Almost a month ago (28 days to be precise), I put together a post as I was moving my telephone number over to Office Communications Server 2007, I thought it might be a good idea to share with you how things have gone. During the last 28 days, I have made 78 incoming calls and 94 outgoing call, 3 of which were with the press and so far I am impressed with the quality of what is essentially a beta product.
What have I liked?
- First of all I have found that moving my number over to OCS actually makes me phone people instead of emailing them. The upshot of this is that I have now managed to get my mailbox below 100 unread emails, that's a good place to be as far as I am concerned.
- I have also found that with my fellow 'OCS Pilot People', I tend to do video calls instead of voice calls because most of them have webcams. I have found this actually makes calls more productive as you concentrate on the person you are speaking to rather than checking your email in the background.
- I have found myself answering more calls than usual, the reason being is that when I email someone and they phone me back, it includes the subject title along with the call. Even if the call doesn't have a subject, I can easily see who is calling now as it picks them name out of my contacts like it would on my mobile phone.
- I have been involved in a 4 way video conference call and a 3 way audio conference call and both were a) easy to setup and b) I actually knew who was talking because Communicator 2007 highlights the person who is speaking
- I used a Polycom CX100 for a conference call last week and at the end of the conference call I asked them about the quality of the voice (not the quality of what I was talking about mind!). It was extremely encouraging to hear them say that it actually sounded clearer than on a normal conference call phone. Excellent stuff considering neither OCS 2007, Communicator 2007 or the Polycom CX100 are released yet
- A few weeks ago I was speaking with Tony Cocks over OCS and at then end of the call he said 'are you going along to the meeting in 10 minutes?', thinking I was in the office. 10 minutes later I phoned into the room and ran the meeting remotely using my PC, Communicator 2007, Jabra headset and a hotel wireless internet connection in Aberdeen.
What hasn't gone so well?
- I use synchronous ringing, both my pc and my mobile ring when I get a call. As I tend to answer the call on my PC most of the time, it means I have a load of missed calls on my mobile. Not much we can do about that one me thinks.
- Although I get less emails than before, I do tend to get a lot that say 'Can you put me on the OCS pilot please?'. Good news people are keen to join in but it plays havoc with my mailbox quota 😉
- One a few occasions I have experience a slight delay on the call and once or twice I have actually found the call so bad I needed to dial again. I kind of except this given the beta nature of the pilot and the advantages of using OCS far outweigh the occasional glitches for me.
Question is, would I ever go back to a normal phone? The answer is quite simply 'No'. Moving my telephone number over to OCS has fundamentally changed the way in which I use my telephone (i.e. I now actually use it), I make more calls, reduce my inbox in the process and not only make it easier for people to contact me but also find it easier to get hold of other people that are on the OCS pilot.