Remarks by Jeff Raikes, President, Microsoft Business Division
Unified Communications Group Strategy Day
“The Unified Communications Opportunity”
San Francisco, California
June 26, 2006
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, president of Microsoft’s Business Division, Mr. Jeff Raikes. (Applause.)
JEFF RAIKES: Well, thank you very much. I want to begin by welcoming all of you. We’re certainly very happy to be here in San Francisco, and in particular because we see this as a very exciting time, and in particular related to unified communication opportunity. And I’m, of course, very pleased to be here for the keynote.
What we’re going to do today is we’re going to take a look at the vision and roadmap for where unified communications are going, a vision for what we are doing in conjunction with a broad range of industry partners centered around a software platform advance that’s bringing together data, video, and voice communications. And we’re going to lay out the roadmap for products and technologies, and in particular focus on the next 12 months as we move into the year 2007.
And we’re gong to leave time for Q&A today. We want you to be thinking about what are your questions, and we’re going to do our best to address them in the Q&A session and/or after the meeting today.
The Evolving Workplace
Now, what we want to do is to begin by explaining that the Microsoft Business Division really takes the lead for our company on what we think of as the digital work style, how can we use the capabilities of software in the context of our professional lives. And, of course, I think everyone in this room knows that a lot is changing for business today.
We all live and work in a global information society where there’s a transformation to an information, a strong information base, and the net result is this has caused the workplace to change dramatically. People really don’t work the same way today. Just think about yourselves, the explosion of e-mail, the use of instant messaging, the use of mobile phones, how mobile work is now.
And there are certain trends in this context of a global, information-based economy that can work for people or work against people. Take, for example, the trend of One World of Business where we’re working in a much more global context so people are required to team across organizations, across geographic boundaries, across even boundaries in time.
There’s also the sense of people getting connected, being on the network. People have that sense that they’re always on, always connected, and sometimes they don’t necessarily want to feel always on, always connected.
But an even bigger issue in our minds is information. We’ve got a tremendous wealth of information now because of our connection, but there is a great paradox. At times it feels like an information overload, we’re just overwhelmed with the amount of information that we have. And at times it feels like information “underload,” where it’s difficult for us to get the information we need when we need it, in order to make a decision.
And a third important trend, transparent organizations, whether that be in the context of regulation like Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA or the European Data Protection Initiative or Basel II, or the sense that intellectual property is one of our most fundamental assets, and how do we make sure that we protect that intellectual property where you might think of it as walking out the door each evening.
Well, all of these trends collectively lead to what we like to describe as the New World of Work, and we believe very strongly, and you saw that in the video, that it’s people who are the center of this economy and thus the center of your success in business.
And we believe at Microsoft that there’s a tremendous role for software, software that can help people by simplifying how they work together, by helping them find the information they need to be more effective in their job, and software that can help secure and manage the content.
One World of Business
Well, today’s session, today’s event is really going to focus on this trend of One World of Business and in particular the evolutions in communication that are being driven in this New World of Work.
And I think when we think about this context of One World of Business, we see that oftentimes there are challenges in working together across organizations. It can be difficult to communicate in the right way or to find the people you need and find them really when you need them the first time, get right to them. It can be difficult to keep your team synchronized, for them to be able to share information to drive business results, and support an increasingly mobile workforce.
Now, what we need to do is we need to simplify working together by delivering better communications abilities, by helping global teams work together more effectively, by connecting teams to the information they need and about the (Audio Break) how some people are thinking about communications today. Let’s take a look.
JEFF RAIKES: Well, we thought we’d poke a little fun at what some of the challenges are, but I think, of course, we all know as leaders in our businesses that these are challenging times for people being able to communicate and communicate effectively.
Challenges of Working Together
So I thought what we ought to do is to make sure that we do put a focus in on what some of these challenges are. Certainly it begins with just how much communications choices have expanded. That’s led to something you might think of as a little bit of communications chaos. There’s lots of communications devices and applications, and what that can do is it can lead to phone tag, and we’re all very familiar with that. But we’re also familiar with voice-mail jail; I try and reach you, I leave a voice message on your desktop phone, and then on your mobile phone and then maybe on your home phone, and then you call me back and you can’t get to me, so you leave a message on my desktop phone and then my mobile phone and then my home phone. Or e-mail overload, just the explosion, and all of this is part of we just have a lot of applications, a lot of devices, and there’s a separate identity for each of us. There are too many devices and just too little time. And each mode of communication requires a different time commitment and intention from us, and we’re struggling to gain control over those communications.
And it’s not just the people who do information work who are feeling the pain; this is also a pain for our systems administrators as well.
You know, if you look back over the last few years, clearly information technology leadership has been investing in operating two primary infrastructures for communications: the PBX infrastructure for voice communications where voice-mail is a good example of a significant innovation early on, but also the parallel investment in the PC network infrastructure to help drive information work where e-mail was a significant advance early on, and both have required significant investment and delivered significant business value.
But I think, frankly, if you look back over the last 15 years, you can say that more recently the PC infrastructure has seen a lot more of the innovation. PBXs have evolved, IP networks and standards have developed. And I want to be clear this is not about PC versus phone, but simply put if you look back over the last 15 years, the desktop phone innovation hasn’t really kept pace with the kind of software innovation that we’ve all seen in the PC industry. The PC has become the center of significant innovation and investment, whether it be the use of instant messaging or real time communications technology joining e-mail as key business tools; or now in some companies instant messaging traffic is actually surpassing e-mail traffic within that company. And we’ve seen that PC innovation has dramatically improved the experience and the richness of communications, making it more immersive through the use of multimedia.
So today we believe very strongly that we’re at a pivotal point in the area of business communications, and there are significant challenges, but in particular significant opportunities ahead. Our industry collectively, in conjunction with our customers, are headed toward unified communications, but how should the industry define this convergence of technologies, and also what we will see as the transformation of the business, the model in which this value is delivered.
So where are we heading today? There are key challenges in communications and I do want to go into those in a little more detail.
First of all, the user experience is quite complex. I’ve mentioned the number of devices, but in particular what I want you to think of is that leads to a number of identities; you are one person, but you end up having multiple identities because of the devices, and that leads to communications islands. Some research that we reviewed indicated that the average organization has 6.4 different types of communications devices and 4.8 different communications applications per user. And this leads to one of the key problems, communications is inconvenient, it’s not connected. And it’s not integrated with the business processes and applications that we’re using every day. That also leads to another problem, the infrastructure is expensive. You have multiple directories; in effect what you have is infrastructure islands.
But, of course, our industry sees this as a great opportunity to drive better business results, to really do what the People Ready Business means, to impact the way in which people can impact the business and that will help drive business results. If you amplify the impact of people, you amplify the success of the business. And we know better communications increase the productivity and collaboration. And recent studies have shown that there’s a direct correlation between a company’s aptitude for collaboration and communication, and its resulting business performance.
