Microsoft OCS 2007 vs. Microsoft Response Point

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Microsoft OCS 2007 vs. Microsoft Response Point

David Berlind over at ZDNet and I have been having some back and forth conversation regarding Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007) and Microsoft Response Point. I wrote about OCS 2007 here, here, and here and Response Point I wrote about here. Specifically, we were discussing the similarities & differences between the two products and how they either complement or compete with each other. I told David, "My take on Response Point is that it really is designed for the SMB looking for a nice turnkey solution with cool productivity enhancements, such as speech-rec –BUT without the need for all the baggage that OCS 2007 carries – Active Directory, Exchange Server 2007, DNS server, etc. Someone deploying OCS 2007 has a lot of pre-requisites to install – a bit hairy for many in the SMB space – not just the complexity, but the license costs as well. In theory, a 5-20 man shop can but Response Point phones, install it themselves and be up and running with some nifty communications/productivity enhancements." I told David I was going to follow-up with Microsoft to confirm whether or not my assertion was accurate.

Well, David did some research of his own and contacted Microsoft to find out how the two VoIP product lines fit into Microsoft's overall VoIP plans. David writes, "But, as it turns out, other than the fact that both have to do with VoIP and both come from Microsoft, the two are actually unrelated. Microsoft has two separate approaches — one for big businesses, the other for small — when it comes to the VoIP hardware people may one day find on their desktops." Later in the article, he quotes an email from Microsoft that states, "In its e-mail, Microsoft was clear however that Response Point, which has its own Microsoft-controlled hardware specification, is not for intermingling with the Office Communications platform." Thus, it would appear my assertion about the two different target markets and two completely different products was indeed correct. In addition, David quotes me in the article regarding how I said Microsoft is leveraging SIP to allow any 3rd party SIP phone, but also partnering with 3rd party phone manufacturers that will be embedding the Office Communicator client for advanced "presence" functionality. David has an excellent rundown explaining the difference between Microsoft Response Point and Office Communications Server 2007 that you should go check out.

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