Microsoft and Partners Bring Presence to Business Process Applications

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 25, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today introduced controls and new sample code for Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server 2005, designed to make it easier for developers to combine presence and real-time collaboration capabilities with line-of-business applications. Software providers, such as BrightWork,, Meridio Inc., OSIsoft Inc., Siebel Systems Inc. and Singularity Ltd., are integrating presence and real-time collaboration features into their productivity and line-of-business applications to help make workers more productive and help people communicate more efficiently across organizations of all sizes.

The Microsoft collaboration vision is to provide software and services to deliver pervasive capabilities to help enable people to work together more effectively. Microsoft is extending that vision into rich, real-time collaboration tools that allow people to connect with one another immediately, when they need it most. Solutions built on the Microsoft Office real-time collaboration platform take advantage of integrated presence from Live Communications Server. As an initial proof point demonstrating Live Communications Server as a premier real-time collaboration platform, Microsoft introduced controls and new samples that show developers how to easily incorporate real-time collaboration capabilities into applications. Controls and new samples include these:

  • Presence Controls for Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 (previously called Real-Time Collaboration Presence Toolkit) enable developers using Microsoft Visual Studio® development system to easily insert presence icons into applications to provide status information of contacts. In addition, the context menu within the icons provides integration with Microsoft Office Communicator 2005, allowing users in the application to launch Communicator’s instant messaging conversation or telephone call window.

  • Role Agent Sample for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 provides a sample implementation of role-based instant messaging and presence. The sample gives developers a way to assign a role name, such as “customer service representative,” to a group of people to create a public-facing entity that represents the presence of any individual currently in that role. Requests for an instant messaging session with the role can be dispatched to any or all of the available members in the group.

  • Custom Alerting Application Sample for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 shows how to build an application that allows team members to determine whether other team members are online, and to send an instant notification to those members. The application is integrated with Active Directory® service and Live Communications Server.

“It is essential in today’s business environment that people have the ability to quickly and effectively collaborate with co-workers, partners and customers in real time within the context of day-to-day business processes,” said Zig Serafin, general manager for the Real-Time Collaboration Group at Microsoft. “With Live Communications Server, we are providing an extensible platform with rich federation capabilities and tools that help partners more easily incorporate real-time collaboration functionality into applications that today’s workforces use most, and that span internal and cross-company business processes.”

“Presence and collaboration are really about increasing the speed at which you can do business,” said Skip Bacon, vice president of Technology at Siebel Systems. “Integrating presence from Live Communications Server makes sense for us because Microsoft is establishing itself as a market-leading real-time collaboration platform. Siebel Collaboration 7.8 provides a platform for employees, partners and customers to communicate more effectively and to manage the unstructured collaborative activity that is inherent in many sales and services processes. Adding presence capabilities in our applications enables better teamwork, improved communication and, ultimately, faster customer response.”

“Integrating communication services within applications and making those capabilities available to development teams changes the way business and IT decision-makers need to view investments in collaboration software,” said Mike Gotta, principal analyst at Burton Group. “Just throwing more tools at users is not going to deliver real process and productivity improvements. Embedding these interfaces within an activity-based context requires an infrastructure-centric approach that enables those services to be consistently delivered across a wide range of application scenarios.”

Industry-leading line-of-business software application developers are integrating Live Communications Server’s presence and real-time collaboration features into business applications, marking the importance and value of integrated communications to help customers make better, more informed business decisions faster:

  • BrightWork. BrightWork Tasker Manager uses presence to make it easier for government customers to find, locate and communicate with the people (called Action Officers) who can best address a particular question or business problem in a timely manner. This new BrightWork solution is integrated with Live Communications Server and reduces the number of cycles needed to complete a tasker by routing work to users who are available to perform the next step, based on their presence status.

  • is an enterprise human-to-human and human-to-system workflow and business process automation software solution that allows organizations to rapidly design, implement, manage, track and improve workflow processes. Integration with Live Communications Server acknowledges presence as a critical component to many workflow solutions and enables compliance monitoring, customer service, help desk and other functionality.

  • Meridio. Meridio provides a single, integrated electronic document and records management solution tightly integrated with the Live Communications Server platform to address Enterprise Electronic Document Management and Records Management (ECM), compliance, e-mail and knowledge management, and line-of-business solutions. Instant messages are now included in Meridio records management processes.

  • OSIsoft. OSIsoft’s Real-time Performance Management (RtPM) platform utilizes presence from Live Communications Server in its portal solutions, linking production performance indicators to an advanced, role-based, real-time alert system. RtPM integrates field operations with corporate business operations to provide the right information to the right person at the right time, providing a “single version of the truth” for faster, better-informed decision-making.

  • Siebel Systems. Siebel Collaboration 7.8 integrates with Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Services and Live Communications Server 2005, allowing Siebel Systems users to improve business efficiencies and seamlessly collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners. With Siebel Collaboration 7.8, Siebel Systems customers can capture, share and access real-time business information to better manage, track and service customers and prospects.

  • Singularity. The Singularity Process Platform, a business process management suite, is integrated with Live Communications Server to make presence functionality part of day-to-day business processes across a range of industries. Singularity uses the Presence Controls for Microsoft Office Communicator to assist in workflow routing decisions based on the presence of process participants. The Platform enables organizations to automate and optimize processes operating across multiple sites, routing tasks to people and systems based on availability, capacity and optimal resource load balancing.

Those wanting to learn more about the Presence Controls for Microsoft Office Communicator and samples for Role Agent should go to the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server Partner Solutions site at Customer Alerting Application samples is scheduled to be available this week.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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