Now, one area of communications that is truly ripe with both challenges and opportunities is meetings. Meetings are all about people. In-person meetings frankly feel best because you can see the facial expressions, you can read the body language, and you get a better sense of the attendees’ tone. But with today’s global workforce and the amount of travel that we all do, schedules sometimes make that impossible, and it doesn’t give you the experience that you need with traditional conference calls. They make you feel like a spectator, not a participant.
And we believe this is definitely an area where the advances in software and hardware can make a huge difference. The virtual meeting experience can be, should be, and maybe in some ways be even better than actually being in the room.
Well, it turns out I’m supposed to be in a meeting right now. You know, our Office System team, I got a message from them on my Smartphone before I started talking to you that they have something they need my input on. They said it was something important. And I know this is highly irregular in a keynote presentation, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go ahead and move over to this computer.
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Hi, Jeff, thanks for joining us.
JEFF RAIKES: No problem, but I do want to remind you I’ve got several hundred of our closest friends here watching you on some very big screens and online, so we should really make this quick.
Everyone, this is Ilya Bukshteyn with our Office System Product Management Group.
What’s going on, Ilya?
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Well, Jeff, you know, we’ve kind of been going down a rat hole here trying to figure out if we’ve got the appetite to make a final decision, and we’re hoping you would weigh in so that we could move forward.
JEFF RAIKES: Are you making any progress?
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Jeff, Jeff, take a look at this face; does this face look like we’re making any progress?
JEFF RAIKES: Uh, no, I don’t think that’s a progress-making face. Who’s all there in the meeting?
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Sure, Jeff, we should probably do quick intros. I’m Ilya.
BRIAN: I’m Brian from the market research team.
KELLY: I’m Kelly. Brian works for me.
JEFF RAIKES: Well, you know, this is probably a good time to introduce the device that this team is using to do this virtual meeting with me. It’s a new device called the Microsoft Office Roundtable, and it’s all about transforming virtual meetings in a richer, more immersive work session.
For instance, you’ve already seen Roundtable’s automatic speaker selection feature. That’s the ability to seamlessly follow the active speaker. It also provides a view of the speaker that can be synchronized with the documents that are involved in the meeting, and we’re going to see that more in a moment. And with Roundtable’s panorama view at the bottom of the screen, you can see the whole room. These participants are sitting around a table, and the magic of software gives me an image of all of the participants around that table.
And right now it’s showing me that there is one more person in the room behind a laptop. Who is that?
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: Excuse me, Mr. “Rikees.”
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Actually, it’s pronounced “Raikes.”
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: OK, Mr. Ricky. A question: I think I might be in the wrong meeting.
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Well, take a look at your e-mail invite and make up your mind. This is the 2007 Office System meeting.
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: Oh, I thought it was the 2007 “Office” season meeting, so my bad. (Laughter.)
JEFF RAIKES: Hey, you’re Dwight Schrute from NBC’s “The Office.” I love your show.
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: Hey, thanks. You’re Mr. Ricky from the little software company you’ve got going there. I’m a big fan, a big fan. You know, I go to bed every night with my Xbox 360 and my collector’s edition of Windows 95, and my signed 8×10 glossy of Bill Gates.
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Dwight, you’ve got to be the most sucking-uppest guy on television.
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: Thank you. (Laughter.)
JEFF RAIKES: Well, maybe Dwight can be the tie-breaker vote in whatever you guys can’t seem to agree on. Make your cases, folks. What’s under discussion?
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Jeff, it’s Thai food for lunch. If you could take a look at my slide, please, here, you’ll see that I see a lot of advantages to Thai. It’s delicious and very eater friendly. Plus it provides the diner with a robust, interactive gastric, user experience. As I think you’ll see in my slide, Thai is at the absolute top of the food option pyramid.
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: Ah, Mr. Rookie, Mr. Rookie, speaking of Thai, I have training in Thai kickboxing. Watch and learn. “Hee-yah!” (Laughter.)
JEFF RAIKES: Look, look, Dwight, that’s enough.
Hold on; are you guys telling me this whole roundtable meeting [Audio Break] –
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Pizza is simple, no hassle, the interface is hands-on and user friendly. What you see is what you eat.
KELLY: Yeah, I’m with Ilya. Pizza is the way to go.
JEFF RAIKES: And what’s on the whiteboard? Is that an Office 2007 distribution chart?
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Not quite. It’s more of a pizza pie distribution chart for the pizza.
KELLY: Users tell us that Thai food is extremely user friendly.
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: Excuse me? Question: Is this the kind of stuff you guys talk about at corporate headquarters and Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington?
BRIAN: You mean the whole Thai food versus pizza thing?
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: Yes.
BRIAN: Ilya, why don’t you answer that?
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Sometimes.
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: Hmm. Well, I guess when you compare “The Office” with Microsoft, we get a lot more work done.
BRIAN: And the roundtable is just like your show, because the cameras are on the whole time during the meeting.
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: Yes, but unlike your show, Dwight, our boss, Jeff, is a really great boss, super great, fantastic boss, unlike your show.
JEFF RAIKES: Ilya, the Roundtable Pizza idea, it’s a bit over the top. I mean, pretty much everybody here groaned when you said that. I’m leaning toward Thai.
ILYA BUKSHTEYN: It’s an excellent decision, Jeff. I knew it was the right idea to interrupt you during your keynote to get your input on this mission critical decision, thanks.
DWIGHT SCHRUTE: OK, OK, now who is the most suck-uppinest guy, huh? Mr. Ricky, you should fire this guy like Donald Trump, fire him, he’s out.
Listen, about Thai food, I love Thai but I’m allergic to the peanuts in the peanut sauce, so if my face swells up like the udder of a cow, who’s going to give me mouth to mouth? (Laughter.) Okay, there we go, problem solved. Back to you, Jeffy.
JEFF RAIKES: OK. OK, look, that’s enough. Thanks, guys. Have a good lunch over there and try to get some work done. (Applause.)
Well, as you can see, the Microsoft Office Roundtable, which we’re going to make available in 2007, really revolutionizes the virtual meeting experience. We think this type of immersive experience is something that’s going to become much more mainstream within a few years, and so you’ll really find this device making a home in just about every meeting room very quickly.
Productivity Through Communications Convergence
Now let’s take a look at what we can do to enable collaboration and communication for our users with unified communications.
Now, Microsoft Office Roundtable is going to transform this meeting experience. It’s going to give multiple views with the active speaker window, the panorama window, and one of the things we didn’t show here is that you can record meetings, you can have synchronized views of the speakers or data, which also means that then if you miss the meeting you can attend after the meeting.
And one of the things that we’ve learned from our research is that it’s possible to view the meeting in about half the time just by using good compression of the normal pauses in human speech, which, of course, leads to the great paradox: if you can review the meeting in half the time after the meeting, who wants to go to the meeting in the first place? (Laughter.)
