Sametime vs. OCS Act II

Apparently my post comparing Sametime and OCS raised a few hairs. IBM PR dashed off an e-mail listing a bunch of points where they disagreed with the piece and the offering manager for IBM Lotus Real-Time Collaboration blogged about it as well.

Apparently my post comparing Sametime and OCS raised a few hairs. IBM PR dashed off an e-mail listing a bunch of points where they disagreed with the piece and the offering manager for IBM Lotus Real-Time Collaboration blogged about it as well. Thanks folk. Now here’s where they were right and wrong.

The post by Adam Gartenberg, the offering manager for IBM Lotus Real-Time Collaboration, was off in insinuating that I some how misrepresented the tenor of the original post. He wrote that

While platforms and systems are certainly important for us - making sure we can run across multiple client OS's, multiple server OS's, multiple mobile devices, and integrate across PBX systems - it would be incorrect to read into this that we are not taking a person-centric approach to this space, as well. I'm sure this wasn't intentional, but we're already seeing some confusion based on oversimplifying this to a "personal vs. platform" approach (such as this post over on ZDNet that a number of people forwarded on to me.)

I respect how in this presidential year, Adam would be concerned about Sametime being too pigeonholed even in a positive way, after all being a Clintonian isn't all that bad. Personally, I prefer the Obama approach and calling it for what it is -- inhaling and all. Read the two posts here and here and let me know if you think I went too over the top. And thank you Adam for helping me work politics into this technology blog.

As for the email, IBM PR listed a number of factual “errors” in the article, but nearly all hinged on whether you’re looking at the default configuration of Sametime or the entire Sametime environment. My blog post focused on Sametime only, not the entire eco-system, hence the confusion.

Here were the points made by IBM PR:

  • Sametime offers Exchange integration
  • Sametime is compatible with .Net
  • Call routing and switching are offered with SUT (Sametime Unified Telephony) and today with our integration partners.
  • Provides Multiparty video support
  • Supports SIP voice end points
  • Compatible with 3rd party telephones
  • Sametime offers custom presence status message
  • Integrates calendaring information
  • Set presence status to offline while online

Let’s look at each individually:

Sametime offers Exchange integration

Not exactly. Sametime integrates with Outlook, not with Exchange. While Sametime can sync with Outlook, Sametime can’t use Exchange as a message store, for example, or tie into scheduling information through Exchange.

Sametime is compatible with .Net

Not out of the box. Sametime can integrated with .Net through third-party APIs.

Call routing and switching are offered with SUT (Sametime Unified Telephony) and today with our integration partners.

I confess this was a tricky one. The blog post summarized another article, which did not cover SUT and as such accurately reflected that story’s point that Sametime did not offer call routing and switching. However, my earlier post on SUT referenced in the blog, did note that SUT offered call routing and switching. I could have done a better job highlighting those differences in the story.

Provides Multiparty video support

Only provided through partners and not out of the box.

Supports SIP voice end points.

Only through third-parties not and not out of the box.

Compatible with 3rd party telephones

Not quite. One couldn’t take a Grandstream phone and have it work with Sametime out of the box. IBM say its addressing that issue with partners and the impending release of SUT, which will allow any third-party phone to connect to a Sametime server.

Sametime offers custom presence status message

Sametime offers custom presence status messages of sort, but they’re different from OCS. With OCS, status messages can be edited directly on in screen. With SameTime, you need to select a menu option and open a form.

Integrates Outlook and Notes calendaring information

The difference lies in how one understands integration. When an organization has deployed Exchange, it’s use of OCS is indicated in the Exchange calendar. That’s not the case with Notes. On the other hand, Sametime does pull calendaring information from the Notes environment as it does with Outlook.

Users can set presence status to offline while online

IBM allows you to define a list of users who can or can’t see your online status. It doesn’t, however, allow users to set a status notification to invisible to temporary prevent other approved users from seeing that they are online.

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