Darren aka Office Rocker was talking to me today about a post he has just made called 'Excel users can all pivot'. I will leave you to read it yourself but one of the interesting points he highlighted was 'it's not new, it's just new to them as the ribbon surfaced it'. When he mentioned this, it reminded me of a conversation I had with one of the other people on OCS pilot.
A little over 2 months ago, most of the people within Microsoft used their standard desk phones to make incoming and outgoing calls and that was about it. All of the phones had the ability to transfer, all of the phones had the ability to conference, but to be honest no-one used those features so the only complaint you would hear is when a call wouldn't go through..... then came along OCS to 'raise the bar' and 'shift their reality'.
With the introduction of OCS 2007 and Communicator 2007, most of the people on the pilot can now transfer calls and conference people in with a few clicks. This is nothing new over the previous telephone system, its just Communicator surfaced it :-) ...similar to how the ribbon works in Office!
The interesting effect this has however is raise the bar of what people think telephony should do. The 'complaints' I get now include 'video its 100% perfect when using a 3g connection on a train', they notice a 'slight degradation on voice quality when their son is playing Halo 2 on the same internet connection' or 'the sound its makes when a call cannot be connected is 'a little harsh''. If this is the 'worst they can come up with' then I think we have done our job and changed their experience and expectations of communications for the better.
I for one wouldn't want to go back to a 'normal' phone