Now, Microsoft Office Roundtable will be available about a year from now, and we really think that this will be a major step forward. But what we want to do today, of course, is to give you a complete picture of unified communications and how our industry should think about it. We believe that unified communications will be at the core of a great opportunity to drive business results. You know, Gartner indicated that by 2010, 80 percent of businesses who have deployed unified communications will be able to have a significant competitive and revenue differentiation.
Now, that’s a great opportunity, but what does unified communications really mean? Well, a big part of it is connecting workers seamlessly, using the evolving networks that are coming into place, and we can do this providing a rich, multimodal, contextual communications experience. And this will be built on open standards like SIP. SIP is to communications in the same way HTML was to the Web. And that’s why we’re emphasizing this as a software platform that will create a broad ecosystem. And this will result in a direction that is centered on people, not devices, so that you can have one consistent identity. And it will be cost effective for IT with single directory and common management tools.
Now, IT needs to take a broad perspective on today’s investments. We think that given these advancing directions it’s extremely important that IT leadership step back and look at their investments in legacy communications and think about how to take advantage of the evolving networks in unified communications for much greater return on investment. IT leadership must ask the question, will your IP voice decisions today leverage software to the fullest. Because bringing together the different ways we communicate will increase worker productivity and deliver business value.
Microsoft is uniquely positioned, given our software focus. The advances in software for communications, we already have deep investments in communications, we’ve already delivered on the basics of unified communications with Microsoft Exchange, our communications server, Outlook, Office Communicator and Live Meeting. We are truly using the software, the power of software to drive the next wave of innovation in the way people communicate at work.
And today what we’re emphasizing is opening up to you the significant additional investments that will help make business communications much more personal and intuitive with the rich, seamless way of communicating, and the support of mobility, making it convenient and integrated, integrated with Office and a standards-based platform for developers, and providing a flexible and trustworthy infrastructure for information technology, single directory, common management, and the ability to do servers and services.
So really think of these as the three core pillars: personal and intuitive, flexible and trustworthy, convenient and integrated. And let’s take a look at what we are delivering in each of these areas as we move forward.
Personal & Intuitive
Now, all modes of communications on all devices need to be made much more seamless, much more personal. The communications must be based on presence, the personal availability of you and your coworkers. And that allows you to find the right person on your first attempts and connect with them in the right way. It’s a way to see the best way for people to communicate with me, whether right now that’s instant messaging in a text form or voice conferencing form or a voice call. It makes for much better personal time management, and it helps others communicate with you in the right way as well, so an overall improvement in productivity.
Another key element of communications is to make it richer and more intuitive. The dial pad is not an intuitive experience. Why not list your contacts and their personal availability? Why not just select the person instead of having to dial into a number?
You need to have software that will provide a far more innovative call management experience, making it easy to set up a conference call or connect your group to share a spreadsheet discussion, while integrating with today’s existing telephony infrastructure; we have to build this capability on top of that. And this allows you see the future where the PC will replace the older, less functional phone experience.
And another very important area is mobility. Mobile communications will be far more seamless. Users will have easy remote access to the documents and information they need in a secure and very well managed way. And the experience of communications will be consistent across PCs, the Web, and mobile devices. In short, our approach puts you at the center of your communications.
Convenient & Integrated
And we’re also making communications convenient and integrated, that second pillar that I mentioned. You want users to be able to initiate and conduct collaboration from the context of the business processes in which they participate. Rather than having to open up disparate communications applications, let them do it right from within the common tools that they use every day. And if they need data, they should be able to contact people from within the app they’re using and to search across all of their communications to find the information that they need.
So in short, Microsoft Office is becoming the platform for communications. People who prefer to use Outlook as that centerpiece will be able to have access to all of the user communications right from within that context. Other collaboration tools like SharePoint Server seamlessly integrate with these communications capabilities.
Flexible & Trustworthy
And a third key element of this pillar is our rich, standards-based platform, because the important thing here is to enable the broad partner ecosystem to deliver a broad library of integrated communications applications, because this will make it dramatically easier for developers to communications-enable their applications. The power of a software-based approach is that it works where you work.
And the final pillar is flexibility and trustworthiness. Our goal is to help you reduce the total cost of ownership of communications, and you can do this with a combination of an integrated set of servers and services, which allows you to make the right choice for your organization. What is it that you want to have on premise, what is it that you want to use in the Internet cloud? You may want to be able to do live meetings in both of those contexts. We want to put the IT organization in your company in control of those choices, and make it very easy for you to evolve your investments over time.
Now, the foundation for unified communication then is a single user identity stored in a single directory where you can take advantage of the investments that have been made in Windows Server, Active Directory and Exchange Server, which are proven core technologies for communications. And that also gives you the foundation for common management infrastructure and tools. These will help you reduce the complexity and increase the efficiency in your organization.
Now, of course, total cost of ownership is important but low cost is useless unless you also have the scale and reliability.
So one of the things we want to emphasize to you is our partner relationships that help us prove the overall platform in combination with their strengths and our strengths. As a great example, Siemens has unified 130 business units onto Active Directory. HP has 250,000 users of our e-mail and 75 percent of their servers were consolidated on Exchange 2003, again providing for the best scalability and reliability. eBay was able to consolidate 71 percent of their servers, and that cut their per mailbox cost by about the same amount. And Nissan saved $135 million using collaboration technology.
The important point here, and really I think it’s the key theme of this broad industry initiative, is that Microsoft’s vision brings software economics to bear on enterprise communications, liberating enterprises from expensive, proprietary network vendors.
New Products Announced
And we’re delivering on this next step with new products. We’re pleased to announce our latest unified communication roadmap products, Office Communications Server 2007, which features support for SIP, great presence, instant messaging, IP voice call management, and Web audio and videoconferencing.
We’re also announcing Office Communicator 2007, which features IP soft phone, secure enterprise scalable, reliable instant messaging, multiparty video and audio conferencing and Web conferencing.
And the next generation of Office Live Meeting, which features improved e-learning support, IP audio, support for sharing rich multimedia applications such as Windows Media Video, and simpler deployments.
And these technologies are available about a year from now, quarter 2, calendar year 2007, and by laying out this roadmap today we are allowing IT leadership to be able to plan the evolution of their networks to a complete, reliable, rich, unified communication experience, and to allow our partners to accelerate the development of their complementary products.
But, of course, the best thing to do is to show these technologies in action. So now what I’d like to do is I’d like all of you to come with me into the very near future, a future where some pretty exciting things are happening. And to get us started talking about them is our Corporate Vice President for Unified Communications, Anoop Gupta. (Applause.)
ANOOP GUPTA: Welcome, everybody. I’m really excited to be here.
Now, the coming year is going to be full of amazing innovation and communications, and what I want to talk about today is how this innovation is going to impact information workers like yourselves. So what I want to do is go through some scenarios on what your everyday work life is, and how these technologies are going to benefit. So, Jeff, I would like to step into your home office.
JEFF RAIKES: That sounds great; love to do it.
ANOOP GUPTA: Oh, hold on, actually an idea; you know, while I talk about the technology innovation and how the technologies and this innovation is going to benefit, I want you as a partner to talk about the business impact of what we will be showing. So I can’t have you in the home office and be with me here at the same time.
JEFF RAIKES: Well, how about if I have an out of body experience?
ANOOP GUPTA: Now, we can make it work. So what we will do is you will come with me, and you’re out of your body, and in your home office we will get a Jeff 2.0. Let’s see if we can get Jeff 2.0.
JEFF RAIKES: You know, he really doesn’t look like me all that much.
ANOOP GUPTA: It’s a beta clone, still a few bugs to work out. (Laughter.)
JEFF RAIKES: OK, hi, Jeff 2.0.
JEFF 2.0: Hello, Jeff. Hello, Jeff. Hey.
JEFF RAIKES: Oh, great, the guy is broken.
JEFF 2.0: Just messing with you. I work perfectly – perfectly fine.
ANOOP GUPTA: Well, good enough for our needs today.
And now let’s go into the future, and as you can see, it’s first thing in the morning and things are flowing, and Jeff is sitting in his home office. And, Jeff, it looks like as if you want to send out an e-mail to a few thousand people in your organization at Microsoft.
JEFF RAIKES: Yeah, I have been known to do that on occasion.
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes. But before you can, you need to quickly pull together actually a lot of information from your direct reports, people who report into them, some contractors and vendors, colleagues from outside. And so basically you need to communicate and collaborate with a lot of people, and what I want to show is how the unified communications will help make this communication and collaboration more seamless, intuitive, and efficient.
And apparently information is already flowing, things are happening, and there’s an e-mail that Ann, your customer satisfaction manager, has. So now let’s go live and see what happens.
ANN: I’m going to have to get back to you about that data, Jeff.
ANOOP GUPTA: Oh, denied. I hate to wait.
ANOOP GUPTA: Actually, you don’t have to wait. If you take a look at your Outlook 2007, you can now see communications is deeply integrated inside all forms. So right next to Ann is her personal availability, including that on people on the To and CC line, and you can see Ann’s personal availability there.
JEFF 2.0: Come on, Communicator says you’re available.
JEFF RAIKES: And that gives him, I guess me the option to contact Ann and the best way to actually get a hold of her on the first attempt?
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes. And so you’ve decided to IM her, because you want an answer right away. And IM now, because of the way it’s integrated into Outlook, is very intuitive to find and use. You click on it in Outlook and it will open the Office Communicator 2007 in the message window.
And actually one thing I want to point out there is when you’re doing an IM, just like an e-mail, you would like to have a subject line, what it is about. And if you notice at the top of the window, the subject of e-mail is right in it.
JEFF 2.0: Need Office customer experience data now.
JEFF RAIKES: Well, there is Ann in her office. She’s always in early. But she appears to be unsure of something.
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes. Now, she knows that you need the data, okay, but she doesn’t have it. So rather than trying to explain it to you in text, which can be cumbersome, she feels it would be better to discuss it with you live.
JEFF RAIKES: So she’s sending an IM back and she says –
ANN: Can we talk? Easier to explain.
JEFF 2.0: Sure.
JEFF RAIKES: So we’ve had a successful communication here?
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes, but watch this. Ann is in Office Communicator, and this is another seamless transition where she started from an e-mail, clicked to go into an IM, and now she has the option to start a video conversation. A video window opens on both sides, and now you can see each other and hear each other right through your PC.
JEFF RAIKES: So Office Communicator has all the communications options: video, text, audio as well?
ANOOP GUPTA: Yeah. Now, we do support all of these, you can see full screen video, and it works from your home office, and you can go across firewalls without having to VPN in. But more importantly, the communication is richer because of the ability to have these seamless transitions from one mode of communication to another, such as from IM to a videoconference.
JEFF RAIKES: Well, let’s pick up the action.
JEFF 2.0: This ought to be good. I’m betting Ann won’t have the customer data I need, but I’m interested to hear what excuses she’ll come up with.
ANN: There are two things I’ve got to do before I can give you my write-up. First, I need to speak to Ben, a new guy starting in my group this morning, about two key case studies. And second, I have an early adopter customer I need to check with.
JEFF 2.0: Ann, who am I?
ANN: My boss.
JEFF 2.0: And what’s my pet peeve?
JEFF 2.0: And what’s this?
ANN: A pet-peeve moment?
JEFF 2.0: Bingo. So is Ben in now?
ANN: Let me check.
JEFF RAIKES: You know, come on, this is not my management style. (Laughter.) I prefer a kinder, gentler approach.
JEFF 2.0: You’ve got to admit, original Jeff, that fear is a very powerful motivator.
JEFF RAIKES: So a clone is apparently not like a twin, is it?
JEFF 2.0: More like an evil twin.
ANOOP GUPTA: So now Ann needs to locate her new employee, Ben. And let’s see how Ben is doing on the job the first day.
BEN: Nothing like being the new guy. Nothing to do because nothing is set up, nothing is connected. I do have some stuff to do for Ann, but I can’t do anything until I’ve been provisioned by IT.
ANN: Kathy, my favorite IT person.
KATHY: Do I know you?
ANN: Ann. Hi. Want to do me a big favor?
KATHY: Um, I guess.
ANN: I need a new employee provisioned. Could you do it for me?
KATHY: No, do it yourself.
KATHY: Sorry. What I meant was I bet you a triple tall mocha that you could do it yourself.
ANN: I’m not very technical.
KATHY: No problem. Here’s the deal. Go to Communicator and click on Help Desk contact. That’s how easy it is.
ANN: I think you misunderstood. I need to provision my new guy. He needs e-mail, a phone number, voice-mail, network access.
KATHY: Yeah. Go to Communicator, click on Help Desk. Then say these answers when it prompts you.
COMPUTER: Thank you for calling the Microsoft Help Desk. How may I help you?
ANN: Manage employees.
COMPUTER: OK. I can help you manage employees. Would you like to add, update or remove an employee from the employee management system?
ANN: Add a new employee.
COMPUTER: To add an employee, please say or type the employee’s six-digit employee number.
COMPUTER: Ben Enrique, employee number 123456, has been added to the system. Is there anything else I can help you with right now?
COMPUTER: Thank you for contacting the Help Desk. Goodbye.
ANN: Wow. Thanks, Kathy.
KATHY: No problem. Don’t you feel empowered? Whipped cream, please?
KATHY: On that mocha.
ANN: So what are you doing with all the time you used to spend provisioning?
KATHY: I’m testing some Xbox 360 games at night; haven’t slept much in two days. So let’s hurry up on that mocha.
ANN: OK, OK.
