Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 (R2) was today unveiled at the VoiceCon event in Amsterdam.
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 delivers important new functionality that extends software-powered voice communications, particularly for remote and mobile workers; provides on-premise audio conferencing to help reduce operational costs; and introduces new developer advances, including the ability to build communications-enabled business processes. These enhancements will improve business communications through a unified infrastructure and user experience.
eircom is using Office Communications Server 2007 to help drive its New World of Work initiative which aims to improve working lives and productivity. Staff quickly identified the connectivity benefits of features such as presence and IM while working away from the office and the advantages of simple videoconferencing offered by Office Communicator 2007, the client application for Office Communications Server 2007. eircom estimates that a conservative time saving of 30 minutes per week for just 1,500 eircom employees would amount to approximately €950,000 in productivity gains.
“Office Communicator 2007 will be a ubiquitous tool at eircom,” said Stephen Mulligan, Web and Mobility Technology manager at eircom. “Microsoft technologies are agile and intuitive enough to automate business processes without forcing us to change; that’s the New World of Work.”
“Microsoft’s Unified Communications software is providing Irish companies with new choices in how they communicate, bringing a unified approach to voice, video conferencing, instant messaging and presence, which delivers improved productivity and a proven reduction in cost,” said Richard Moore, Business Manager, Information Worker, Microsoft Ireland. “With Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 we have taken a significant step towards a fully software-based PBX, which improves customer communications and delivers an even greater level of flexibility and control.”
Key new features of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 include the following:
- Dial-in audio conferencing. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 enables businesses to eliminate costly audio conferencing services with an on-premise audio conferencing 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.*
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.
More information about Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/uc/products/ocs2007.mspx