The Three UC Amigos

Three Microsoft UC technology specialists covering U.S. Education

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  • Blog Post: Download Free UC e-books from Microsoft Press

    Microsoft Press 25th Anniversary "Free E-Book of the Month" Offers This will be our last month to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Microsoft Press with a free e-book offer. This monthly offer can be found in the top right corner of this monthly newsletter. It expires on June 24, 2009 , so...
  • Blog Post: OCS 2007 Release 2 details announced today

    We have been tight lipped about R2 for some time now and it has been hard as we have been wanting to share all the R2 goodness coming in a few months.  Finally, at VoiceCon today, we let the cat out of the bag.   Here is a highlight of some of the features coming in OCS 2007 Release 2 (Note...
  • Blog Post: How do I get from OCS RTM (R1) to OCS R2?

    Do I have to migrate server or client to R2 first? Migrate the servers first and then clients. The preferred server option is called a side by side migration. More on that below.   What server options do I have to migrate to R2? You have two options: Option 1 The first option is the preferred option...
  • Blog Post: What is Group Chat Server in OCS R2?

    I have had quite a bit of interest in education with the new OCS R2 Group Chat Server functionality. We are just starting to use this internally and people are really liking this great new way of collaboration and idea sharing vs. traditional email threads, etc. I am all for unclogging the inbox...
  • Blog Post: More R2 whitepaper and article goodness

    Since the launch we have had plenty of good R2 info coming in. Here is just sample:   ‘Time to Ebay the PBX’ NetworkWorld Podcast and article I also thought this was a great Podcast interview of Terry Gold, founder of Gold Systems , from Mitchell Ashley at NetworkWorld . The interview was about...
  • Blog Post: Promote your R2 rollout and give them some training

    There are some nice banners, posters, stickers, etc to use for your rollout. There is also some nice end user leave behinds you can use: Grab the material here .   More R2 Communicator specific training here . More Live Meeting training here .   The Unified Communications Adoption and Training...
  • Blog Post: Where can I get some end-user CBT training for OCS R2 and Exchange UM?

    I get asked this one quite a bit by my customers deploying OCS and Exchange UM to their faculty and staff.  I found a partner, 4What Interactive , that provides some really nice end user CBT training for OCS R2 and Exchange UM OVA. Click here to view some of 4What’s CBT Microsoft UC training. They...
  • Blog Post: Is there a single page I can check to ensure I have the latest OCS 2007 R2 updates for server, client, and phone?

    Yes, the OCS product team has just released this very page here .  There are October updates for your Tanjay phone, OCS R2 server, Live Meeting and Communicator client.  Please update if you haven’t already done so as there are some nice server and client fixes for voice, video, conferences...
  • Blog Post: What do I need to prepare for to deploy OCS R2?

    With R2 on the horizon (Feb. 3rd), I figured you should know about some of the things to prepare for deploying R2.   Run the OCS Best Practice Analyzer If you have OCS 2007 today, you should run the OCS BPA to get a snapshot of your OCS environment.  Fix any issues identified prior to rolling...
  • Blog Post: OCS 2007 R2 Hardware and OS requirements

      64-bit only As you know, R2 is moving to a 64-bit only platform to achieve greater scalability. 32-bit versions of OCS 2007 R2 will no longer be supported in production. This lines up with Exchange and other products moving this direction.   What OS can I run R2 on? All roles of Office Communications...
  • Blog Post: Can I make native voice calls through OCS on a Mac or non-PC platforms?

    I get asked this quite a bit from schools as they want the ability to place/receive voice calls on the Mac or Linux using OCS R2. The answer is yes if you leverage the SmartSip technology from our partner Evangelyze. You can make and receive voice calls natively on the Mac using a SIP softphone of your...
  • Blog Post: R2 Edge: What do I need from a Network perspective?

