Microsoft just unveiled a Unified Communication strategy (and products) that makes collaboration a seamless experience. The transition between modes of communication and the devices is so predictable and seamless and you are in control all the time. I especially loved the Office Roundtable that enables rich presence experience while working from remote locations. A video device preent in the meeting room switches the video to the active speaker automatically. In addition to being a signinficant differentiator to the richness of the corporate collaboration, this will be a great tool that can improve the success rates of offshored IT projects.
Unified Communications infrastructure that is intutive, seamless and contextual will run on the existing IT infrastructure without requiring significat hardware upgrades.
The suite of products that makes the Unified Communications possible are:
- Office 2007 Roundtable
- Office 2007 Server (formerly Sharepoint/WSS)
- Office 2007 Live Meeting Server
- Exchange 2007 Server
- Office 2007 Communicator,
- Office 2007 Live Communications Server
- Communicator Phone
- Roundtable Device (the video device)
Some of the above products will be available during Q2 of CY07 and some will be released during the Q4 of CY06.
In prepartion of the above Unified Communications implementation do the following:
- Prepare Windows Server 2003 infrastructure
- Deploy the infrastructures for identity management (Active Directory) and federation for presence
- Plan to upgrade to/deploy Exchange 2007 Server
- Build Office 2007 (client and server) based collaborative environments
- Strategize LOB integration with collab environments (for seamless delivery of KPI and other business information)
- Ramp up on .NET development skills
- Strategize information delivery vehicles for mobile devices
The press release can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/may06/05-10CIWUpdatePR.mspx
I am sure there will be lot of buzz around this strategy as we go forward.