Interesting enough this week is kickoff week at e-office to implement Office Communications Server R2 RTM (OCS2007 R2) in our production environment!
As innovative partner (Gold) and very early adopter of the RTM bits we started yesterday to make our Functional Design (FD), Technical Design (TD) and Implementation Specifications (IM) for OCS2007 R2 RTM.
I really suggest to make a proper design before implementing OCS2007 R2 into your infrastructure. If you need any help btw please contact me and I will help you implementing it. At least my advice ;-)
Below my vision about the strategy to implement OCS2007 R2:
Step 1. Make a proper Functional Design (FD) before starting with the technical part. Make sure you describe the functionality users have after implementing OCS2007 R2. How they can use it and in special why?
Step 2. Make a proper Technical Design (TD) before starting the hands-on part. Make sure you describe the technical overview and please do not avoid details (OCS Topology, roles, consolidation of roles, ADS-domain structures, sa-accounts etc etc)
Step 3. Activity Plan (AP) before hitting the install button. Who is prepping the Schema, Forest and Domain? Who is making the SA-accounts? Review your FD and TD before proceeding.
Step 4. The first part will be prep your Schema, Forest and Domain. Before you start the process of preparing Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, ensure that your Active Directory infrastructure meets the prerequisites. More information will be available very soon.
Step 5. The second part. Before you deploy Office Communications Server R2, you must prepare Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS). Active Directory preparation includes schema preparation, forest preparation, and domain preparation. After that install the right version of OCS2007 R2 Standard or Enterprise Edition.
Step 6. The third part. Every deployment at a customer side is different. In a Greenfield situation (no OCS2007 R2 at all) I really suggest deploying the OCS2007 R2 Edge Role to expose your OCS2007 R2 functionality to the Internet. Especially useful when information workers are at home (without VPN or so), would like to have virtual meeting with Live Meeting etc. e-office will absolutely deploy this role! In situations where LCS2005SP1/OCS 2007 is deployed go back to the drawing table. Most of the features in OCS2007 are back in OCS2007 R2 (all of them are improved) and lots of extra software (Archiving, Monitoring Server, Mediation)
Step 7. Decide which additional software roles you would like to deploy. Some options for your consideration list. Group Chat Server (Group Chatting in different virtual rooms sharing content together, and fully manageable by your Group Chat Administration Tool).
Interface 1: OCS2007 R2 Group Chat Administration Tool.
Interface 2: OCS2007 R2 Group Chat Console for end-users:
Interface 3. OCS2007 R2 Attendant Console
Manage your calls, send instant messages and see who is online using Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Attendant.
After login: ;-)
A really nice functionality is ofcourse Communicator Web Access 2007 R2. Today we deployed the new CWA side by side to our old one and see some very nice improvements. Check out this:
Interface 4. The new CWA Login Page
As e-office we also deployed Group Chat Server. My first impression if really outstanding. We had some struggles installing the OCS2007 R2 Group Chat Server, we bring all the brilliance together and figure out it was asking for a certificate with a Private Key to exchange keys correctly.
Interface 5: Group Chat Administration Tool
Interface 6: Group Chat Console
Just to give you the first experience. More technical articles posted this month. Stay tuned and feel free to ask about the functionality, deployment pattern's, design scenario's etc etc.