A New Wave of Unified Communications Software from Microsoft

Analysis by Sandra M. Gustavsen, Analyst, Access Intelligence LLC :

Microsoft Offfice Communications Server 2007Microsoft aims to put “people at the center” with its unified communications and Voice over IP (VoIP) software that promises to revolutionize the way people communicate. Touted as a milestone for Microsoft and for the entire communications industry, the Microsoft offerings announced in October 2007 further the transformation toward software-based communications from a traditional PBX telephony model. Microsoft identifies some major trends that are enabling this transformation, including hardware performance improvements, advances in technology and the global and mobile nature of today’s businesses.

In addition, Microsoft sees a business model shift from a single vendor for all communications needs (vertical model) to a more horizontal model that combines hardware, software and technology which, though from differing vendors, all works together. …

… To date, Microsoft has  partnered with 50 companies that will roll out new products and services based on Microsoft’s platform, including systems integrators, telephony providers, independent software vendors and device manufacturers. With Microsoft now competing in the VoIP market, leading business communications manufacturers are reinforcing their plans to interoperate with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 to enable new unified communications capabilities.

…. Following the February 2007 beta release of the OCS 2007 specification, most leading vendors in the VoIP system market, including Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, Ericsson, Mitel, NEC, Nortel and Siemens, announced plans to make their equipment compatible with OCS 2007. The Microsoft software solutions can be utilized along with existing PBX infrastructures so that businesses need not discard expensive equipment in the near term, but migrate slowly toward an all software-based communications solution which is likely just a matter of time. See related snapshots below on how Mitel, NEC and Nortel  are partnering with Microsoft for new solutions going forward. …

Wow, 50 partnerships and counting, this sure puts the announcements of UC competitors into perspective doesn’t it ?

Read the whole article for lot’s more details : TMCnet.com