offer the features you require.

    OCS offers so much more than raw telephony the presence services it offers are the key to it’s success that said it can be quite costly and doesn’t usually stack up for a few users.

    if you can give me a few more specifics we might be able to come to some conclusions

    al

    The main consideration is the interoperability and tbh if you can’t provide an IP / H.323 gateway you’re going to have to compromise. a lot of PBX manufacturers offer IP upgrades

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