This is again taken from the latest TechNet (http://www.microsoft.com/Technet) newsletter here in the UK.
VoIP Is On Its Way
I've been playing with Office Communicator 2007 for a while now and have been impressed by all of the extra functionality that the new instant messaging client brings. We talk a lot about extra productivity in our new products, but I've really noticed a difference this time. It now provides the ability to create a set of contacts that can see different levels of information: personal contacts who can see all published contact information including home and mobile numbers, team settings which allow members of my team to see my free / busy status, and who can also interrupt me whilst my status is busy. Moving down the list, there are company contacts who can see my limited availability and information, and public contacts, connecting through 'Public Internet Connectivity (PIC)' who see my name and email address and limited availability. I think this is much better than the blocked or not blocked options in the past. There's also an option for instant messaging conversations and voice calls to be saved in to a conversation history folder in Outlook.
But the best feature is definitely the VOIP calling option which gives you amazing flexibility. Just right click on the contact you want and click 'call'. Select the number you want and the call goes either to land line, mobile or the recipient's computer. I have a USB desk phone for when I'm working from home, and a retractable headset and microphone for when I'm travelling. I don't need to VPN in, but just use the SIP /TLS features with my normal wireless connection and I'm there. I don't use my mobile phone to make calls any more when my PC is on, and the cost savings when I'm travelling and my phone is roaming will be huge.
So I need to get out on the road and demo this. Look out for our Unified Communications Unplugged tour coming in late October when you can see for yourself just how VOIP can liberate you from your desk.
Eileen Brown, Manager, IT Pro Evangelist team
Wed, Jul 25 2007 1:27 AM