Microsoft takes Office approach to unified communications

4 Feb 2009

Microsoft has introduced a unified communications (UC) platform that brings together voice calls, instant messaging, audio conferencing, web conferencing and videoconferencing into a single platform for companies that saves costs and helps teams to work better together.

The software giant today announced the availability of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2.

The software includes new functionality that extends software-powered voice, 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

“Office Communications Server 2007 R2 brings even greater benefits to Irish customers,” said Richard Moore, business manager, Information Worker for Microsoft Ireland.

“It helps to quickly reduce costs by introducing voice over IP (VoIP) capability and providing rich web conferencing technology, which helps teams to communicate and collaborate without having to travel.

“In addition, it supports increased productivity by enabling co-workers to find and communicate with each other, whether they are in the office or on the road.”

Since the solution became available in 2007, businesses have begun migrating their workers off their PBXs to Office Communications Server for all their telephony needs.

Businesses such as Royal Dutch Shell are already taking a load off their PBXs by using Office Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 for mobile and remote workers in place of PBX phones. This provides global employees with innovative communications solutions to quickly and efficiently reach their colleagues and help reduce operational costs.

“The new release adds important new telephony and collaboration features that enables it to provide a richer communications platform capability for all organisations,” said Eircom’s Nigel Horncastle.

“For example, Eircom is currently working with a number of construction companies to develop a solution that enables construction sites to be linked via VoIP-based audio-visual calling and conferencing.

“The aim is to deliver tangible cost savings via reduced travel and expenses, while at the same increasing staff efficiencies,” Horncastle said.

By John Kennedy