Phone numbers in Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

Phone numbers are ubiquitous today, and being able to communicate with someone by dialing a few digits comes naturally for a lot of people.  Ability to dial phone numbers is also a part of our people centric communications.

Using communicator, phone numbers can be supported in the following ways

  • User dialing the short extension of another user (such as 12345)
  • Dialing out to a PSTN phone number (fully or partially, such as 14258828080 or 8828080)
  • Dialing vanity numbers such as 1800FLOWERS.
  • Dialing from the Contact list.

Here are some screenshots where user has typed few characters and Office Communicator 2007 (OC) resolves it into a phone number (shown below) that can be dialed with one-click.

OC supports dialing of only the extension of a co-worker to see their complete number. This is accomplished through the phone number normalization rules in OC.

Just typing a name in the search window looks up your enterprise’s Global Address list and your own personal contacts in Microsoft Outlook. The results that are returned are defaulted for one click-to-call with the type of phone number (Work, Cell etc.) that was used the last time for this contact.

Any number that is dialed shows up in “Recent Contacts” group in OC to enable fast redialing.

If a user has OC installed on their machine then “tel:" prefix to a phone number in an email signature can be used to initiate a phone call in OC. This is similar to the popular HTML tag "mailto:" which initiates an Email client.

For e.g. the screenshot below has this Hyperlink path for the phone number-tel: 4258828080

The above are just few of the ways in which a phone call can be initiated in OC.  You will note that I did not show a numeric dial pad to enter a phone number. OC is a multimodal communications client which is capable of audio, video, Instant Messaging and data collaboration. The numeric dial pad is intentionally missing so that OC does not appear like just a phone. Note that dial-pad is available within a conversation window for entering any post-dial digits.

After dialing, every phone number is translated and normalized before being sent to Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 for outbound dialing. We will go deeper in these areas in upcoming blog posts so keep tuned in.

Our team is curious to know your phone dialing experience in OC. Please share it with us in the comments sections for this blog.

Noor-E-Gagan Singh,
Senior Program Manager
Published Monday, February 18, 2008 11:54 AM by octeam
Filed Under: Voice

Comments (3)

  1. says:

    When I call a coworker using Microsoft Communicator they can hear me on their pc speakers but I cannot hear them.

  2. Stephen Kearns says:

    Good article – I'm trying to figure out how to dail from contacts where there's an extension involved. Any articles on that (e.g. +1 (416) 555-1234 x 123

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