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VoiceCon Keynotes: Round One to Microsoft

Maybe it's because I heard a lot of Charlie Giancarlo's messages at the Avaya analyst meeting last month. Or maybe it's because even Charlie seemed uncomfortable talking to slides with layered architecture diagrams about product features. But having sat in the first few rows, center stage for both presentations, to borrow a boxing analogy, I give the round to Microsoft.I'm not talking about the product capabilities of each vendor. That's another subject entirely. I am talking about the ability of each vendor to fill 45-60 minutes of main stage time engaging the audience. Betsy Frost Webb talked a little, brought up a couple of customers for Q&A, talked a little more, did a demo, and wrapped up. She even managed to remind people, in an interesting way, to visit the Microsoft booth to see some of the other OCS 2007 R2 features in action.

Demos can be deadly, and the selection of an audio conference would seem to be a tough one to make exciting. But in the 5-7 minutes, Eric Swift did manage to get a couple of oohs and ahs from the audience. I particularly liked the way OCS 2007 R2 can authenticate users against the corporate Active Directory before allowing them conference access. It's a nice way of tying together Microsoft's core products with their foray into UC.

Interesting note: unlike earlier Microsoft presentations at VoiceCon, the importance of partners was not highlighted. No mention of Nortel or Aspect or anyone else by name.