ANOOP GUPTA: Now, so what we see here is how developers can leverage our unified communications platform to easily communications enable business applications and provide a richer communications experience. And what we saw in the scenario was how the help desk application has been communications enabled to the speech server technology and integrated with Office Communicator, making IT self-service a much more intuitive user experience.
JEFF RAIKES: And, of course, we saw how communications can be integrated into business processes such as employee provisioning to improve productivity and reduce what you might call human latency.
JEFF 2.0: Could we please get back to Ann’s conversation with me? Let’s get another videoconference going.
C’mon, Ann. There you are. How are we doing with Ben?
ANN: Like I said, it’s his first day, so I’ve just provisioned him, so he’s available. Let’s hook him up.
JEFF RAIKES: So Ben can now join the videoconference?
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes. He’s getting a popup box on his screen, and all he has to do is accept.
JEFF RAIKES: Anoop, look, I know you’re the technical expert, but isn’t some of what we’re seeing already available in the year 2006?
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes, we can do, but point-to-point video, and with Office Communicator 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 now you can do multiparty audio/videoconference with active speaker switching, so depending on who is talking automatically the video switches, and voice over IP that works over IP networks with the integration to the PSDN network; and all with on-premise servers that an enterprise can host themselves.
BEN: Hey, you two, a quick question for you: What if on my first day I don’t want to be – I want somebody like, I don’t know, let’s say Jeff Raikes, knowing that I’m personally available?
ANOOP GUPTA: Ben, I understand your problem. I sometimes use that trick myself with Jeff. (Laughter.)
You know, with the software you can automatically set your availability to do not disturb, and be in control of your communications. In fact, you can set it so that your do not disturb can be just set for your boss or for your kids, and you can personalize your availability.
BEN: OK, well, yeah, that makes me feel a little bit better.
OK, Ann, Jeff 2.0, I know you need those case studies and we are working on them, but they’re not quite ready. Can you give me a couple hours?
ANN: Sure, Ben, that ought to work for me. What about you, Jeff?
JEFF 2.0: OK, I’ll find something to occupy my time.
ANOOP GUPTA: OK, so let’s see how Ben does. First he’s going to open an internal Web application, and, of course, communications is now integrated with SharePoint and the rest of the Office System, Jeff, as you talked about. So we can see personal availability of people while we’re just waiting for the screen to come on there, right across you can see which of your team members are around right within the portal, and in this case, even a Word document as he goes and looks at it. So let’s take how Ben becomes more productive.
BEN: Yeah, I know there’s an internal site where customer evidence case studies are posted as soon as they’re done, the customer evidence dashboard or something like that. Here we go.
JEFF RAIKES: OK, so now he’s found what he needs.
ANOOP GUPTA: Not so fast. Looks like he’s found the site, but if you go and look at the document you see it’s not done. And what he sees on the screen is that the case studies aren’t posted yet.
BEN: So much for a great first day.
JEFF RAIKES: So that’s it then; he’s got to call or IM or e-mail me and tell me no go?
JEFF 2.0: I’m sure he’ll e-mail; it’s the easy way out.
ANOOP GUPTA: He’s not ready to declare failure yet. You know, Jeff, if you’ll again look at the contacts, [it’s] Denise that he wants to connect with.
JEFF RAIKES: But Denise is an outside writer, she’s not Microsoft.
ANOOP GUPTA: But look at her name in the document, and we can see her personal availability, even though she’s not an internal employee.
JEFF RAIKES: But it says she’s not online, that she’s out of the office.
ANOOP GUPTA: Well, there’s more than one way you communicate with someone, and now we have all those ways seamlessly integrated and convenient for Ben to use. So Ben can initiate a phone call to Denise right from his document. He just needs to click on the icon, as we see, call and select her mobile number and dial.
JEFF RAIKES: And that’s going to call her from Ben’s desktop phone?
ANOOP GUPTA: No. No need to do that. Office Communicator now is a fully functional soft phone, and Office Communications Server 2007 will provide seamless call management capabilities so Ben is making a PC-to-phone call right from within the application he’s using.
JEFF RAIKES: Ah, so PC to phone, phone to PC, phone to phone; we’re supporting all of these call scenarios?
ANOOP GUPTA: Yep, that’s right.
But, of course, the key is just not about supporting all of these different modes, but it is about making them convenient to use right from within the business processes and applications that users are familiar with, so that the whole communications experience is much more intuitive.
JEFF RAIKES: OK. So let’s follow the call between Ben and Denise.
DENISE: You’ve reached Denise. You know what to do; do it at the tone.
COMPUTER: After the tone, please record your message. When you’ve finished recording, hang up or press the # key for more options. (Beep.)
BEN: Hi, Denise, it’s Ben from Microsoft. Look, I really need those two customer case studies. How soon can you get them posted? Call me, e-mail me, something, but just please do it fast. OK, well, nothing to do now but wait.
ANOOP GUPTA: So I want to highlight something. You know, sometimes when we do these kinds of demos, it’s hard to distinguish reality from intent, and what I want to show you is that the call management capabilities that we are showing and we will be delivering in Office Communications Server 2007 are already working today. And I’m going to do that by making a quick phone call of my own.
JEFF 2.0: So you’re walking into the future to cal someone in the past about something that’s available in the present? That’s kind of hard to believe.
JEFF RAIKES: Not any harder to believe than you’re me. (Laughter.)
JEFF 2.0: Touché.
ANOOP GUPTA: Well, let’s call someone, somebody I met yesterday.
JEFF RAIKES: And I hope whoever that is didn’t actually shut off their phone when the conference began, like we asked them to do.
JEFF 2.0: Who are you kidding? No one turns off their phones these days.
ANOOP GUPTA: OK, I am going to call a customer I met last night, and here’s the number. I go into the Communicator, 9-170-296-1485, and let’s dial.
CYNTHIA: Hello. Hi, Anoop.
ANOOP GUPTA: Hi, Cynthia. How are you doing? Thank you for standing up. If you can say a few words, so people know it’s all working and real?
CYNTHIA: Yeah, well, it was nice meeting you last night, and this is a wonderful event.
ANOOP GUPTA: Well, great. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. And let’s get back to the demo now. Thank you.
JEFF RAIKES: Thanks. (Applause.) Well, that’s fantastic, Anoop. I mean, let’s hear it for the future of unified communications that actually works in the present, today.
ANOOP GUPTA: So back to the future now. Ben has been looking for Denise, as we said, and it turns out that she has been visiting customers.
JEFF RAIKES: And this, of course, is a case where making communications accessible from anywhere on any device is really important.
ANOOP GUPTA: Let’s join Denise now as she’s just gotten off a plane at the airport.
DENISE: I’d better check in.
