Microsoft to update communications server

The new Microsoft Office Communications Server is to feature e911 and improved voice recognition

Microsoft plans to release a new version of its Office Communications Server (OCS) by the latter half of 2010, according to Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Unified Communications Group.

The new version of the software will include new features such as Enhanced 911 (e911), deeper integration with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Exchange 2010, as well as enhanced voice recognition capabilities.

The new software hasn't been officially given a name yet, though Microsoft's official working name is Communications Server '14.' Pall did not say what the 14 stands for.

OCS is software that provides instant messaging, Internet telephony, video conferencing, presence notification and other communications capabilities to large organizations.

When connected to a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunk or a PSTN (public switched telephone network), OCS can replace an office's PBX (private branch exchange) equipment. That can cut the costs of long-distance calls and telephony in general, Pall argued.

"This is a complete VoIP [voice over Internet Protocol] solution," he said.

One new feature is e911, which allows a user, no matter where they are located, to dial 911 and get local assistance.

Another new feature is call parking, or the ability to put a call on hold and then resume the call from any other phone on the system.

The Communicator client has been simplified and outfitted with new features as well, Pall said. When integrated with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, the client can offer a deeper level of search. Previously, users could search the internal directories for names, but now they can search for expertise and knowledge areas as well, he said.

The software uses the SharePoint directories to harvest this expertise data. Once you find an expert, you can call them directly from the desktop, using a USB headset. For the recipient of the call, the area of expertise serves as the subject line of the incoming call notification.

Using speech recognition software, the Communicator client can also transcribe voice mails so they can be read on screen.

Speaking at the VoiceCon2010 conference in Orlando on Wednesday, Pall expressed optimism for the growing adoption of unified communications, or the ability to intermingle multiple forms of communications.

Microsoft cites a February 2009 Forrester Research report that predicts that the software market for unified communications will grow to US$14.5 billion by 2015.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags unified communicationsocsMicrosoftvoipMicrosoft Office Communications Server (OCS)

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?