Friday, September 7, 2007

Microsoft UC Vision Team Meeting

A few months back I was invited to join the Microsoft Canada Unified Communications Vision Team. It's basically a forum to provide insights about their unified communications initiatives from people following this space. Most vendors have forums or councils like this, and I think it's a great to way create a dialog with the outside world, and I'm glad to be part of it.

Yesterday I attended my first group meeting at Microsoft Canada's offices. They usually do these as a conference call, but the in-person setting is so much more engaging - good idea. The Vision Team draws from all kinds of spaces, including academia, but also telecom consultants of various stripes. I was the only analyst and blogger in the room - at least from what I could tell - and it was great to hear all the different points of view about what Microsoft is doing, and what unified communications means to each of us.

Lots of talk about end user experiences, and we all shared our personal regimes of the devices and applications we use on a daily basis. That was fun, and it sounds like the Microsoft team - Bryan Rusche and Erin Elofson - had lots of good takeaways.

I'm looking forward to continuing with this group, and I know there will be some tangible outputs that will help Microsoft better sell its vision to enterprises.

I'll leave you with a few photos, via my Nokia N93, of the meeting and the demos we saw.


Bryan and Erin demonstrating a typical UC session. Using presence, they see each is available, so they start to IM chat. This gets escalated to a video call, and you can see here Bryan in the larger picture, and Erin in the tiny picture embedded in Bryan's screen view.


Demo of Live Meeting and Roundtable, which is their 360 degree view of the room, split across multiple screen images. This will be launching later this month, so stay tuned.

This photo doesn't do much justice to the concept. I attended a more extensive demo of Roundtable this summer, and for a better look at this, have a look at my post and video segment of the demo.


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1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Roberta Fox

Jon: good notes and picture, and yes, as the only other analyst at the meeting it was interesting to have Microsoft have this session, and particularly with the diverse cross-section of participants. It will be interesting to see how much of the various perspectives they leverage for this portfolio of products.

Particularly thought provoking will be to see how an an IT software company they develop stable, reliable unified messaging platforms that can interoperate with telecom CPE equipment (whether new or legacy IP-based PBXs). We look forward to testing them in our "Living emerging technology lab" at FOX HOLLOW in the future.