Five great benefits of OCS 14

Microsoft is looking to develop its expertise in the field of unified communications with the forthcoming OCS 14 product. Here are five ways in which OCS 14 will make your life easier.

1) Don’t want to subject people to awful renditions of Greensleeves on panpipes when they are on hold? Try the new call parking feature. This transfers the call to an unused line outside of the phone system, from which it can then be retrieved quickly and easily.
2) In emergencies the enhanced 911 feature of OCS 14 is bound to come in use as it allows emergency services to pinpoint your exact location. In times when you might find it hard to describe where you are, this is invaluable as the caller’s location and information is directly transmitted to the response team.
3) Ever get tongue tied on the phone? With OCS 14 that could be a thing of the past as you can enter contextual information on the caller ID, for instance ‘Nick calling to discuss latest marketing strategies’.
4) The simultaneous ring feature is very useful, as you can have the call ring on a number of phones so that you can pick it up at whichever is easiest. No more coffee spills as you run into the office to take that important call, it will ring on your mobile too.
5) If your eyes are getting tired and you don’t feel up to reading any more documents, then the voice-recognition software might well be your favourite feature. It allows you to transmit voice mails into an audio file which can then be accessed in your email or outlook folder, and listened to/or read.

Microsoft conference outlines benefits of communications server

The latest Microsoft unified communications software is being released this year - Microsoft communications server “14”.
The product streamlines communications to make them more cost effective, but more open at the same time.

At a conference in Orlando, Florida, the corporate VP of Microsoft’s Office Communications Group, Gurdeep Singh Pall, gave a keynote address.
He predicted that Microsoft communications server “14” would lead the way in a future of connected communications.
Mr Pall said: “We have used software to leapfrog traditional hardware-bound communications systems and accelerate innovation in this industry.
“Office Communications Server has been very popular since it was introduced in 2007, allowing businesses to save costs and increase productivity. Microsoft communications server “14” will build on these attributes.”
Microsoft communications server “14” has a number of exciting new features. For instance, users can find colleagues based on what skills they have, know whether or not they are available to collaborate and bring together content and resources in a simple fashion.
Microsoft communications server “14” works with Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Exchange. It will have full enterprise telephony and allow communications to be embedded in applications. Another feature is Microsoft Office Communications Online which works in the cloud and on-premise to deliver presence and instant messaging.
Microsoft communications server “14” will be available from the second half of 2010.

Google vs Microsoft

To take on the forthcoming Microsoft OCS 2010 product, Google has come up with business docs which it says are cheaper and easier to use.

Speaking at a conference on cloud computing, Google was forthright in suggesting their apps suite could do a better job than Microsoft.

Anil Sabharwal, the product manager of Google Apps, said: "When Microsoft comes knocking to say that you need to upgrade to the OCS communications server, you should know that you now have an alternative choice. Our apps suite is a viable replacement for the majority of users."

Google's software will only cost about £30 per year, which they expect to be much lower than what Microsoft charges for Office 2010. The Apps suite will offer opportunities for collaboration between colleagues, including better support for imported documents.

However, a Microsoft spokesman said they were confident they could offer something that Google couldn't in the field of cloud computing.

"Basic features like auto fill, document fidelity, the ability to share content across applications and cut and paste are all essential. It is very revealing that only after three years in the marketplace is Google adding the type of functionality that most people and businesses require."

Microsoft vs Google

The competition between Microsoft and Google will come to a head this year when the new OCS communications server technology is released.

Microsoft has planned to create a product where multiple documents can be viewed by multiple users, and in which all updates are current and visible to all. Of course the benefits this could have to business are numerous.
While Google docs also performs this function, Microsoft claims that its product will offer more opportunities for collaboration. Central to this is the new Social Connector feature which adds personal profiles and 'presence awareness' so that you can work on Office, SharePoint, and Communications Server all at the same time with a smooth transition of data.
While Google is the unchallenged king of search engine capability that is now turning its attention towards various other products, Microsoft aims to keep control over the applications and operating systems market.

Along with Office 2010, part of the Microsoft plan to increase its power is the Office Communications Server 2010, known as OCS. This will use SharePoint and Office to deliver VoIP technology .
Kurt DelBene, senior VP of Microsoft's Office group, said: "Because the notion of presence is central to the collaboration experience, we are of the opinion that you should be able to move easily between different modalities of communication."

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