Outbound PSTN Calling from an OCS Response Group

The new Response Group Service in Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is a neat solution that provides inbound call routing to available agents. In terms of features, it sits somewhere between the hunt group offered on your PBX and a full contact center ACD. It’s pretty simple to setup initially and then you can delegate…

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Workaround for Ring Back Issues in Office Communications Server

Caveat: What follows could best be classified as a hack. I have posted this information because sometimes a hack is called for but also because it highlights the strength of OCS as a platform. Although implementing this workaround is via supported mechanisms, there is no support for the code included below. Please test in a…

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Phone Numbers and Dial Plans in Office Communications Server

I’ve seen various customers that were building OCS dial plans that did not comply with our recommendation to follow RFC 3966. Some of these customers had problems while I was engaged with them. All the rest will have problems later. Note: RFC 3966 is the standard related to specifying a “tel” URI. It is the…

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Communicator Automatic Configuration and Split-Brain DNS

A lot has been written about the way that Microsoft Office Communicator uses DNS to automatically discover a registration point for a given SIP URI. I won’t repeat all of that here. But, I do want to emphasize one of the unique constraints that Communicator places on the DNS SRV records it uses. For automatic…

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Installing Telnet client on Windows Server 2008

If you’re installing Office Communications Server (or anything else, for that matter) on Windows Server 2008, you’ve probably been frustrated that the telnet client is no longer installed by default. Perhaps telnet isn’t the best troubleshooting tool. But, who hasn’t tried “telnet ocspool 5061” to quickly verify that the load balancer is at least doing…

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The Director Component in OCS: Traffic Flow, Authentication, and Use Cases

Over the years, I’ve seen a number of different discussions about the directors, what they do, how they behave, and when we should use them. This post summarizes what I believe to be the salient points concerning the director component. Hopefully, this will serve to clarify rather than confuse. One of the advantages of directors…

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The Mysteriously Changing Conference ID

A new feature in Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is PSTN dial-in to audio conferences. (OCS 2007 had audio conferencing. It just didn’t have an attendant to which you could dial-in, provide a conference ID, and be placed in the right conference.) The most important features of a traditional reservationless audio bridge are provided by…

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Audio Conferencing with PSTN Attendees Prior to a Leader Joining

The on-premise conferencing capability in Office Communications Server allows you to invite anonymous participants. These anonymous participants shouldn’t be allowed to have a meeting all by themselves, though. At least one authenticated enterprise user is required to be in the meeting. With data conferencing in the Live Meeting Console, an anonymous participant can activate the…

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