On Monday of this week I was put on the OCS2007 pilot - I have been using Presence and IM but this gave me the full Voice and Video experience also.
It is absolutely awesome and I can honestly say that I have not picked up a conventional desktop phone at work since.
The transition has been very easy and I am loving every minute of it, but I really put this to the test earlier this week.
I am a great believer in demoing the products live and so if you ask me to present I have one pre-requisite - the Internet.
This Tuesday I was at a hotel presenting. The hotel duly proceeded to supply an internet connection - basically it was the normal affair of 24 hrs access for a set sum - there is no Quality of Service and bandwidth is the usual ADSL.
So I proceeded to demo - first I IM'd Mark at TVP and escalated to a voice call all over the internet, the quality was brilliant we then conferenced in John ( Dragged and dropped into the communicator window) - three way conference over the internet ( and John was working from Home). Finally this was escalated to a video call - again three way.
It is difficult to describe the reaction of the audience but they loved it.
The point I am trying to get across is that this kind of working and unified communication is available to everyone. It is a testament to the technology and OCS 2007. It shows that communication via voice\video and IM is achievable anywhere.
So that was just one highlight of the week using this - but having the ability to check someone's presence in any Office application and choose click to call is great - I used to hate having to read numbers out of my contacts list and dial them into the phone - it normally just resulted in wrong numbers or having to dial again as I was not quick enough to get all the numbers in before the dead tone. This has all gone away.
Working at home has got much better also - I have a standard 2mb adsl connection - the mobile reception where I am is poor ( I live in a big dip) so by being able to now do all my calls from my laptop is great.
The devices that help me do this are great also - I have been lucky enough to test quite a few and my first impressions are very positive I will blog more later.
Like I said at the start - I have not used a conventional desktop phone for over a week and hopefully it will remain that way.
This is the new way of working - find out more at www.microsoft.com/uc