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Tech Talk with SIP Print's Jonathan Fuld: Is Microsoft OCS 2010 a PBX killer?

June 02, 2010

By TMCnet Special Guest
Jonathan Fuld, Chief Technology Officer, SIP Print,

The short answer is for those companies that implement the complete Unified Communications solution of Microsoft, they will no longer need a PBX (News - Alert) as OCS is the PBX. At the same time, those companies will no longer need handsets, because the PC's running Windows operating systems become the handsets (well, actually headsets plug into the PC for voice transmission.)
The problem with implementing a Microsoft OCS 2010 (as it stands now) is the recovery of previous investment of handsets. They can't be re-used. Even if a company is transitioning from one VoIP based PBX to OCS, Microsoft uses a modified and incompatible SIP-like protocol, so standard VoIP phones are out.
One of the better features of OCS is the coming video conferencing integrated within Exchange. Gartner (News - Alert) seems to think that OCS is the all-out leader of UC. The referenced Gartner report does not take into consideration the recent $3 billion purchase of Tandberg, a video conferencing company, by Cisco (News - Alert). Cisco, so I have heard, aims to place hosted video conferencing at the Small Medium Business (SMB) level in order to compete with OCS. So, for a small company that requires video conferencing, Microsoft has genuine competition with no additional equipment or extra licensing.
Microsoft is a major player, but they have proprietary codecs and protocols which limit inter-operability of their solutions. If you are a complete Microsoft shop, great - but the rest of the world isn't, so when someone on an OCS system wants to set up a video conference through a mail invitation to someone who is on Avaya or SAP, or even Oracle, the non-open standards model breaks down - or until a third party creates a Boarder Gateway (News - Alert) Protocol (BGP) like device to allow the two to talk to each other with little or no latency.
In the mean time, as Microsoft rolls out OCS 2010 and Cisco rolls out their Tandberg solution and the other Unified Communications companies deploy their systems, SIP Print (News - Alert) will continue to record the VoIP telephone calls made from endpoints on these systems.

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Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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