Unified Communications uses the Communications Server 2007 R2 platform to combine voice, instant messaging (IM), enhanced presence, audio-video conferencing, and e-mail into a familiar, integrated communications experience. Microsoft's Unified Communications solution offers a completely new way of communicating that offers the following benefits:
- Enhanced presence notifications across a variety of
applications keep users informed of the availability of contacts.
- Integration of IM, voice, conferencing, e-mail and other
communication modes enables users to choose the mode that is most
appropriate for the task at hand. Users can also switch from one
mode to another as needed.
- Availability of communications alternatives from any location
where an Internet connection is available.
- A smart client (that is, Communicator 2007) for telephony, IM,
and conferencing. The Office Communicator Phone Edition is for
users who want the convenience and power of Communicator in the
familiar form of a desktop phone.
- Continuity of user experience across multiple devices.
Enterprise Voice enables users to:
- Place calls over the IP network from PC to PC, PC to PBX/PSTN
phone, or PBX/PSTN phone to PC. This means that users have all
their principle communications choices — voice, e-mail, instant
messaging, and conferencing — available and integrated on their
- Participate in IP voice sessions that traverse NATs and
firewalls. This means that users working at home or on the road can
call the enterprise from anywhere an Internet connection is
available, without incurring long-distance charges or resorting to
a VPN (virtual private network).
- Place calls to other Enterprise Voice users, coworkers who are
hosted on a Private Branch Exchange (PBX), or public switched
telephone network (PSTN) numbers.
- Retain existing telephone numbers and dialing habits, and to
use new dialing features such as placing calls by selecting a
person’s name rather than having to remember or look up telephone
- Enjoy the benefits of call answering, call forwarding, call
delegation, and other call-control features.
For the business customer, Enterprise Voice provides the following benefits over and above those the productivity enhancements that accrue to users:
- Enterprise Voice can be deployed with only modest modifications
to existing Communications Server 2007 and telephony
- Communications Server 2007 uses smart, least-cost routing
algorithms for calls to the PSTN.
- Enterprise Voice features centralized administration using
- Enterprise Voice supports integration with existing PBX and
Remote Call Control (RCC) solutions.
- A distributed architecture that reduces bottlenecks and the
likelihood of single points of failure.