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Enterprise Voice and Unified Communications

Communications Server 2007 R2

Topic Last Modified: 2009-01-23

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 desktop computer.
  • 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 numbers.
  • 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 infrastructures.
  • Communications Server 2007 uses smart, least-cost routing algorithms for calls to the PSTN.
  • Enterprise Voice features centralized administration using familiar tools.
  • 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.
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