ANOOP GUPTA: OK, now, Denise knows that she has been missing important communications while she has been on the plane, so the second the plane lands she whips out her Windows Mobile device, looks at Outlook Mobile, and as you can see on the screen, the experience is quite consistent with the full Outlook experience. And, in fact, because her e-mail server is the Exchange Server 2007, which supports unified messaging, Denise can get voice-mail, e-mail, faxes right on her mobile device.
JEFF RAIKES: And Denise notices that she’s got a voice-mail, so she can now play it right from her inbox.
BEN (From voice-mail): Hi, Denise, it’s Ben from Microsoft. Look, I really need those two customer case studies. How soon can you get them posted? Call me, e-mail me, something, but just please do it fast.
ANOOP GUPTA: So this kind of rich functionality that we have, in addition to the ease of management and TCO, because you already have the Exchange Server infrastructure provided by Windows Mobile and the Exchange Server, is why we believe IT can now provide this rich mobile enabled to tens of thousands of people inside their enterprise rather than just to the top few executives.
DENISE: OK, this is a crisis. I wonder if I can get Ed to start working on this while I’m driving to the office.
ANOOP GUPTA: Now, just because Denise is on the move doesn’t mean she’s out of touch. On her Motorola Q, a real device which we are projecting using the [Soty ?] software, so the software you’re seeing and everything as well that’s working.
Denise is going to go and run Communicator Mobile. This gives her access to all her contacts inside the corporate address book.
JEFF RAIKES: And it looks like a familiar Communicator availability icon.
ANOOP GUPTA: Exactly. The Office Communicator experience is very consistent across what you see on the PC on how you represent people are available, unavailable, do not disturb are the same on the mobile device. So it looks like Ed is available, so Denise is going to IM him.
DENISE: Need you next two hours, Microsoft project.
JEFF RAIKES: And once again instant messaging lives up to its name, there’s Ed’s reply.
The Motorola Q has a great keyboard, so it’s easy to type into, but I’m still sure the audience is wondering why didn’t she just call the guy and fill him in.
ANOOP GUPTA: Well, it’s at an airport, and, Jeff, as you know, there can be lots of flight announcements going on and so it can be too loud, or she doesn’t want anybody to overhear it like when we’re doing some of those business deals and talking about them. And sometimes voice communications can be unclear, and IM is black and white.
JEFF RAIKES: OK, OK, I’m just teasing you. I wanted to see if you were thinking what I was thinking.
ANOOP GUPTA: Well, but you do bring up a good point. And voice experience is important. So once Denise reaches her car, as we see there, she’s going to want to call instead of IMing, for safety reasons. OK, now, as Denise drives to the office, it dawns on her that the case studies that she needs to do are going to make her quite busy and impact the rest of the day. So she needs to let people with whom she had the meetings know that she’s going to be late for the meetings on her calendar. And she calls using the phone and is connected directly to Outlook Voice Access.
JEFF RAIKES: Oh, so another example of making communications more convenient, more accessible?
ANOOP GUPTA: Exactly. This is a new feature of Exchange Server 2007 that lets users interact with their Outlook information, e-mail, calendaring, contacts through speech.
COMPUTER: Welcome. You are connected to Microsoft Exchange. To access your mailbox, enter your extension. (Keypad tones.) Denise Smith. Please enter your pin. (Keypad tones.) You have two new voice messages and four new e-mail messages. You currently have a meeting in progress in head office. Please say voice-mail, e-mail, calendar, personal contacts, directory or personal options.
DENISE: Calendar for today.
COMPUTER: Opening today’s calendar. You have a meeting that you organized from 4:30 to 5:30 in head office, entitled mandatory annual budget review. You can say next, cancel meeting, I’ll be late, clear my calendar, or more options.
DENISE: I’ll be 15 to 20 minutes late.
COMPUTER: Fifteen to 20 minutes, is that right?
COMPUTER: All right. I’ve sent a message to all participants that you’ll be 15 to 20 minutes late. Continuing the calendar.
COMPUTER: Thank you for calling. Goodbye.
ANOOP GUPTA: OK, a text e-mail will not automatically be sent to all people who are scheduled to attend that meeting, telling that she will be 15 to 20 minutes late.
JEFF RAIKES: Well, clearly that’s a useful feature for Denise. Actually, it seems like something I could use quite a bit to reschedule my own meetings while I’m on the road. OK, Denise is now about to call Ben?
ANOOP GUPTA: Now, meanwhile, Ben has set his personal setting so only Microsoft managers can reach him.
DENISE: Call Ben Enrique.
BEN: Hi. This is Ben. Leave a message.
COMPUTER: After the tone, please record your message. When you finish recording, hang up or press the # key for more options.
DENISE: Hey, Ben, it’s Denise. No problem; I’ll have those case studies in two hours. I’ll call you when they’re posted.
ANOOP GUPTA: OK, and now, Jeff, because we are in the future, who is going to quibble about two hours?
BEN: Oh, it’s been about two hours.
ANOOP GUPTA: And there is an icon on Ben’s Communicator showing that Ben has missed a communication and has a voice-mail. And Ben can now go into Outlook where he can see a complete history of communications, all communications including IM, e-mail and voice-mail that he can play from Denise. Now let’s listen in.
DENISE (From voice-mail): Hi, Ben, it’s Denise. Those case studies are up. Let me know if you need anything else. Bye.
JEFF RAIKES: So Ben can now go pick up the case studies?
ANOOP GUPTA: Right. So he retraces his steps back to the SharePoint site, and we will be able to see that the case studies are now available.
JEFF RAIKES: And as you said, then transitions are seamless, so he can start with an IM to Ann right away and give her an update.
JEFF 2.0: And Ann is going to have what she needs, so now we can get back to me.
ANOOP GUPTA: Not quite, Jeff 2.0. Ann still needs to talk to the key customers.
JEFF 2.0: So she’d better pick up the phone is what you’re saying?
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes. But it’s not quite what you would expect from a phone. Ann is using one of our new innovative IP phone devices, as you can see right here, and this is from one of our partners running the Office Communicator phone experience. As you can see from the presence icons, the desktop phone is consistent with the Office Communicator phone.
JEFF RAIKES: Wow, and it appears to provide a much richer experience for Ann where you have the color display, you have the wheel, the ability to scroll through all the contacts, and then initiate a phone call without having to remember a phone number or spend a lot of time trying to look that up.
ANOOP GUPTA: Absolutely, Jeff. Having the Communicator phone experience certainly changes the whole idea of using a phone, and Ann can see not only her – within Microsoft contacts but she can see her Windows Live contacts, AOL, Yahoo! contacts, and you should be able to see that in the icons that are there. So, Jeff, what does your future self think about the new phone experience?
JEFF 2.0: I love it. Everybody loves it.
ANOOP GUPTA: OK, let’s take a look at this new Communicator experience, Communicator phone experience in action. It looks like Ann is going to make a telephone call to Jessica.
JESSICA: This is Jessica.
ANN: Hi, Jessica. It’s Ann. I heard you had a compelling quote for us on your user experience with the 2007 Office System beta.
