MS Office Communications Server 2007 Goes to BetaBy Peter Galli | Posted 2006-12-12 Email Print
The product brings with it the ability for companies to integrate voice over IP technology into their existing telephony infrastructure.
Microsoft will make its new enterprise voice communications server available to 2,500 companies under a private beta program on Dec. 11.
The product, which will be known as Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, brings with it the ability for companies to integrate VOIP (voice over IP) technology into existing telephony infrastructure, Chris Cullin, the director of product management in Microsoft's Unified Communications Group, told eWEEK.
This server is also the successor to Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005, and forms part of Microsoft's unified communications portfolio.
"It brings with it voice and conferencing capabilities for on-premise voice, video and Web conferencing, and integrates them together at the application layer for a unified user experience," Cullin said.
"It also provides a single applications infrastructure, a single point of administration and configuration, and a single directory, for the IT professional."
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its unified communications vision and roadmap going forward, where executives talked about introducing voice technologies to its current lineup, developing new products and expanding the unified communications features its current products provide.
"The number of diverse communication solutions that exist today were starting to add to the communications problem rather than address it, so we are building a solution that integrates this all together," Cullin said.
Communications Server 2007 users will be able to deploy enterprise-wide presence, enable security-enhanced enterprise instant messaging, host on-premise audio, video and Web conferences, and deploy VOIP capabilities.
Voice features includes placing and receiving voice calls, advanced call routing and streamlined integration with the new unified messaging capabilities in Exchange Server 2007.
Other features are multiparty conferencing, call holding, and forwarding and transferring, as well as compliance capabilitiesall of which work in conjunction with the existing telephony infrastructure.
One of the benefits that using VOIP brings to enterprises is in business process integration.
A recent report from analyst firm Gartner said that "the ultimate driver of VOIP is not merely cost savings, but is in business process integration. Enterprises should evaluate their long-term strategy toward developing IP telephony applications beyond basic telephony, including business application integration."
Read the full story on eWEEK.com: MS Office Communications Server 2007 Goes to Beta.