Microsoft GM Scopes Out New Tools For Unified Communications Push - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Microsoft GM Scopes Out New Tools For Unified Communications Push

Microsoft is pitching its UC gear -- currently Live Communications Server and its soon-to-come successor, Office Communications Server 2007 -- as a platform.

As with any Microsoft platform discussion, there is great interest in where the UC platform ends and third-party opportunity begins. Debique said Microsoft will do what it traditionally does: "Take something vertical and tip it horizontal," making Office Communications Server infrastructure that can have specialized, higher-value applications built on top of it.

Or at least that's the public message.

Microsoft's UC view is that "in situ" use of presence and UC is key. "We've thought a lot about contextual collaboration," Debique said. "ployees come in, sit in front of some application and do their best work. In some cases it's our Office suite, but in manufacturing it might be a 3-D modeling application. Whatever they do every day, we want to enhance that experience."

That would mean, for example, that an engineer working in CAD all day would want a presence-enabled iteration of that product, in which he would see his colleagues or suppliers and customers on screen and immediately know the best way to reach them -- cell phone or landline, e-mail or instant messaging. He also could set up Web meetings on the fly, if need be.

"If you're in Autodesk, the presence would show up in situ right there," Debique said. "That app becomes the softphone, and we should enable that. Autodesk doesn't want to become the UC expert, but maybe our stuff would layer on there. Autodesk is the expert on that particular end user."

Microsoft's UC team already has done a lot of work in interactive voice response (IVR) by integrating it with its workflow foundation and workflow designer, according to Debique. "We need to make it easy for an IT person who has to worry about business policy and workflow and, maybe more broadly, apply the IVR stuff to the broader UC world."

Larry LeSueur, vice president of infrastructure and security solutions at Avanade, is bullish on the business opportunity that UC presents and agreed that tool adjustments must be made. "[Microsoft will] have to invest in Visual Studio Team System to make it applicable here. How do you create code within line-of-business applications to make it easier to apply presence?" he said.

"The company has done a good job around Office Communications System and MOSS [Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server] 2007, integrating presence across its own product suites. But how about third-party applications to enable presence and conferencing from OCS?" LeSueur added.

Consulting firms and integrators like Seattle-based Avanade will have their own tool sets at the ready, as well as best practices to ease UC implementation.

NEXT: Microsoft faces big competitors in UC game.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
2 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
News
How COVID is Changing Technology Futures
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/23/2020
Slideshows
10 Ways AI Is Transforming Enterprise Software
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/13/2020
Commentary
IT Career Paths You May Not Have Considered
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/30/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Special Report: Why Performance Testing is Crucial Today
This special report will help enterprises determine what they should expect from performance testing solutions and how to put them to work most efficiently. Get it today!
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll