Microsoft announced this week the next version of Office Communications Server 2007, codename Wave 13, but that will be officially named as Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 (R2).
New Capabilities on a Strong, Unified Foundation
Key new features of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 include the following:
- Dial-in audioconferencing. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 enables businesses to eliminate costly audioconferencing services with an on-premise audioconferencing bridge that is managed by IT as part of the overall communications infrastructure.
- Desktop sharing. This feature enables users to seamlessly share their desktop, initiate audio communications and collaborate with others outside the organization on PC, Macintosh or Linux platforms through a Web-based interface.
- Persistent group chat. This enables geographically dispersed teams to collaborate with each other by participating in topic-based discussions that persist over time. This application provides users with a list of all available chat rooms and topics, periodically archives discussions in an XML file format that meets compliance regulations, provides tools to search the entire history of discussion on a given topic, and offers filters and alerts to notify someone of new posts or topics on a particular topic.
Enhanced Voice and Mobility
- Attendant console and delegation. This allows receptionists, team secretaries and others to manage calls and conferences on behalf of other users, set up workflows to route calls, and manage higher volumes of incoming communications through a software-based interface.
- Session Initiation Protocol trunking. This feature enables businesses to reduce costs by setting up a direct VoIP connection between an Internet telephony service provider and Office Communicator 2007 without requiring on-premise gateways.
- Response group.A workflow design application manages incoming calls based on user-configured rules (e.g., round-robin, longest idle, simultaneous), providing a simple-to-use basic engine for call treatment, routing and queuing.
- Mobility and single-number reach. This extends Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile functionality to Nokia S40, Motorola RAZR, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms, allowing users to communicate using presence, IM and voice as an extension of their PBX from a unified client (Blackberry client does not include Single Number Reach).
New Developer Tools for Business Applications
- APIs and Visual Studio integration. This improves the efficiency of everyday business processes by enabling businesses to build communications-enabled applications and embed communications into business applications.
Other Cool Features
- Music on hold for Attendant and Response Groups.
- Click to call between Communicator and Communicator Phone Edition.
- Expanded presence - now showing unique entries when someone is logged in on the IP phone or Mobile clients exclusively.
- Team Calling: Team-based simultaneous ringing that's configured by users.
- Auto-updates: Administrators can directly push out updates for new versions of Communicator.
- Voice Memos: Sending the call directly to Exchange Unified Messaging.
- A/V Edge requirements: private IP address supported, required ports limited to STUN UDP 3478 and TCP 443.
- High Definition video support (1280 x 720 pixels, 16:9 ratio). Peer to peer sessions will use VGA as the default standard (640 x 480 pixels, 4:3 ratio).
Join Us for Launch
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 will launch in a worldwide online event Feb. 3, 2009. People can register to participate in the launch at http://www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver.
Q: What is Microsoft announcing today?
A: We are unveiling OCS 2007 R2, an update to the award-winning OCS 2007. OCS 2007 R2 will deliver a variety of new capabilities including:
- Next-generation collaboration including full-featured audio conferencing to reduce service provider bridge costs and persistent group chat
- New voice features to enhance OCS voice for teams and mobile/remote workers
- New tools to speed business processes by integrating communications within applications
Q: What is Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2?
A: Office Communications Server 2007 R2 delivers streamlined communications for users so they can find and communicate with the right person, right now, from the applications they use most. Without expensive infrastructure and network upgrades, you can deliver streamlined communications, including software-powered VoIP (voice over IP), conferencing, and enterprise instant messaging, while maintaining operational control.
Q: When will Office Communications Server R2 be available?
A: OCS R2 will launch via a worldwide online event on Feb 3, 2009. People can register to participate in the launch at http://www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver/.
- We are seeing tremendous market momentum for Microsoft’s unified communications and collaboration solutions, including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Office Communications Server. Just a year after it launched, OCS 2007 is licensed by more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies.
- The debut of OCS R2 and its new voice features highlights the pace of innovation that is possible with software-powered communications, and it validates that we are on a fast track to a day when software does everything that a network PBX can do, but in a better, more cost effective way.
Q: Is OCS 2007 R2 available in public beta for customers and partners?
A: Due to the compressed development cycle, we don’t have a public beta program for this release. The product will be broadly available for download in February.
Q: Why is this announcement significant?
A: This announcement is significant for two reasons:
- It is a proof point of the amazing transformation that is happening in enterprise communications. As communications systems, including telephony, move to software, rapid innovation is becoming the norm. OCS 2007 R2, debuting just one year after the launch of OCS 2007, demonstrates this rapid pace of innovation.
- Seamless communications between offices and employees are imperative for any cutting-edge business to be competitive in today’s global market. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 provides enhanced communications services that allow users to collaborate like never before, offering full-featured audio and video conferencing, enhanced voice capabilities that integrate with existing messaging and telephony structures, and mobile communications technologies that work together to deliver services to remote workers for secure access to important company information.
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- OCS 2007 Release 2 details announced today (includes screenshots)
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