Just came back from being a panelist at Microsoft's OCS2007 customer seminar in NYC.
You may have heard Microsoft proclaim that the ROI for UC is >500%, pointing to some work done by Forrester. Elizabeth Herrell of Forrester explained what was behind this claim. Forrester created a 'composite company' based on 15 in-depth interviews. This composite company has 4000 employees, $900M revenues, and operates in 5 US cities and 3 overseas sites; and needs to invest $6.8M to deploy UC over 3 years, $40M in savings came from accelerated business effectiveness in various ways (a topic for a future blog) and in travel reduction. Beware- your mileage may differ!
In the partner pavilion, you would have seen the first integration of OCS 2007 with a PBX (Nortel's). You would have seen LG-Nortel IP phones (8500 series) running MSFT Office Communicator Phone Edition in various partner booths. Out of the box, you can display corporate and Outlook personal directories with presence. These have been trialed in a number of OCS betas including Virgin Megastores, Global Crossing and Columbia Sportswear. One CIO liked it so much that he replaced the Cisco phone in his office.
Over 150 enterprises, including Audi, Volvo, and Renault, took OCS2007 beta software for a test drive in production environments. What I hear from customers is that OCS has left the gate as a very stable product. What have you experienced or heard?
Finally, a thought for the day from Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate VP at Microsoft: "In the future (with an IM/presence exchange before every call), phone calls without subject fields will be rude". Interesting perspective. Is this a cross cultural view? Do you see this in your future?