Lots of useful information announced from the Communications Server product team at VoiceCon in Orlando has been released:
Microsoft Office Communications Server has been renamed to Microsoft Communications Server. Final naming is still being determined so for now it is code named Communications Server “14”.
What are some new Communicator14 client features?
New Communicator14 client allows for rich capabilities such as:
More social networking features - Rich photos, real time status updates
Ability to have keyword search on skills/specialty within your organization
Activity feeds – similar to other social networking feeds like Facebook
Selectable OCS devices such as headset vs. USB phone, etc. which is nice if you have multiple UC endpoints connected. Swappable during conversation.
Simultaneous ring other devices (cell phone) based per user or caller ID lookup.
Contextual calling – can type in context prior to the call so the recipient can have context about the incoming call
Location awareness – based on subnet or custom location – tied to E911 location awareness
Listen to voicemails right from client
When is CS14 shipping?
CS14 slated to be released by the end of this calendar year
Is there a deep dive of CS14 voice features I can review?
Yes, there is a sample CS14 IP Telephony RFP response released today at VoiceCon that you can refer to here
What are some of the new voice features of CS14?:
Call Admission Control
Malicious Call Trace
3rd party Survivable Branch Appliances
New 3rd party partnerships announced for CS:
Common area, desktop, and conference room IP phones optimized for Microsoft Communicator “14”
Call Accounting and Recording
Nice Systems Quest
Survivable Branch Appliances that provide local telephony services in the event of a wide area network failure
AudioCodes Dialogic Ferrari electronic AG HP NET
Enhanced 9-1-1 call routing services
911 Enable Intrado
We will post more as more CS14 information is released.
I had a couple of Exchange 2010 voicemail questions from a school district from northern California replacing Cisco Unity voicemail with Exchange 2010 UM.
Where can I check if my PBX has been tested with Exchange 2010 UM?
We have an updated Telephony Advisor list for Exchange 2010. You can check SIP gateways, TDM PBXes that have been tested as well as SIP PBXes that have been tested with Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging.
To visit Exchange 2010 Telephony Advisor go here.
I have heard Exchange 2010 UM does not work with Cisco Call Manager 5 or higher, true?
No, we have tested Exchange 2010 UM using direct SIP to CCM 5,6, and 7.
How do I upgrade to Exchange 2010 UM from Exchange 2007 UM?
It is a fairly basic process, you install Exchange 2010 UM server into the same dial plan as Exchange 2007 UM, point the SIP gateways or direct SIP PBXes to the new 2010 UM server, migrate mailboxes to 2010, migrate any custom prompt autoattendants, decommission Exchange 2007 UM server.
Exchange 2010 UM supports coexistence as well and will route any Exchange 2007 voicemails to Exchange 2007 UM servers.
More on the UM upgrade process here.
Can I connect multiple PBXes to Exchange 2010 UM and leverage the same dialplan and subscriber access (pilot) number?
Yes, this works and is supported. Here is a list of supported scenarios:
For more on 2010 dial plans visit here.
Where can I find some good Exchange 2010 UM training?
Training http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/training/exchange-server.aspx Virtual Labs Configuring Exchange Server 2010 Unified Messaging and OCS 2007 R2 Integration Transitioning from Exchange Server 2007 to Exchange Server 2010 (Beta) Configuring Exchange Server 2010 Unified Messaging Free eLearning Unified Messaging in Exchange 2010
One of the great things about Microsoft products is that we have a great ecosystem. Our partners find customer gaps in our products and produce some amazing solutions. Today I had a customer that asked about cross-platform chat support. The OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat Console is a Windows only client but in education we have customers that can conceivably have any OS client. To that goal we have two partners that I want to spotlight today that have solutions you should review for support chat across your campuses. The first is Formicary.net.
Formicary which has offices New York, Sydney, and London, has developed lots of products that utilize development tools such as Java and .NET. They have had a dedicated team focused on IM and Persistent chat since 2000. In the case of Group Chat they have developed two products to take advantage of chat. Formicary WebChat is a secure web-based, real-time group chat client which extends and complements the powerful features of OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat. This enables reach access and presence to internal and external users. It also can be embedded into portals including Microsoft SharePoint.
The first graphic below is our Group chat client.
The second is Formicary’s WebChat client.
