At Microsoft we are all on Office Communications Server which makes for a great anti-virus experience. Yep it stops viruses spreading by allowing people to work at home when they feel they need to work to hit a deadline, but are really too ill to work in the office. This avoids spreading whatever lurgy they have to their workmates and customers.
It can also reduce accidents on icy-roads, and free up dads to spend more time with the kids (viz a viz the recent study on the state of child care in the UK).
Apparently it is also a really good piece of collaboration software and the new features in r2 (which launched yesterday) take this further:
- Better Collaboration
- Dial-in audio conferencing. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 enables businesses to eliminate costly audio conferencing services with an on-premise audio conferencing bridge that is managed by IT as part of the overall communications infrastructure.
- Desktop sharing. This feature enables users to seamlessly share their desktop, initiate audio communications and collaborate with others outside the organization on PC, Macintosh or Linux platforms through a Web-based interface.
- Persistent group chat. This enables geographically dispersed teams to collaborate with each other by participating in topic-based discussions that persist over time. This application provides users with a list of all available chat rooms and topics, periodically archives discussions in an XML file format that meets compliance regulations, provides tools to search the entire history of discussion on a given topic, and offers filters and alerts to notify someone of new posts or topics on a particular topic.
- Enhanced Voice and Mobility
- Attendant console and delegation. This allows receptionists, team secretaries and others to manage calls and conferences on behalf of other users, set up workflows to route calls, and manage higher volumes of incoming communications through a software-based interface.
- Session Initiation Protocol trunking. This feature enables businesses to reduce costs by setting up a direct VoIP connection between an Internet telephony service provider and Office Communicator 2007 without requiring on-premise gateways.
- Response group. A workflow design application manages incoming calls based on user-configured rules (e.g., round-robin, longest idle, simultaneous), providing a simple-to-use basic engine for call treatment, routing and queuing.
- Mobility and single-number reach. This extends Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile functionality to Nokia S40, Motorola RAZR, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms, allowing users to communicate using presence, IM and voice as an extension of their PBX from a unified client. *
* Blackberry client does not include Single Number Reach.
Eileen my manager is the official goddess on this, while I am usually the remote demo monkey for the events she does, but I am loving it especially while my wife is unwell this week with some horrible virus. The only problem is I maybe picking this up as I write this!