Not every company interested in buying their own Microsoft Office Communications Server can justify the $$$++ budget for it.
How much? Lots, depending on the size of the company. Thousands wouldn't be a stretch.
That's why hosted OCS would be a more practical model for so many enterprise users. Especially in the low end, from a few employees to at least in the few hundreds.
If you are trending "yes" with me so far, you might be interested that business email solutions and services provider Intermedia has just now formally introduced what they believe is the first Microsoft Office Communications Server hosted service.
Intermedia says that their service offers:
- Private, secure instant messaging, allowing companies to avoid the privacy and legal risks of staff using public instant messaging (IM) systems
- Presence integration across Communicator, Outlook and SharePoint, so free/busy status is always visible to colleagues and integrated with calendars
- Messages are saved, so IM conversations are searchable and stored for legal compliance
- PC-to-PC voice and video conferencing, as well as secure file transfers.
I'll bet you this much. Expect lots more hosted services of this type to be announced real, real soon.