Unified Communication is emerging...And Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) taken its place to address this area. Microsoft has also been testing this offering online which enables you to enjoy leading collaboration functionalities without the hassle of managing your own infrastructure, hardware, network, data enter etc. Also, hiring the subject matter experts to setup and operate the unified communication systems is no simple effort.
Why Microsoft Office Communications Server when there are many free tools available in the market, sounds obvious question! Microsoft OCS online is all about providing a secure environment for employees to collaborate for sharing intellectual property (IP) than using public collaboration tools. Collaborating through Office Communication Server is nothing but the basic use of instant messaging (IM) and presence service in an organization, including the support for live meeting, whiteboard, desktop sharing, file transfer, voice and video communication.
So, how organization benefits from Office Communications Online solution? Yes, this service ensures people in the organization be more productive by enabling them to communicate easily with others in different locations or time zones using a range of different communication options mentioned above. Specifically, text based instant messaging, voice, and video. Integration with programs across the Microsoft Office system-including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Groove, and SharePoint Server-gives information workers many different ways to communicate with each other via a consistent and simple user experience.
Is Unified Communications a mission critical application?
Earlier days, Email was a nice to have feature in the organization and later became mission critical application. Now it's the turn for Unified communications; it's very nice to have application for information & knowledge workers. In future, the increasing mobile workforce in a decentralized businesses location will be a common environment where Unified communications facilitates the business eco system on-the-go & always-available fashion for communication, finally call it "Mission Critical"
What are the benefits ?
- You can have instant messaging via your intranet and the Internet.
- SLA (Service Level Agreements) is not for the service along with server level.
- Enjoy the technology refresh as Microsoft evolves through various upgrades to new Office Communications Online release versions. This is done at no additional charge as per Microsoft site.
- Disaster recovery (DR) services that provide full instant messaging and presence capability in an alternate and geographically diverse data center within 72 hours.
How to get started as a solution provider?
Get enrolled and start selling the solution to your customers. As per Microsoft Site, "Microsoft Online Services are a set of enterprise-class software offerings delivered as subscription services hosted by Microsoft and sold by you-provide the rich interactivity of on-premises client and server applications-and the flexibility and scalability of Web-based services. You can generate predictable recurring revenue streams through new managed services, business-process consulting, tier-one end-user support, and your own value-added services. And efficiently expand your customer base and serve new segments-without adding infrastructure or head count."