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iPhone Joins the Microsoft OCS Party
Written on Fri, 08/21/09 - 1:21pm
This morning the iPhone joined the Microsoft OCS party in grand fashion with its first client, or app in Apple-speak. The client isn't from Apple, or even Microsoft, it's from a small 3rd party in the Microsoft ecosystem called Modality Systems. 
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Playing with Exchange 2010
Written on Thu, 08/20/09 - 3:59pm
While every client I work with seems excited about Exchange 2010, few know much about it or how much it differs from Exchange 2007. If you remember the jump from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007, then Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010 is almost as significant.
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Microsoft Kills Response Point
Written on Thu, 07/02/09 - 10:52pm
The sharks have been circling for awhile and now it looks like it's official. Response Point, Microsoft's SMB VoIP platform, is dead. Earlier this summer Microsoft announced its first substantial layoffs in memory and with it purged most of the Response Point team.
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A User's View of Office Communications Server 2007 R2
Written on Thu, 06/11/09 - 12:45pm
Most of my posts are directed at UC technophiles, however sometimes we get caught up in the technology hype and lose track of the goal of technology in the enterprise. That is, to help people do their jobs better, faster, more efficiently, etc. IT exists to provide the enterprise a competitive advantage...
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Plantronics Savi Go Wireless Headset for OCS
Written on Thu, 06/04/09 - 4:39pm
For the last two weeks or so I've been testing a preproduction unit of the Plantronics Savi Go wireless headset for OCS. I have a "tanjay" and a wired USB headset but I can't believe how much happier I am with the wireless "Go". And that's a perfect name for it. Normally...
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FINALLY an OCS Conference Phone: SNOM Meeting Point
Written on Wed, 05/27/09 - 9:39pm
Someone FINALLY released a conference phone solution for OCS! While there are a lot of solutions that require being tethered to a PC via USB, the SNOM Meeting Point is the first standalone conference device that doesn't require you lug your laptop to the conference room. While it's a GREAT...
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SmartSIP Joins OCS to... Everyone Else
Written on Wed, 05/20/09 - 9:57pm
SmartSIP was rather quietly released this week at It allows enterprises to integrate Microsoft OCS with virtually any other SIP platform and endpoint device. I've been following the progress of this project for awhile and while I haven't had a chance to try it out yet...
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Microsoft and HP Announce UC Partnership
Written on Tue, 05/19/09 - 12:06pm
Microsoft is making a big deal about their "expanded alliance" with HP. It's not quite much ado about nothing, but it's close. I'll summarize the announcement for those of you who don't want to read it all.
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Aspect Uses OCS 2007 R2 To Save $1.3 Million Per Year
Written on Wed, 05/06/09 - 11:53pm
I had an opportunity to chat with Jamie Ryan, CIO of Aspect Software, about his ongoing rollout of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. You may be surprised at some of the topics around server count, redundancy, ROI and ease of management.
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OCS R2 Media Gateway Woes
Written on Mon, 03/09/09 - 5:36pm
Sometimes I'm amazed when companies release products that simply don't work as advertised. This is the case with an AudioCodes Media Gateway I'm using in an OCS deployent currently. Although I was wary of using AudioCodes based on less than spectacular past experiences they are the only vendor...
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Interview with Microsoft UC GM Betsy Frost
Written on Thu, 02/19/09 - 1:25pm
I had a chance to sit down with Betsy Frost, general manager for Microsoft unified communications, at VoiceCon SF 2008. With the recent release of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 I thought this was the perfect time to post my notes from our VoiceCon chat.
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UC Case Study: Part 3 - IBM
Written on Wed, 12/17/08 - 8:01pm
This is the third installment of my unified communications evaluation series. This article examines the UC offering from IBM. Overall, I give IBM a grade of Incomplete. Read on for more. You can check out part one here and the second installment focused on Cisco here.
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UC Case Study: Part 2 - Cisco
Written on Mon, 12/01/08 - 4:31pm
Welcome back from the holiday! After my intro post last week this is part two and will be focused on Cisco's unified communications offering. Why Cisco, well, they have the most disjointed and incomplete offering currently, but they also have a lot of potential. Read on for some interesting things...
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A Case Study in Unified Communications and an Analysis of Solutions from Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and others
Written on Tue, 11/25/08 - 3:14am
A lot has played out in the UC world over the last couple months and I think it's time to revisit the question of "What is UC?" and dive a little deeper. In this series of posts I'll analyze what functional components make up a UC solution and examine offerings from IBM, Cisco, Microsoft...
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Interview with Fred Knight: The Man Behind VoiceCon
Written on Thu, 11/13/08 - 2:16am
I had a great opportunity to sit down with Fred Knight at VoiceCon San Francisco this week. In case you don't know Fred, he's the man behind VoiceCon and publisher of NoJitter. Here's what he had to say about VoiceCon San Francisco this year.
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Microsoft and Nortel - UC alliance
Written on Wed, 11/05/08 - 1:30pm
Mark Evans at All About Nortel asks Did Microsoft Go Wrong in their choice to partner with Nortel as a voice/pbx partner? The short answer, in my opinion, is no. Nortel has been a great partner and helped Microsoft get its foot in the door in the voice world. The relationship was invaluable in gaining...
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Windows Live, Azure and Unified Communications
Written on Thu, 10/30/08 - 1:38pm
I have been mulling over an interesting idea since the first Windows Azure announcement at Microsoft PDC: AD Federation to the cloud. This is the holy grail of cloud computing! The biggest problem I've seen in enterprise cloud computing adoption is the ability to seamlessly integrate enterprise on-premise...
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Cisco's Un-Unified Communications
Written on Tue, 09/23/08 - 1:44pm
There's a lot of buzz about Cisco's acquisition of Jabber and before that, PostPath. John Furrier says it's "getting interesting" but most of the discussion I've heard is how Cisco will remain a non-starter in rich UC. Bar none, Cisco makes a great VoIP platform with their...
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Is Cisco planning a UC offering?
Written on Thu, 08/28/08 - 6:35pm
I know this is a Cisco focused story, however this is at least peripherally Microsoft related. I follow the unified communications market closely and am a big fan of Microsoft's Office Communications Server product. However, Cisco is one of few companies with the R&D capital and chutzpah to challenge...
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IT Skills Gap in Unified Communications
Written on Tue, 06/24/08 - 10:29pm
There's a great discussion going on over at BroadDev around the various skills gaps when deploying a unified communications solution. John Furrier jumped in to outline the technical challenges in deploying UC "in the trenches". I countered with what I think it a more pervasive issue, the...
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