With Microsoft's (News
) much anticipated Office Communications Server 2007 launched, the communications market has come face-to-face with the roll out of a burst of new solutions that take advantage of this platform and that bring unified communications to the forefront.
For more on the launch and significance of unified communications, I turned to Andy Mercker, Director of Marketing at Telrex (News
), a leading provider of IP
recording and monitoring software for small and medium businesses.
How important a role does unified communications play in the industry?
As it relates to the IP telephony industry from a vendor’s perspective, unified communications represents the next phase of IP telephony-based solutions. The first phase was converged networks, to simply converge voice and data onto a single network for cost savings and administration efficiencies.
The next phase, converged communications or “unified communications”, converges the various forms of communications (voice, email, video, instant messaging, etc.) into a more integrated system designed to enhance employee productivity.
Following closely is the phase of converged applications which embeds communications into business applications to create new business processes that ultimately enhance the performance of the business.
From an industry perspective, as we move through these phases of convergence, vendors are rapidly integrating capabilities as seen through new products as well as mergers and acquisitions throughout the industry.
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 is the latest of these solutions, and to us, represents an inflection point into the next phase of converged applications.
Do you offer/ plan to offer any solutions that support unified communications?
Yes, CallRex will support Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007. Additionally, CallRex provides IP call recording and monitoring for all of the leading IP telephony vendors.
For companies currently running an IP telephony system, CallRex will enable businesses interested in adding Microsoft unified communications to gain IP call recording and monitoring for voice calls to and from Office Communicator 2007 clients.
CallRex supports OCS 2007 as well as all of the leading IP telephony systems, so businesses that record and monitor calls today can seamlessly add Microsoft unified communications.
We see CallRex as a key enabler, because without call recording for OCS 2007, businesses that record and monitor phone calls today, or that plan to do so in the future, may otherwise choose not to migrate to Microsoft unified communications.
In addition, whether a company runs IP telephony or not, OCS represents an easy and affordable way to add IP communications to their environment. These companies stand to benefit from call recording as much as any other. Again, CallRex makes this possible.
What do you think will be most significant regarding Microsoft's upcoming OCS 2007 announcement for the IP communications industry?
The IP telephony industry has been rapidly transitioning from closed, propriety hardware systems to open, flexible software solutions. Microsoft is clearly accelerating this trend toward IP communications becoming a software application running on the data network.
Telrex’s CallRex platform is all software, operates in a Windows environment, and features an API
, so we have aligned with this trend from the beginning.
In your opinion, what is the most significant aspect of Microsoft OCS 2007?
With OCS 2007, Microsoft is moving to deeply embed communications into business applications, making the communications experience a seamless aspect of business processes. This is a jumping off point to new productivity enhancements for all types of businesses. Telrex welcomes this initiative. Call recording represents an important link between communications and business applications. With OCS 2007, we see that businesses will be well positioned to gain greater value from call recording and monitoring.
For every business, call recording creates a searchable, usable record of interactions offering valuable insights and information. Recorded calls create a business asset that can be leveraged in a variety of ways. This includes recording to comply with regulatory requirements, resolving customer disputes, improving customer service, accelerating employee training, and enhancing security. Call recording and monitoring create real value for any business. OCS 2007 will help accelerate how businesses leverage this value.
In what ways will the release of Microsoft OCS 2007 affect your market strategy?
Microsoft opens up a new channel to the business market for IP call recording and monitoring solutions. Microsoft Solutions Providers worldwide are quickly moving to embrace communications as a fundamental component of their value proposition.
CallRex IP call recording and monitoring software aligns seamlessly with Microsoft’s unified communications initiatives. CallRex is all software and runs in a Windows environment. In addition, the CallRex API enables custom integration of IP call recording and monitoring with business applications to meet customers’ unique needs.
As a result, Microsoft Solutions Providers throughout the world will find that CallRex offers an easy and affordable way to bring IP call recording and monitoring to their business customers.