« September 2008 | Main | November 2008 »

October 14, 2008

Microsoft announces OCS 2007 R2

This morning Microsoft announced OCS 2007 R2 - the next release of their Office Communications Server. I've been biting my tongue for months because as a partner I knew this was coming but of course I couldn't say anything publicly about it. What I'm really excited about though is that we've already got it installed and running at Gold Systems - live. By live I mean everyone has been moved to the new version, I don't mean it is just running in a lab. I figure if I'm going to tell my customers that it is ready, I've got to be able to do that from personal experience.

You can read the official press release here, or read more about it on the Microsoft website, but I'll tell you what I'm really excited about as a user and a guy who signs the checks . Even though Gold Systems is a small company, relative to our customers, we're going to save a ton of money with OCS 2007.

While we still have a big-iron PBX, we've stopped paying maintenance on it and I expect to unplug it by the end of the year. Besides, integrating with existing PBXs is what we do, so it's not a bad thing to get that experience before we pull the plug. We have a variety of gear from different vendors, including TDM and VoIP - just like our customers. No sweat.

The most immediate payback for me is going to be around conferencing. OCS supports multi-party chat, voice and video, but with R2 I can now set up multi-party conference calls for anyone to dial into, and I don't have to pay anything for it. The last (and it may well be THE LAST) check I wrote to our conferencing service was for over $3,000 - for one month. I've got to hand it to the conferencing guys, they made it really easy for us to spend a lot of money with them and it was hard to control. That's coming to a screeching halt. My customers are paying way more than me - add two or three zeros. I wouldn't want to be selling conferencing services once this becomes widespread. I would warn our conferencing sales guy that his commission check is going to be a little light next month, but I have no idea who he is. He just took our money and never stopped by to even say thank you as far as I know.

This is just one of the new features, but I'll save the rest for future posts.

Update 1

Marshall Harrison, one of the Gotspeech guys, has written a post about Speech Server in R2.  Check it out here. 

October 14, 2008 | Permalink | TrackBack