Microsoft have given the first public views of Office Communications Server (OCS) 14 and it seems to be following the social networking/integration path of Office & Sharepoint 2010.
One thing that I like the look of is:
Employees enter their skills/interests into their Sharepoint profile and these are then searchable from OCS 14.
This really ties into how a lot of people use OCS/Communicator most of the time, especially Microsoft employees. Say I ask a question about Sharepoint 2010 and my contact doesn’t know, they jump into Communicator and ping a quick IM to the relevant person. For a major product like Sharepoint, it’s quite likely that they’ll know who they need to speak to…
But let’s say I ask a question about co-authoring in Live Web Apps or configuring shared mailboxes in Exchange Online, there’s a good chance that they won’t know who they need to talk to:
Do a quick search for “BPOS”, “Live”, “web apps” etc and bada-boom…person found 🙂
The Office Wave 14 products are all aimed at making collaboration a much easier, attractive proposition to users with Sharepoint as the Central hub (save to Sharepoint, Office Web Apps etc). One of the other key tenets is increasing productivity and Skill Search fits into that perfectly 🙂
There’s no mention of if/when a public beta of OCS 14/2010 will be released but MS did reveal that the Technical Adoption Program (TAP) kicked off “days ago”.
OCS 2007 R2 did a good job of introducing a lot of the features that users had asked for, and it seems that OCS 2010 is bringing it in line with Web 2.0 and Social Media…which now is definitely what users want.
Info and picture courtesy of ZDNet
It appears that there will be an extra CAL (Client Access Licence) for users to choose from when Microsoft OCS Server 14 is released in 2010.
On top of the current Standard and Enterprise CALs, there will also be a Voice CAL which will offer telephony & VOIP services. These features will be removed from the Enterprise CAL and thus the Enterprise CAL will drop in price by around 23%. Also, MS are allowing current OCS customers with SA (Software Assurance) to “grandfather” in the new Voice CAL-if they agree to buy it before July 2009.
Hat Tip to Mary Jo Foley
Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 is a great product..it really paves the way for a truly connected, more efficient, easier to live in world of business.
**Update** New features announced by Microsoft! See my post here
There will be a new version announced in November 2008 and released in January 2009, this will be Office Communications Server 2007 R2and one major difference will be it’s transition to a 64bit ONLY platform a la Exchange 2007. This version will transpose your voicemails to text so you can still access them even if in a meeting (or the quiet car of a train..) among other new features.
OCS 2007 R2 will also have more Telephony style features including the ability to hunt groups…
There will then be a completely new version-OCS 2009/2010 (probably 2010)-released to coincide with the availability of Office 14. This along with the expected release of Sharepoint 2010, will help bring a more unified feel to the Office family. It is also expected that this new version will contain inbuilt translation services so if you receive an email in say Spanish, Exchange can read it back to you in English 🙂
I’ve seen on The UC Guy’s blog via Mary Jo Foley’s post over at ZDNet that there are more new features expected in OCS 2007 R2 including:
“..a telephony queue system should be included, and will give people dialing in to the system, access to a touchtone menu to have their calls forwarded to the right department/person and so on.”
I can also say that there will be a Boss/Admin console..
Here are some links to my other OCS 2007 related posts:
Tanjay-OCS 2007 Phones
Unified Communications Demo
Video Demo of OCS 2007 R2 Features