Got your number!?

IMAGE_045 This week,  I unplugged the telephone on my desk and put it on the other pile of stuff on my desk that I think I should keep but will probably never go back to.  The reason for this unusual move is that my number has been moved over to OCS 2007.  When you ring my phone number,  I now answer it on either my PC at work,  Media Center at home,  mobile phone or even my home phone ..... the beauty of it is that you are none the wiser.  Its worth remembering though that not all of my calls are incoming,  this is where my crusade for E164 comes in.

The Catalina I have on my desk doesn't have a dial pad,  no hash button (pound sign for any of any American readers) ... it doesn't have a star key ... it doesn't even have 0-9.  Instead of manually typing in numbers to phone someone,  I just pick them out of my contacts list or paste their number into communicator,  this is where my gripe starts.  When I look through our global address list or look at the telephone numbers in someone's signature,  the range and style people use to describe their phone number varies a great deal and will normally include a few dashes,  the odd +44 but most of the time has a few brackets in there for good measure.  My request is therefore two fold,  the second of which is a nice to have

  • In signatures,  emails and anywhere else for that matter,  write your number in E164 format i.e. +441189091234
  • If you consider yourself really forward thinking,  put a link to your telephone number using tel:+441189091234 at the hype link i.e. like this

      James O'Neil has taken to creating an Outlook rule to correct people on their number formatting,  a genius idea if ever there was,  but I am going to go for a different approach and leading by example by updating my signature and slowly converting everyone else as I go along.

      E164 woes aside,  how have I found my first week of using this new system?

      1. I phone people a lot more than I used to before.  The same occurred when I had Remote Call Control and the same is happening again.  Because I don't need to type in peoples numbers,  I find I will phone them rather than emailing them
      2. I answer the phone a lot more than before.  This is partially because its easier to get hold of me now,  with the system finding me on the device that makes sense at the time,  but also because I see someone is ringing me rather than having to listen out for a ringing sound
      3. I don't miss the number pad ... at all!.  I thought it might get annoying not being able to type in peoples phone numbers like you would on a standard phone.  Actually,  I have learnt that most of the numbers I want to dial are already in my contacts or are somewhere where I can copy and paste them into Communicator,  using the keypad on my keyboard as a last resort

      Overall,  I was really excited about getting my number ported over to OCS 2007 and it has indeed meet my expectations.  I expect to see a number of other people making similar blogs so keep and eye out and I will let you know in an update as I see them 🙂


      Comments (9)

      1. Anonymous says:

        Recently my team asked me to put together ten top tips for LiveMeeting and Communicator.  My LiveMeeting

      2. Anonymous says:

        Almost a month ago (28 days to be precise), I put together a post as I was moving my telephone number

      3. James ONeill says:

        The trouble with setting an example is the people write in the broken format don’t learn … or even notice. You do need to tell them (IMHO) 😉

      4. Good point Maren … a few other people mentioned something similar.

        I will do some investigation to see if I can find out why it works like that and if it can be changed.  Might take a while though 🙂

      5. Hey.  If I understand correctly,  you are talking about the times when you still need to type in a number to make your way round the menu system?

        This is done in communicator by the use of a dial pad within the interface.  So far,  the only time I need to use it is when I join someone elses conference call as I have my own passcode/leadercode programmed into my contacts.

        Hope that answer your question 🙂

      6. Hey.  I have added you to my buddys list in Communicator so we should be able to speak soon.

        Keep up the good work,  I have RSSd to your blog and will keep an eye on it 🙂


      7. Joachim Farla says:

        "I expect to see a number of other people making similar blogs so keep and eye out and I will let you know in an update as I see them :-)"

        well we do have an very nice blog in the Netherlands. Let’s introduce myself. Joachim Farla working at e-office in the Netherlands. We participate within the Enterprise Program at Microsoft Netherlands. At this moment we deployed OCS 2007 Public Beta within our infrastructure. At this moment we are connected with a clearing house for SIP hosted ( services and we feel the same experiences as you have.

        e-office is a Microsoft Gold Partner and most of the time we are developing SharePoint solutions. For a couple of months now we do Unified Communications. So within this context so see a lot of activities around UC. Especially OCS2007, CWA2007 and MOC2007!

        Very nice blog by the way. Please check mine 🙂 We also integrate AJAX for live presence. Please send me your feedback it would be very useful.



      8. Alasdair says:

        Mark how do you cope with traditional TUI applications – not everyone has implemented IVR so how do you press one for…. etc ?


      9. Maren Bennette says:

        Hi Mark,

        I have done as you suggest with my e-mail signature, but one question… when I went to modify my Outlook 2003 contact vcf to also use E164, Outlook keeps putting in a space between +44 and 1736. Perhaps you want to have a word with your Outlook PM people about this…8-)



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