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Topic # 30255 2-Feb-2009 23:02
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Being a Microsoft partner i'm really looking forward to the launch of the new Ofice Communications Server product - OCS R2 - on Wednesday morning.  Its not a major upgrade from the existing OCS product but it does add a few new features, including the ability to use SIP trunks, ring groups and a new client that can be used as operator console.

I'm aware that most of these 'new' features have been available in other systems for several years - i first tested a commercial, intel server based phone system with sip trunking and all these other features back in 2003/2004.   What I like about the OCS approach is that voice is treated as just another service along with instant messaging, audio/video conferencing and presence and it does a nice job of integrating everything at the client end.

The launch is a web event starting on Wed morning 6.30 am (NZ Time) and available here if you're interested:
www.ocsr2launch.com




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  Reply # 193603 3-Feb-2009 08:35
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That is certainly good news. Without SIP trunking OCS wasn't going anywhere and it really did amaze me that it was not a feature of the original OCS 2007 product.

Anybody know how well OCS deployments are going in NZ other than some of the well documented case studies?



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  Reply # 193837 3-Feb-2009 22:34
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And the OCS R2 Server eval download (x64 only) is now available on microsoft's download site:

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Trial Download
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=67A3DE72-7DBD-4E0B-92A5-29D0B46009A7&displaylang=en




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  Reply # 193839 3-Feb-2009 22:35
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sbiddle: That is certainly good news. Without SIP trunking OCS wasn't going anywhere and it really did amaze me that it was not a feature of the original OCS 2007 product.

Anybody know how well OCS deployments are going in NZ other than some of the well documented case studies?


It always has had some levels of "SIP Trunking" built in to it but not what was required in order to hook it up to many VoIP SIP trunk providers.  The OCS Blog goes into a bit of detail here: http://communicationsserverteam.com/archive/2008/05/20/168.aspx  SIP Trunking (over TCP) was technically what was happening when calls were routed to the PSTN from OCS via the OCS Mediation Server and my Quintim Tenor VoIP Analog gateway.

Their initial focus for the product, i believe, was to move on from Live Communications Server into Office Communications Server and add voice into the product (among other things).  At launch they had Nortel onboard so were able to hook into a number of existing PABX systems to extend UC through the enterprise.  Later on they published a bunch of articles on how to integrate with Cisco platforms.  It was probably the right move - i mean how many people were likely to trust a 'version 1' product to run their entire telecommunications infrastructure.  By offering it as an extension in conjunction with an existing PBX they tend to dodge the 'what happens if it goes down' question.  "version 1" has been out and deployed for well over a year now with virtually no patches/hotfixes deployed so thats actually saying something about teh quality of the code which is a welcome change.  It also means that its now not a 'version 1' product anymore and organisations are more likely to put their trust in it to run their entire telephony infrastructure.  SIP trunk technology is also gaining trust so all in all its not a bad time to be launching with this.

On another note, an alternative product - ResponsePoint http://www.microsoft.com/responsepoint/ - is more of a small business product that microsoft ships along with certain hardware vendors and that product supported SIP trunking from the start.  I'm not sure if they have released it in NZ yet though although I was told it was definately on its way




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