Lab Test: Microsoft OCS 2007--Voice Communication for the Next Generation?
In lab testing, OCS demostrated scalability, at least for basic call handling, along with some cool new capabilities. But feature/function doesn't match the PBX, and latency proved less than ideal.
Microsoft Office Communication Server (OCS) is the evolution of Microsoft’s previous collaboration server, Microsoft Live Communication Server (LCS). While the main component of OCS is the backend server, the total experience is best perceived when immersed in a Microsoft environment. We looked at RTM (Release to Manufacturing, i.e., code given to OEM manufacturers) version of OCS with Microsoft Office Communicator, Office 2007, Exchange 2007 and some reference designs for Microsoft Certified Endpoints.
In the simplest of terms, OCS takes LCS and adds voice. However it is the way in which the voice options are presented to the users that highlight the direction Microsoft is taking in the UC market space. The clearest way to observe this new integration is to look at OCS when used within Microsoft Outlook 2007. However, before we delve into that area, it would be helpful to understand all the background pieces that need to be in place.
OCS will function best in a Microsoft environment, since it relies on services normally present on other servers such as Active Directory, DHCP, DNS, and SQL. In turn, plugging it in will enable many features which are scattered throughout other Microsoft products such as the presence indicators in Microsoft Office applications.