JESSICA: Actually even better. One of our senior execs was really happy with it. We taped and edited his comments. It’s short; do you want to see it?
ANN: Sure. Let’s use Office Live Meeting and we can both watch it. Just give me a second.
ANOOP GUPTA: Jeff, as you can see, in the next version of Office Live Meeting we have made a lot of enhancements, and you talk about e-learning, but we’ve also made it very easy to support multimedia such as video and Flash, and Ann is going to show us that.
JESSICA: Here we go. Watch this.
JESSICA: That pretty much says it all. Do you need anything else?
ANN: No, that’s great, thanks. Bye.
JESSICA: OK, bye.
JEFF RAIKES: Well, clearly there’s a lot of new business value in the 2007 wave of Office communications products.
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes. When everything is unified, communications becomes much more intuitive, and simple, personal and productive, most of all.
JEFF RAIKES: So now Ann is up to speed, she’s got all the information compiled, and the only thing left to do is to get it to the other me.
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes, she wants to talk you through it so she calls you to let you know she’s ready.
JEFF RAIKES: Now, is that really going to work? I’m noticing that my other self is busy ready, so he’s not taking phone calls.
ANOOP GUPTA: That’s true. But your other self has an innovative new USB phone device from our partner Tatung. And when Ann’s call comes in, he’s going to see all the relevant information he needs about the communication on the screen.
Jeff, you know, we never send around e-mails without subject lines, you know, what is relevant, who set the context and why we are doing so. Why don’t telephones, phone calls have subject lines? Now, with this device phone calls will come with such lines.
JEFF 2.0: Ah, it’s Ann calling. What’s the subject line? Office 2007 customer experience. I’ll take this call. Ann, putting you on speaker.
JEFF RAIKES: Wow, this is really a great new device. And again the experience is seamless, so my future self can just dock the device and the audio seamlessly moves to his PC speakers.
JEFF 2.0: So how are we doing?
ANN: I have a nice surprise for you in your In box.
JEFF 2.0: Thank you, Ann. I’ll take a look at that. And that looks like it’s worth the wait I guess.
JEFF RAIKES: So we end where we began and the circle of communication is now complete. Do you want to do a brief recap?
ANOOP GUPTA: Yeah, sure, Jeff.
So, you know, three points. Microsoft unified communications, first, is personal and intuitive, and that is centered around people and their availability, and allows them to be in control of their communications on any device.
Second, it brings e-mail, IM, VoIP telephony, audio/video Web conferencing experience into an intuitive and simple experience that is deeply integrated with the business applications and processes that you use everyday.
And finally, it leverages the infrastructure you already have inside the enterprises you talk about, the directory, et cetera, making it simple to manage and lower the cost for your organizations. It is standards-based, and that allows for interoperability and a broad partner ecosystem.
JEFF RAIKES: Great. So Microsoft unified communications is all about making communications more personal, intuitive, convenient and integrated. In the 2007 wave of communications products we’ll help our customers drive better business results for their organizations because they will enable their users to be more productive and in control of their communications.
ANOOP GUPTA: Yes. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Jeff.
JEFF RAIKES: Great. Thanks very much, Anoop.
ANOOP GUPTA: Thank you everybody. (Applause.)
JEFF RAIKES: And, by the way – good, we got rid of Jeff 2.0. He was really kind of creepy.
OK, so let’s go ahead. And I really hope the demonstration helped you to get a vision of unified communications. And this vision is being delivered today and in the next 12 months. It focused in on the user experience, but we didn’t really discuss the IT infrastructure behind that. We’re going to do that a little bit more in a moment. And we really want you to understand how we’re making it easier for you to manage your communications infrastructure.
What we’re doing is we’re working to deliver unified communications via a set of servers and services. We want to provide you with a choice of implementation so that you have a continuum of functionality, and that’s available to you and working seamlessly across that continuum.
We’re enhancing services that are available today. For example Office Live Meeting gains rich multimedia conferencing and advanced e-learning functionality. And Exchange Hosted Services is now available for archival, continuity encryption and filtering.
And we’re delivering new services over the next 12 months. We’ll have a service for hosted presence and IM for business, and that will allow you to have focused instant messaging, which can federate with the Communications Server, Office Communications Server that might be in your organization.
Broad Partner Ecosystem
But it’s really more than just delivering UC software, that’s important, but we want to emphasize this is not something Microsoft will do alone, it’s really about our industry effort, leading an entire ecosystem of partners, who all believe that software will revolutionize business communications.
And our ecosystem has very, very broad experience and a proven track record of delivering enterprise solutions. Intel is a key strategic partner, with Intel Core 2 dual processor for media gateways and devices. We have great services partners like Dimension Data and Fujitsu. And we’re working with PBX vendors to provide customers with additional options to evolve to this future of unified communications.
And today I’m very pleased to announce the expansion of our ecosystem. One major area of expansion is in unified communications devices. And we’re very pleased to have a large ecosystem of OEM partners. There’s a broad range of devices and that offers users and your organizations a great set of choices. That includes UC or unified communications PCs where that telephonic capability is integrated right into the PC. It includes unified communications peripherals for the PC. It includes standalone devices such as IP phones; and best of all, a consistent user experience across devices enabling users to access unified communications anywhere at any time, while it’s secure, easy to use innovative devices with advanced provisioning and management, and that functionality reduces cost for enterprise IT departments.
Another area is infrastructure, media gateways. We have partners that are helping deploy SIP to PSDN interoperability, and we’re building on the communications networks of today to together deliver the communications networks of tomorrow.
And we’re announcing today an expansion of our relationship with Siemens. Siemens has tremendous expertise in infrastructure and services for enterprise customers, and they will be able to help our customers evolve and transition conventional PBX and voice-mail to Office Communications Server 2007 and Exchange 2007. This is a great example of how you can deliver unified communications in an evolutionary way and with the highest quality of service and security.
And finally, I am very pleased to introduce two key partners, HP and Motorola. Please welcome Robb Rasmussen from HP and Bob Gentile, from Motorola, to the stage.
Make yourself comfortable.
ROBB RASMUSSEN: Thank you.
JEFF RAIKES: Well what I would like to do is ask you each a couple of questions that will help to underscore for the audience the great work that you and your organizations are developing in this world of unified communications.
Rob, I’m going to begin with you. HP, of course, is an incredible company and you’re also great users of technology yourselves for your own productivity. So I was wondering if you could begin by giving your sense of the implications of unified communications from within the HP organization.
ROBB RASMUSSEN: Thanks Jeff. I learned a lot from the Office guy today that will help us back in the office. That was enlightening.
I think we’re very excited about this at HP. As one of the largest Microsoft clients, we’re a global company, we’ve got operations in 175 places around the world and anything that can promote communication and greater collaboration is of big import for us at our company.
