I'm here in San Francisco attending the enterprise telephony-oriented VoiceCon 2007 conference.
This morning's keynote you may be most interested in is being delivered right now by Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Unified Communications Group. They're the folks responsible for MSFT's recently shipped, VoIP-enabled Office Communications Server 2007.
Number of companies who tested OCS prior to shipping represented eight million users.
He's big on the ability of "software-based VoIP to provision business processes and get great results."
Running quotes and paraphrases from Pall's talk, live from VoiceCon:
We believe unified communications helps drives better business outcomes. We believe it happens because of people. People are the ones that create value.
He mentioned the telecom professionals inside the enterprise, and explained the value proposition of software-centric telecommunications to them.
Most basic need is dialtone. It is a deficiency need. The next level is a telecom manager being required to prove the cost is worthwhile.
That is where a telecom manager is driving the business forward. The telecommanager has a seat at the table when the key business decisions are being made. We beleive a telecom manager has a seat at the table when that.. is being figured out. This is through software.
I will grant there is a healthy debate in the industry as to the nature of unified business communcations.
You have the telecom managers making sure the dialtone is always there, and then you have IT people who are responsible for each other. These people never talk to each other, but we believe software can help bridge that gap.
Making sure that voice is as easily available to you as data is a key step to bridging the gap.