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News and analysis of developments in the enterprise communication industry and market with primary focus on Europe.

The author aims to tap into ideas, insights and thoughts of the readers to get varied perspectives.

Views expressed in this blog are solely the author's opinion and in no way reflect those of his employer.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Update on OCS 2007

The press from yesterday read that Gurdeep Singh Pall is happy with the progress made by his technical team. OCS 2007 is now code complete and will release to manufacturing. This means that the product will be GA before the end of September, 2007.

The PR offered some pricing information. I have been betting on $100 list price for CAL. I was close. Gurdeep announced that OCS client access license (CAL) would come in two flavours: Standard and Enterprise.

Standard CAL: The standard CAL would have IM and presence capabilities. List price- $21.
Enterprise CAL: This would offer all of the conferencing and VoIP call management features and will be list priced at $97.

It has to be noted that in addition to the CALs, organisations need to buy the server(s). Customers using LCS need not worry. Microsoft has released documentation to help migrate from LCS to OCS. Its service assurance agreement takes care of the CALs. However, the enterprise needs to purchase the additional server.

The market opportunity is quite large. There has been in excess of 50,000 downloads of Microsoft OCS beta release software from the web in addition to the distribution of over 50,000 beta kits. If we look at the installed base of exchange systems & LCS globally, OCS in its first year can rake business of around $1 billion.

Finally, to be benefits. This is where I was a bit dissapointed. Well for two reasons. One that I wasn't commissioned to write the white paper that Art Rosenberg wrote. Nothing against Art. He is a veteran in this space with a lot of experience and I respect his views. However, the paper failed to come up with compelling reasons to deploy UC. It talks of

a) reducing internal technology TCO costs, including procurement, support and administration
b) reducing costs for user communication services particularly for mobile devices
c) increasing individual end user time productivity associated with communication activity
d) increased business processs performance by providing greater flexibility in making contact with different people more quickly and in different ways.

which to me looks like the solution to be cheaper and offer time-cost-productivity benefits. What about value destruction. How many of you turn-off your corporate IM clients to save yourself from distraction?

In the end, I believe that Microsoft's UC is a neat concept. Art very accurately talks of contexual communication. To me, thats the value-add of Microsoft's UC, whose ROI is subjective to user's business. To be clear, I am not a skeptic. I endorse the product. I fact, I think OCS and office communicator 2007 launch will drive away competition from telephony vendors in the presence and user interface market. One of the secret treasures in Microsoft's arsenal is its voice management capability. I reckon that the story of their real time audio codecs have not been well covered.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

About value destruction, you can set your status as DnD or "Don't Disturb" to block incoming communications. Any contact that you set as "Personal" can interrupt you, otherwise you'll receive missed conversation/call.