Since this is a web client there is a zero footprint chat client and it also supports all major browsers. For more information please contact email@example.com.
Formicary also has a new silverlight client for group chat and a very cool mobile client seen below.
Another partner ADITI has also created a web client for group chat. This can also be used with any browser and integrated into applications. Unfortunately I don’t have any screenshots of the web client for ADITI to show you. They can be contacted here.
I was asked this by a school district using a hardware load balancer. I found a useful internal reference:
Note: you can also lock down the MAPI RPC TCP high ports to two specific RPC high ports if needed (one for public folders and one for mailbox connections). Good description on how to set this here.
I was glad to see this article on the Exchange Team Blog. Thanks Ross. We’ve been telling customers for years to design storage without SIS in mind. This is a create article and I believe all will benefit from it. Take care. Here’s the link.
If you are considering or looking at our cloud services for email, SharePoint, IM/presence or conferencing it is certainly worth watching these:
Webinar title and link to video
Getting Your Directory and Mail Content Into Microsoft Online Services: An Overview
Business Solutions on BPOS: An HR On-boarding Case Study
Bet your Business on Microsoft Online Services
Migration to BPOS
Microsoft Online Services, the choice of businesses – BPOS or Google
BPOS 101: Exploring Microsoft Online Services
Using PowerShell with Microsoft Online Services
Using the MOSDAL Support Toolkit to diagnose issues with Microsoft Online Services
SharePoint Customization & Usability
Exchange Online Filtering and Archiving
Year One – Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS)
E-mail Migration with Full Coexistence
Here is another one about Security, privacy, compliance, Business Continuity for BPOS I thought was useful on Channel 9:
Microsoft Channel 9
There is a updated version of EPA so you can accurately analyze your existing Exchange environment.
Why would I use the EPA tool?
The value of the tool is the usage data extracted from your current Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 environment can be used for sizing your Exchange 2010 environment since the sizing calculator, for example, can leverage the mail profile data pulled from the EPA tool.
These are some of the values used to determine a sizing profile for the Exchange 2010 sizing tools.
Grab 32-bit version here
Grab 64-bit version here
Plantronics has some nice new OCS 2007 R2 optimized USB phones and headsets available this month:
Nice form factor in the USB Calisto 540 with lcd screen
Calisto 210 USB candybar phone
Calisto 420 USB portable speakerphone
Blackwire 610 USB headset
Here is a more detailed list:
Calisto 540, P540-M
The new Calisto 540 is a USB deskphone that provides a familiar design to ease user transition into PC calling. Wideband audio heightens speech clarity, LCD shows caller ID, time, and online presence. Users can handle calls hands-free via integrated speakerphone or with optional headset.
Calisto 210, P210-M
The Calisto 210 USB handset brings the functionality of a phone so managing PC calls is as simple as pressing a button. Wideband audio provides lifelike voice fidelity and the standard phone keypad design makes the handset a user-friendly choice for those new to PC-based calling.
Calisto 420, P420-M
The Calisto 420 USB speakerphone caters to spontaneous collaboration to conduct hands-free, PC-based calls. With advanced wideband audio, convenient mute and a powerful 360-degree omni-directional microphone, transform any workspace into a conference room. The convenient headphone jack accommodates private calls and the sturdy carrying case enables use on-the-go.
Blackwire 210, C210-M
The Blackwire 210 monaural headset provides remarkable audio quality, yet is economically designed for enterprise-wide deployment. With high quality wideband audio, noise-canceling microphone and integrated answer/end/mute/volume controls, the Blackwire 210 is a great entry level choice for PC calling.
Blackwire 220, C220-M
The Blackwire 220 binaural headset provides remarkable audio quality, yet is economically designed for enterprise-wide deployment. With high quality wideband and stereo audio, noise-canceling microphone and integrated answer/end/mute/volume controls, the Blackwire 210 is a great entry level choice for PC calling, conferencing and music playback.
Blackwire 610, C610-M
The Blackwire 610 is a monaural corded headset with integrated answer/end/mute/volume control, noise-canceling microphone, extended wear design, and wideband audio for clear conversations. For those who spend hours each day on long conference calls, the exceptional voice clarity and all-day comfort of the Blackwire 610 makes communication more productive.
For more info visit here.