    This was a question from a national vocational university. They wanted to know if they needed multiple NICs/VLANs and a Perimeter for OCS R2 Edge since they didn’t have one already. One or two NICS? The answer is two NICs are now required for OCS R2 Edge where you could get away with a single NIC...
  • Blog Post: Things to consider with non-certified OCS Voice Endpoints

    This was something I came across for customers who are buying non-certified UC endpoints since this has been a popular direction in Education:   What does it mean to for a voice endpoint to be certified for OCS 2007? The OCS Voice endpoint needs to have the logo above for it to be certified for...
  • Blog Post: Looking for OCS 2007 R2 voice training for your telecom staff?

    If you are looking for some voice specific training for your telecom team for OCS R2 there is an unique offering over at www.OCSforum.com .  Tom Cross, the CEO of OCSForum, has setup hosted sandbox labs to test your voice configurations as well as in person training and online training.   Sample...
  • Blog Post: What I like about OCS R2 thus far and some new R2 screenshots

    I have been using the Office Communicator R2 beta builds internally for a few months and I have to say the OCS product team is doing a fantastic job thus far on it. A couple of things I really like right off the bat from an end-user’s perspective using R2:   1) Share Desktop Feature. This is so...
  • Blog Post: R2 Edge planning tool just released

    This is a very nice tool as it will help layout your OCS R2 Edge environment: You can enter all your IP information via the wizard and it provides a nice Edge summary at the end:   Along with Firewall rules: Certificate needs: DNS needs: and how to configure for OCS R2 within the console to make...
  • Blog Post: Where should I store my OCS R2 global settings?

    I got this question from a Colorado customer.  They were getting this pop when installing R2: The question they had was: Where should I store the OCS R2 global settings in the System or Configuration containers?   The answer is of course it depends and here is a useful flowchart from the R2...
  • Blog Post: Licensing Change for OCS R2

    When we launched OCS R2 in Feb. the licensing for the product changed. Let’s talk about the client license first. OCS Standard CAL now includes Group Chat. OCS Enterprise CAL now includes desktop sharing, dial-in conferencing, Team Call, Delegation, Response Group and Single Number Reach.    ...
  • Blog Post: IBM Sametime Federation with OCS 2007 announced to today

    This is some good news on the IM interop front. Announced at VoiceCon today: IBM and Microsoft plan to support interoperability between Sametime and OCS, commencing with Sametime version 8.0.2 and OCS 2007 IBM currently has a working system of OCS and Sametime in its lab IBM plans to make the supported...
  • Blog Post: Right Sizing your Network for OCS R2

    In order to understand bandwidth requirements for OCS it’s important to first model expected usage and right provisioning the network. You will also have to manage usage and grow in line with your business needs. Bottom line – Measure Well!!   Bandwidth Requirements OCS uses both RTAudio narrowband...
  • Blog Post: Do I need a director with OCS R2?

    I was asked this from a school district in Southern California who was rolling out OCS R2 and enterprise voice for the all their faculty and staff. The answer depends on your OCS R2 architecture and whether your access is from internal or external networks.  For most schools, a single pool would...
  • Blog Post: UC Phones

    What phones work with OCS 2007? Here’s a quick list with partner contact info: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bb970310.aspx
  • Blog Post: Can you tell me the differences between OCS LiveMeeting (on-prem) and LiveMeeting Service (cloud service)?

    I get this question quite a bit from schools. I found a useful slide that covers the differences:   Is the 250 concurrent attendees per LM session a hard limit with OCS? No, I have seen schools host OCS LM’s with 300+ attendees before but the product team recommends this as your max size. Doesn...
  • Blog Post: OCS 2007 R2 Virtualization announcement

    Today, we announce OCS 2007 R2 virtualization support for certain OCS 2007 R2 roles. This includes our own Hyper-V technology as well as other SVVP certified virtualization technologies. I know a lot of schools have been waiting for this since they want to reduce HW footprints, etc.   What OCS R2...
  • Blog Post: Are there ways to leverage my existing SIP phone investments with OCS?

    Yes, there are a few ways to leverage your existing SIP phones (Cisco, Avaya, SIP softphones):   SmartSIP from NET – allows you to connect your existing SIP phones such as Aastra, Cisco, and SIP softphone (X-lite, etc) on a Mac to OCS   SmartSIP Mac voice to OCS demo (Evangelyze sold SmartSIP...