Microsoft Announces Microsoft Communications Server “14”

Microsoft officially released more details today on the next release of OCS (further to the previous post on OCS in 2010 – The UC 14 Wave). The details were made in a keynote presentation by Gurdeep Singh Pall (VP Communications Group, Microsoft) at VoiceCon 2010 in Orlando.

The next release is code named “Microsoft Communications Server 14” (notice the word “Office” has been dropped from the server product name).

Here is a breakdown of some of the features talked about today:

  1. Location Awareness Capabilities:
    • Built into the next release of Communicator (Wave 14) and used by OCS on the server-side.
    • Location information can be manually set by the user, or it can be auto-set on the corporate LAN.
    • The location information can be sent on the SIP channel and used for 911 features.
  2. Native E911 Support (in Microsoft Communications Server 14).
    • Uses location information supplied by a new Integrated Location Information Server Role (LIS).
  3. Tighter integration with SharePoint, Exchange, and Office.
  4. SharePoint Integration:
    • New Communicator “skill search” functionality built into the next release of Communicator that searches SharePoint profiles to find people with the skills you are looking for.
    • Initiate audio and video communication directly from SharePoint search results.
    • Phonetic based search in Communicator to locate associated SharePoint information.
  5. Voicemail Features:
    • Visual voicemail capabilities directly integrated into Communicator 14.
    • Multi-language translation capabilities (with Exchange 2010 voicemail integration).
    • Ability to jump to a specific point in voicemail.
  6. Call Admission Control:
    • The ability to use bandwidth information and policies to know if a video call can be initiated.
  7. Branch Office Survivability:
    • Several Microsoft Partners (i.e. AudioCodes, Dialogic, Ferrari electronic AG, HP, and NET) announced Branch Appliances that provide local telephony services in the event of a wide area network failure.

Additional Information

The Microsoft TechDays 2010 Introduction to Microsoft Communications Server “W14″ video has more information on the client and the server.

For more information, including screenshots of what the new Communicator looks like, see Microsoft’s Communications Server “14″ product information page and Microsoft’s OCS Next Generation web site.

Good industry coverage with more screens shots:

See all the recent Microsoft Communications Server “14″ Partner solution announcements here: PARTNERS ANNOUNCE SOLUTIONS TO COMPLEMENT MICROSOFT COMMUNICATIONS SERVER “14”.

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