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SIP Print VoIP Appliance Review

August 12, 2009


Call recording on VoIP phone systems is critical because it can ensure good customer service, provide employee training, and offer liability protection. SIP Print offers a SIP-compliant VoIP recording appliance at a price point that is much lower than legacy analog or digital E1/T1 recording systems. Part of the reason is you don't have to pay for expensive Dialogic or NMS telephony hardware to interface with analog or digital trunks. Instead, SIP Print's appliances sit on the network and simply record the SIP VoIP traffic.

Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat Hotfix KB 969819 + Group Chat Software Development Kit (SDK)

August 3, 2009

Microsoft just released another hotfix KB update for Microsoft OCS 2007 R2. Called KB 969819, this addresses some issues with OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat that are described in the Knowledge Base articles 969819, 969818, and 969817.

KB 969819 package fixes the following issues:
  • 972951  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972951/ ) A compliance server reports incomplete or inaccurate information about user JOIN and PART events in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
  • 972944  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972944/ ) You may experience performance issues in a channel server in Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Channel Server
  • 973384  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973384/ ) The Group Chat service does not work after you restart a computer that is running Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
  • 973385  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973385/ ) Users in a secured organizational unit (OU) named "Blocking Inheritance" cannot use the Group Chat Admin Tool
  • 973386  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973386/ ) A compliance XML output file is not generated by a compliance server in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
KB 969818 package fixes the following issues:
  • 973321  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973321/ ) Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Group Chat Client prevents Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 from logging off
  • 973337  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973337/ ) A peer-to-peer file transfer fails between two Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat clients
  • 972945  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972945/ ) The Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Client does not support user colors
  • 973316  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973316/ ) Error message when you try to make a connection in an Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat client for the first time: "The domain_name domain is not available"
  • 972947  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972947/ ) An update is available for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat clients to improve the performance for chat rooms
  • 973318  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973318/ ) The message in the input panel does not match the message that you sent in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Client
KB 969817 doesn't appear to be on Microsoft's site, but I'm sure it fixes something.

Lastly, they also just added a new SDK download for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Software Development Kit (SDK). It includes documentation and sample applications developed with the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat platform.



Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Hotfix KB 968802, KB 970275, and more

July 29, 2009

Almost missed some major KB updates & hotfixes to OCS 2007 R2 that Microsoft just put online yesterday.

Fixes are many, especially in OCS 2007 R2 Hotfix KB 966802. It includes the following fixes:
  • Update for Application Host
    967832  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967832/ ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2 Application Host: April 2009
  • Update for Application Sharing Server
    971296  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971296/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Application Sharing Server: July 2009
  • Update for Administration Tools
    971289  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971289/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Administration Tools: July 2009
  • Update for Audio/Video Conferencing
    971793  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971793/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Audio/Video Conferencing Server: July 2009
  • Update for Core Components
    971299  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971299/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Core Components: July 2009
  • Update for Communicator Web Access
    969824  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969824/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Communicator Web Access: July 2009
  • Update for Conferencing Attendant
    968922  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968922/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Conferencing Attendant: July 2009
  • Update for Conferencing Announcement Service
    969823  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969823/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Conferencing Announcement Service: July 2009
  • Update for Monitoring Server
    971298  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971298/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Monitoring Server: July 2009
  • Update for Mediation Server
    969835  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969835/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Mediation Server: July 2009
  • Update for Outside Voice Control
    967835  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967835/ ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2, Outside Voice Control: April 2009
  • Update for Response Group Service
    967829  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967829/ ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2, Response Group Service: April 2009
  • • Update for Standard/Enterprise edition Server
    969821  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969821/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2: July, 2009
  • Update for Standard/Enterprise edition Server Back End
    969834  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969834/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 database: July, 2009
  • Update for Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 Core Redist 64-bit
    970679  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/970679/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 Core Redist 64-bit: July 2009
  • Update for Web Conferencing Server
    971297  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971297/ ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Web Conferencing Server: July 2009
  • Update for Web Components Server
    967830  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967830/ ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2, Web Components: April 2009
Another KB update (KB 970275) released yesterday was "Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Attendant Hotfix KB 970275"

This update package fixes the following issue:
  • 972402  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972402/ ) Office Communicator 2007 R2 runs concurrently with Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Attendant
Lastly, Microsoft yesterday released the latest version of the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Capacity Planning Tool






Cool Office Communications Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer

July 29, 2009

James Stine has released a cool utility called "Office Communications Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer". It's a great online tool for performing testing, troubleshooting, and diagnostics on OCS 2007 deployments. James said, "Following on the heels of success of the Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (created by Shawn McGrath and Brad Hughes), Premal Gandhi, Matthew Fresoli and I have been busy designing and writing a complimentary tool: The Office Communications Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer."

Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 Documentation

July 29, 2009

Microsoft just published the latest and greatest version of their OCS 2007 R2 documentation. I asked the official Microsoft OCS MVP mailing list, "Is there anything new about the OCS 2007 R2 docs contained on this page or is this just a centralized repository of all the Word docs and the single .chm help file?" I added, "Perhaps this is the first "official" 1.0 release of ALL the documentation?"

All you know-it-all techies out here are probably thinking, "Documentation? We don't need no stinkin' documentation!"

Yeah, in most cases I'm right there with ya, but not something as complicated as OCS 2007 R2. I often tell users who come to me repeatedly with the same IT question to go RTFM.



D2 Technologies Showcases its mCUE Converged Communications Client with Embedded VoIP for Android at OESF Japan

July 28, 2009

Some interesting news from D2 Technologies about them showcasing their mCUE™ converged communications client with embedded VoIP for Android at OESF Japan. I should point out that D2's mCUE mobile convergence software solution combines a communications user interface with the company's vPort MP VoIP software platform and is targeted towards OEMs and service providers to help deliver integrated Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) and Unified Communications (UC) functionality.

At OESF they will demo how mCUE can enable VoIP, video chat and other IP communications capabilities in stationary Android-based embedded equipment and consumer electronics devices. With mCUE, these devices can offer premium multi-service unified communications capabilities and deliver simultaneous interoperability with any communication service provider, Instant Messaging (IM) community or social networking platform. All popular communication modes are converged to a single communications user interface (UI), including circuit switched voice (PSTN or cellular), VoIP, Instant Messaging (IM), SMS and video chat.

Full release after the jump...





Microsoft OCS Call Recording

July 28, 2009

Last week, I wrote how Microsoft is making inroads in the enterprise with their Office Communications Server 2007 R2 platform and how they are looking to achieve five 9s of reliability. Well, one other critical feature needed for an enterprise phone system is decent call recording. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a lot of options for call recording on OCS 2007. One of the problems is that not all calls go through a PBX.

For instance, you can use the Microsoft Communicator client to call a co-worker who is also using Communicator.

Google Voice + Gizmo5 = Free Inbound & Outbound Calls

July 27, 2009

Google Voice just added SIP connectivity through Gizmo5 which basically enables FREE inbound and outbound calling! With the Gizmo5-to-Google Voice connectivity not only can you can connect any SIP device (softphone, IP phone), but you can even use regular telephones for free calls in the entire United States. Google Voice already offers DID numbers in nearly every area code, which means businesses, especially SMBs can take advantage of this without resorting to some obscure out-of-state area code.

As you already know, Google Voice already gives you FREE outbound calling in the U.S., but the missing piece of the puzzle is free INBOUND calling. Well, Gizmo5's beta service called Gizmo Voice is the final piece to the puzzle.

Grandstream GXE5024 Review

July 27, 2009


In today's increasing cost-conscious economy, SMBs are looking for feature-rich IP-PBXs at the lowest cost. Many SMBs are willing to sacrifice some advanced telephony features to just get the basics, including call transfer, three-way conferencing, auto-attendant, and voicemail. Advanced features such as call queues or call recording are nice features to have, but many SMBs aren't willing to pay for higher-end IP-PBXs with this functionality. Fortunately, Grandstream's GXE5024 and GXE5028 products not only have the "basics", they also have some advanced functionality such as call queues -- and at a reasonable price of just $899 for the GXE5024 and $1399 for the GXE5028. Grandstream sent me a GXE5024 for a test drive review.

First, the only difference between the GXE5024 and the GXE5028 is the number of analog PSTN FXO ports - 4 ports vs.


Microsoft Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 Update

July 24, 2009

Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile is a versatile Java-based unified communications client for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Communicator Mobile runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 or higher which includes Pocket PC and smartphone devices.

It also supports:
  • Motorola Razr V3xx
  • Nokia S40 series: Nokia 3120 Classic, Nokia 3600 slide, Nokia 5220/5310/5610 XpressMusic, Nokia 6212 classic, Nokia 6300i, Nokia 6301, Nokia 6500 classic, Nokia 6500 slide, Nokia 6600 fold, Nokia 6600 slide, Nokia 7210/7310/7510/7610 Super Nova, Nokia 7900 Prism, Nokia 8800 Arte.
  • Nokia S60 series: Nokia E 51/63/66/71, Nokia N95
This month they released an important hotfix update for Communicator Mobile 2007 R2.

What's cool about Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 is that it enables users running the app on their mobile phone to make work calls using their corporate phone system leveraging "Single Number Reach" functionality. This allows you to use a single telephone number on your business card.



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