Unified Communications Using Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 – An Overview


Over recent years the office has changed. We have moved from the 9 to 5 desk with a PC and a landline, to a multitude of personal communications devices, contact addresses and numerous phone numbers.

Unified Communications takes business communications to the next level, by opening new lines of access, whilst removing the need for multiple technologies. Put simply, it allows all messages to be directed to the same central repository, so users can access them from wherever 온라인홀덤. they are, via whatever device they have to hand – be it their mobile phone, PC, laptop, browser, PDA or even the plain old telephone. And the best Unified Communications solutions go one step further, by using intelligent technology to determine where a recipient is and the best way to contact them.

Access to Unified Communications used to be the preserve of enterprise level organisations, but recent developments from Microsoft mean that this progressive new business tool is now more widely available and is changing the face of traditional office based conversation.

As your business grows and you need to provide your employees, suppliers and clients with more flexible access to each other, a system which allows you to break down the barriers of the traditional 9 to 5 working day, whilst accelerating the productivity of your workforce, could help you to stay one step ahead. And with the latest Unified Communications technology, this doesn’t necessarily mean throwing all of your existing systems away – you can even use your existing telecoms investment.

IP Telephony

IP Telephony essentially allows a phone system to be integrated into a computer network, thereby allowing it to be run as a software function and reducing the maintenance costs associated with separate communications networks. Conversations can be treated in the same way as any other data, allowing speech and voicemail to be recorded, searched, shared and saved across offices and locations. Users are issued with a single phone number, which can be transferred to any network attached phone, across the Internet or existing data lines, thereby providing flexibility for remote or home working. In addition IP Telephony is easily and cost-effectively scalable; if your business grows quickly, further extensions can be added by your network administrator – so there’s no need to purchase a new system if you suddenly find yourself with an increase in employees.

‘Presence’ aware applications

Microsoft(R) Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft(R) Office Communicator 2007 allow you to be contacted in the right place, on the right device, the first time, by recognising your ‘presence’ or availability and routing your correspondents’ telephone calls, emails and instant messages in the most appropriate way. A person’s presence can be easily seen on screen, even within common applications.

Unified messaging

With a single ‘inbox’ for voice messages, email and fax communications, accessible from anywhere via a PC or phone, unified messaging ensures that your employees are as contactable as your business needs. Removing the restrictions of a PC and office phone, an online log-in or call to a single number not only provides access to voicemail, but also to your inbox, allowing retrieval of email, use of your calendar and even virtual meetings whilst you are out of the office. And with voice recognition and text to speech technology also available, you can send and reply to emails as voice data files via any phone, from anywhere.

Previously an exercise requiring heavy investment in expensive technology, video conferencing is now accessible to anyone with a PC and Internet connection to hand. The latest technology allows participants across remote locations to interact with each other online, with enhanced audio and video connections and the opportunity to share documents across a conference group. Providing huge savings in travel and time, it also makes the ‘ad hoc’ meeting a reality; providing a huge advantage in the fast-paced commercial arena.

Instant messaging

Instant messaging (IM) becomes a true business tool, with the opportunity to interact and respond to individuals or to groups of contacts immediately. With the introduction of ‘saveable’ messaging and the ability to attach documents for review mid-conversation, IM provides increased collaboration across working parties and maximises responsiveness.

Microsoft(R) Office Communications Server 2007 & Microsoft(R) Office Communicator 2007

Microsoft(R) Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft(R) Office Communicator 2007 provide easy access to Unified Communications, allowing users to take advantage of IP telephony, audio, video and web-conferencing, document sharing and instant messaging across a wide range of devices and Microsoft(R) Office applications.

A robust, flexible standards based platform, the product provides end to end security, with all communications flowing securely through data, Internet and phone networks. As a result, users can converse with each other from wherever they are, in the knowledge that messages and shared information are kept confidential between themselves.

In addition, it provides the opportunity for many people to collaborate within and between organisations at the same time by making video and audio conferencing a possibility for anyone, anywhere, with the right access permissions. With Microsoft Communications Server 2007 any location becomes a meeting place, with the ability to share documents and information whilst communicating by phone, computer or even video. The advantages are many, including significant savings in travel time and costs for all parties and faster decision making.

Advanced instant messaging enables communications to be encrypted for security, logged and archived, thereby allowing ‘meetings’ to be recorded and saved in the same way as other data files – an increasing compliance requirement for many organisations.

Communications Server 2007 and Communicator 2007 presence-enable your contacts and commonly used applications, allowing you to see at a glance whether they are available and how best to contact them. You no longer need to remember all those contact details.

Every level of your business is catered for. Employees who wish to communicate with clients and colleagues whenever they are out of the office benefit from the ability to work efficiently from wherever they are. IT managers who require increased operational efficiency, and reduced complexity, benefit from the ability to add new users without referral to expensive third-party support and a centrally managed system encompassing all of your organisation’s communications devices. And the IT decision maker, who needs to maximise employee efficiency whilst ensuring the security of your business, benefits from increased employee productivity, simplified compliance and protection from internal and external threats. Microsoft(R) Exchange Server 2007


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