Additionally, we’ve invested quite a bit in our Microsoft infrastructure and we’re a long way down the exchange route, and so we see this as an opportunity to add on fairly simply some of the benefits that you’ve talked about today to expand that.
So, as a client we’re excited about it, but one other element as a service company where we provide service to our clients we’re equally excited about it because we think there is tremendous service opportunities for us to be able to take this out to our clients and help them reach the benefits of many of the things you talked about today. It certainly is a win/win.
JEFF RAIKES: Well that’s great. You kind of get the double whammy. You get the improved productivity inside your organization and the ability to more effectively deliver services to your customers.
ROBB RASMUSSEN: Absolutely.
JEFF RAIKES: Now, Bob, how does unified communications fit into Motorola’s vision for communications?
BOB GENTILE: You know Jeff, unified communications is really fundamental in the sense that Motorola’s vision is all about seamless mobility. We’ve been a mobile company since day one, and so mobility is pretty much our business.
We see the mobile workforce migrating in a way that is totally synonymous with the kind of things that you showed today. We’re excited about our partnership because we’re talking to IT organizations about new frameworks and architectures for them to be able to really enable the mobile worker.
There are three areas that we’re very focused on. One is basically data and applications, how do we get that out to the mobile worker. Number two is infrastructure, how do you manage and secure devices for the mobile worker. And really, number three is the cornerstone of what we’re talking about today, which is communications.
The real power of that is how do we integrate all of those things together? And we’re very excited about this alliance with Microsoft and our ability to drive that forward. Our MOTOPRO Mobility Suite will be extended to take advantage of some of the capabilities that you’ve shown today. And again, we think that’s going to be a very exciting solution for our customers.
JEFF RAIKES: Well, those are really great examples of how multiple companies in our industry, yours, ours, many others are coming together around a vision for unified communications.
Robb, I want to go back to you. You began to allude to the impact that you see unified communications having on your customers in the sense of the services you can deliver, but also really what it’s going to do for their businesses; share your thoughts.
ROBB RASMUSSEN: I think when we look at it there are three things we look at as big opportunities for us as a services provider. First, just the innate benefit of the advancement of integrated communications. We can see a lot of opportunities to let clients take advantage of that, where we can deploy those systems, upgrade, migrate. And we see opportunities there.
But probably even more exciting is the potential, and you and Gupta talked a little bit about that today, and that was how can we integrate some of the communications and real processes; maybe some of the processes you talked about today, maybe some of the mission critical business processes. And so we’re looking at some expanded services that really drive business process through communications.
And finally, like HP, we’ve got a lot of clients who have made investments in infrastructure, a lot of it with Exchange and other applications from Microsoft. We think we can go in there and help them derive even greater value from their infrastructure. So those are three things we’re looking forward to as an opportunity for us.
JEFF RAIKES: That’s great, that’s fabulous.
Now, Bob, back to you. Motorola has always been a great company, innovative communications products, the Motorola Q. Share a little bit about how you see unified communications fitting into your product plans, your product roadmap.
BOB GENTILE: Well, first of all, Jeff, we have an extensive portfolio of products for the enterprise. We operate in a number of spaces including mobile office, mobile computing, infrastructure in the form of field networks and last, but many times most important, certainly for a software guy, is software services.
Those products we believe all need to work together in a seamless fashion. And we think that bringing unified communications to that platform, spreading it across that platform in the software products is very important.
Our MOTOPRO Mobility Suite which we announced last month and is available today will also be extended in 2007 with some of the alliances we’ve talked about. So we think the idea of having messaging and presence integrated directly with a line of business applications all managed through a common security and management framework, we think that’s the way that the future is going to be driven for the mobile worker. So we’re very excited. And by the way you can get those Motorola Qs at your local Verizon stores.
They are available today. And interestingly enough though the communicator mobile demonstration you showed earlier, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, example, of what today you can do on a Motorola Q and we hope to be bringing even more exciting things together with you in the future.
JEFF RAIKES: Bob, that’s super. I want to thank you both for being here. But in particular I want to thank you for your partnership. Clearly we see that unified communications, the excitement of this vision, the value of this vision will be delivered as an industry effort. And it’s fabulous to be working with leaders like yourself in order to make it happen.
Thanks very much. We really appreciate it. Thanks Robb. (Applause.)
Office Communicator Phone Experience
So I have one last partner area that I want to cover. We’re delivering this new unified communications experience across many devices. And Officer Communicator is a very important part of it. It gives you that rich experience for the Web, the PC, mobile devices.
And we’re very pleased to announce that we’re extending the Communicator, the Office Communicator experience to dedicated communication devices. Anoop showed you a little bit of that in the demo where new software will be embedded in a new generation of IP phones, bringing the Office Communicator experience to this new generation of IP phones.
And we’re very pleased to have three great partners that are working with us to deliver these IP phones. LG Nortel, a well known leader in consumer technologies but also a great leader in enterprise telephony, and they’re working with us to bring out a set of phones that will have the Office Communicator experience on this next generation of phones. They’ve already been doing a great job of IP phones and now they’re taking that to the next step.
Another great example, another great partner is Thompson. Thompson, the largest European manufacturer, we’re very pleased to be working with them as they are bringing their expertise to the Office Communicator experience on this next generation of IP phones.
And Polycom, you know them as a leader in audio and video conferencing, and they’re working with us to have a USB speaker phone as they’re bringing their great expertise to the next generation of unified communications.
So it’s a very exciting new area for customers, and in particular because there are a lot of great partners that are part of this ecosystem that are bringing this together.
So what we want to do is to wrap-up by reviewing what is coming. Of course, the focus here is our software expertise. We are well positioned to deliver the software advances that will realize this vision of unified communications in conjunction with these partners.
We already have deep investments in communications. We’re already delivering on the basic capabilities of unified communications. We’ve got presence and availability, we have enterprise IM, we’ve got e-mail scheduling, Web conferencing. And today we have available industry leading communications products like Exchange, Communications Server, Outlook, Office Communicator and Live Meeting.
But, what we’re emphasizing today and laying out the roadmap for you is that we are significantly expanding the capabilities we offer with a line-up of new products and technology releases over this next 12 months, culminating about a year from now, in quarter 2. We’ll have unified messaging in Exchange Server 2007. We’ll have on-premise audio/video and Web conferencing and software-based IP voice call management in the Office Communication Server 2007. Office Roundtable will dramatically improve the mainstream meeting experience making it much richer, far more immersive. And Office Communicator 2007 will deliver a very rich user experience, including innovative soft phone capabilities.
But you don’t have to wait until then to begin moving your organization to unified communications. You can get started today to drive better business results for your organization. You can lay the foundation for unified communications. You can manage users with a single identity for the communications, stored with a single directory, Windows Server Active Directory. You can empower your users with messaging, scheduling, presence and enterprise IM, and you can do that in conjunction with Exchange Server and Live Communication Server.