Last night was the Tech.Ed opening party. This was a fantastic opportunity to speak with Microsoft and Microsoft Partners about their latest technologies.
One of the most applicable applications on display with Office Communication Server. OCS offers presence information to users throughout Outlook, SharePoint etc, it can even be added to additional applications using the SDK.
It also allows you to easily create a voice/video conferencing with up to 10 people, straight through outlook, no more booking the Video Conference room, setting up a meeting through Telstra (or other provider). Just create a meeting and the links to the online meeting are included in the email. Attendees simply click the link and their in.
That’s not 2 mention the new Office Round Table for board rooms. Instead of a single web cam, this device is placed in the center of the table, has 5 cameras that see 360 degrees, and 5 microphones. The active window switches based on the direction the audio is coming from. You can not only share video, but you can share applications, IE, PowerPoint etc. Using the new version of Live Meeting in Office Communicator you can record the entire meeting for attendees that couldn’t make it or future reference. Recording is to a WMV file.
Communication Server also integrates with phone systems and sets your status to ‘In a Call’. WIth us, using a Nortel IP based phone system, I had the chance to speak to representatives from Nortel and they are working closely with Microsoft on this feature. The good news is our Nortel phone system will integrate with Communication Server.
The latest version of OCS is 2007 which was code complete last week, and will be shipping within the next month. Nortel are working on upgrading their integration to the newest version, this should be complete by Q4 of this year.
We also got an insight into some of the new features on the way for Exchange 2007. One feature allows users to nominate they’ll be sick that day, and an email is automatically sent to any attendees of scheduled meetings for that day, to let them know you won’t be in.
So the opening party was fantastic, really enjoyed it, got a lot of very valuable information.