AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Oct. 14, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. debuted Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 (R2), an update to the award-winning Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, at VoiceCon in Amsterdam today. The European focus for the global announcement reflects the importance that Microsoft attaches to its European customers, and its commitment to providing the next generation of unified communications (UC) solutions to businesses. Supporting the announcement, Microsoft is holding a series of exclusive one-day road shows across Europe to demonstrate how Microsoft unified communications has the ability to fundamentally change the way that businesses work — in and out of the office. Customers will be able to purchase the release as of February 2009.
“European businesses are looking for better ways to communicate in an increasingly mobile and globalized world, while workers are faced with ever-increasing volumes of communication and the dangers of information overload,” said Lukas Keller, Unified Communications Business lead at Microsoft. “Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is a significant step toward a fully software-based PBX, meaning that workers can reach the right person, right now. It gives our customers streamlined communications, new levels of operational flexibility and control, and an extensible communications platform.”
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 builds on the huge success of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, which drew 12,000 people to launch events in Western Europe and has seen access license growth that exceeds 100 percent. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 delivers the following:
Full-featured audioconferencing to help reduce telephony costs and improve collaboration
New voice features to enhance Office Communications Server voice for mobile and remote workers
New tools to help speed business processes by integrating communications within applications
Comms IT Efficiency and Business Productivity Now — Even From Legacy Systems
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 enables an integrated user experience via Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 and delivers streamlined communications for users so they can find and communicate with the right person, right now, from the applications they most frequently use (such as Microsoft Office Outlook). Office Communications Server 2007 R2 brings together instant messaging (IM), audioconferencing, webconferencing, videoconferencing and enterprise voice onto a single future-ready platform that meets the needs of today’s increasingly mobile and global work force. Because Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is built on Active Directory and aligned with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office applications, IT departments can implement these capabilities alongside the existing telephony infrastructure while providing the operational control required.
“Many of the benefits sought by companies in Europe with IP telephony implementation can be achieved more rapidly and for a lower cost by implementing Office Communications Server 2007 R2 — working with existing telephony systems so that customers do not have to upgrade expensive infrastructure,” Keller said. “Mobile users who are using laptops and mobile phones and rely heavily on business software, like the Microsoft Office applications, are likely to see the greatest, most immediate and most visible benefit from the software-powered VoIP capabilities of Office Communications Server 2007 R2.”
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Brings New Ways of Working in Europe
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 adds to the already considerable unified communications momentum in Europe, with 30 voice-specialized partners and nine global system integrators currently authorized by Microsoft in Western Europe. Since 2006 Microsoft has been involved in an alliance with telecommunications provider Nortel, which is accelerating the adoption of UC through joint solution innovation and by enabling better UC solutions and services.
A growing number of European customers are enjoying the financial and productivity gains made possible through Microsoft’s integrated communications platform, including Irish telecommunications provider eircom, Danish-based bioinnovations leader Novozymes, Swiss media company Ringier AG, Royal Dutch Shell plc and European telecommunications company Swisscom.
eircom is using Office Communications Server 2007 to help drive its New World of Work initiative, which aims to improve working lives and productivity. Staff quickly identified the connectivity benefits of features such as presence and IM while working away from the office and the advantages of simple videoconferencing offered by Office Communicator 2007, the client application for Office Communications Server 2007. eircom estimates that a conservative time saving of 30 minutes per week for just 1,500 eircom employees would amount to approximately 950,000 euro in productivity gains.
“Office Communicator 2007 will be a ubiquitous tool at eircom,” said Stephen Mulligan, Web and Mobility Technology manager at eircom. “Microsoft technologies are agile and intuitive enough to automate business processes without forcing us to change; that’s the New World of Work.”
“As a global company with employees dispersed in various time zones and geographic locations, Royal Dutch Shell has benefited from Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 with improved communications and more flexibility for our employees,” said Johan Krebbers, Group IT architect at Royal Dutch Shell. “Today Royal Dutch Shell has over 5,000 employees who frequently travel and use Office Communications Server 2007 as their primary voice solution.”
Unified Communications — On the Road
Microsoft will share the experiences of companies such as eircom and Royal Dutch Shell with European businesses at a series of road shows in December this year. Microsoft experts and executive briefers will demonstrate how Microsoft unified communications has the ability to fundamentally change the way that businesses work. Highlights include the following:
How unified communication breaks down cross-functional silos
Best practices — Microsoft’s internal deployment
Why UC is the platform (not the network)
Demonstrations of and insight into Office Communications Server 2007 R2
The real story on interoperability
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 road shows will be held in Zurich (Dec. 8–9), and Madrid and Rome (Dec. 11–12). More information about Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver/.
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