Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Supported Server Role Collocation within OCS 2007 R2

This blogpost identifies the Office Communications Server R2 components that can be collocated on the same computer and the components that explicitly cannot be collocated.

Any combination that is not identified has not been tested and is not supported.

Please be aware this is preliminary documentation and is subject to change.

Source: link

Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) Program for Office Communications Server 2007

Source: Office Communications Server Blog special thanks to Adrian Maclean

With the recent release of the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) Program for Office Communications Server 2007 and as the Program Manager responsible for its launch this year I wanted to provide a little more information about the program, its focus and what you can expect should you attend one of the forthcoming deliveries or ‘rotations’ as they are termed.

If you follow the activities on the Exchange team blog you may have seen a recent post by Greg Taylor talking about the launch of the MCM Program for Exchange 2007. In this post Greg also gives some good background on the Ranger program in which Master has its roots so I shan’t cover that ground again except to say that with the launch of the MCM Program for OCS 2007 we are creating a training and certification offering for OCS 2007 and OCS 2007 R2 that is fortunate to share the same heritage, goals and high bar that made Ranger the huge success it was.

Who is the program targeted at?

Common to all the Masters series (Exchange, SharePoint, Windows Directory and SQL) the OCS program is not aimed at newcomers to the product. We are targeting those that already have considerable hands on experience with LCS and OCS. This doesn’t mean to say that they have spent time setting environments up in a lab but rather that they have designed and built real world deployments either for their own enterprise or as a consultant for their customers. To help illustrate the sort of experience we are looking for a number of sample applications can be reviewed here. We are targeting the top 1% of the OCS experienced IT Pros so this program really isn’t for everyone.

We appreciate that given the relatively small numbers of deployments of LCS (when compared to products like Exchange) and the short time that OCS has been available the pre-requisites outlined will be challenging to achieve for many but there is method in the madness. By defining some pretty exacting entry requirements I’m trying to ensure your best possible chance of success – so if these requirements put you off applying then the program probably isn’t for you at this time. If however, you feel that you genuinely have what it takes then we’d love to have you sign up.

What do I get for my money?

The first thing that I should announce here is that the first public rotation in March is half price (the January rotation shown on the website is a dry run for the development team, very much an alpha and as such isn’t available externally). That’s right folks – for one time only you get the chance to attend the OCS Master program for half the normal program fee! The rotation in March is a public beta so you can expect that we will still be ironing out some kinks in the program but on the flip side we will still very much be in the program development and review phases and so keen to gather feedback and ideas on how to make the final shape of the program even better.

The next piece of good news is that we are offering the June rotation at a 30% discount off the normal program fee if you apply before February 14th 2009. This amounts to a discount of $5550. See here for more information on the conditions of this offer.

The program is a huge cross group effort within Microsoft and the instruction team that we’re assembling represents some of the very best field, support and product group based knowledge of OCS available today and between them we have developed a comprehensive and technically challenging curriculum that explores the product to an incredible level of detail. There is information here that you just won’t find elsewhere and what is more the individuals delivering the sessions are amongst Microsofts and our Partners most experienced and battle scarred consultants who bring unique, real world perspectives to round out the technical side of the materials. Many of the instructors will be well know to you from their blogging and community efforts.

You’ll get long days of detailed instruction (most days are 8am to 7pm in class), individual and group activities, over 20 hands on activities and a substantial lab environment to enable to you to really drill into scenarios and components that you would either never have the time, infrastructure or teaching support to do otherwise.

Will I learn how to make phones ring?

Up to a point. One of the most important things to understand about the program is that it isn’t all about voice. Voice is of course a core component to the product and as such also to the program and we build on the work that other readiness programs such as Voice Ignite are doing and provide another level of detail to the technology whilst then presenting you with some of the most complex voice designs that the Microsoft field have encountered giving you the opportunity to develop and practice your capabilities on real world designs and in a complex lab environment that includes a complex telephony infrastructure. Yet our goal remains to cover the breadth of the product recognising that customers deploy OCS in different ways for different reasons. Some want instant messaging and presence whilst others are looking to reduce travel costs by deploying conferencing solutions. To reflect this diversity of requirements we cover all the components and modalities in detail.

So what will I learn?

Here is a quick overview of how the three weeks of training are made up.

In week one we first drill into the dependencies of OCS. As a graduate of the Exchange Ranger program I am a strong believer in fundamentals and dependencies. If you don’t understand the protocols, services and infrastructures upon which your solution depends then you can have little hope of being a credible consultant when deployments run into technical difficulties and require a depth of understanding that enables a root cause to be quickly established and rectified or how to understand how infrastructure dependencies impact design decisions. We move onto IM and presence looking in detail at how the heart of OCS works from both a server and a client perspective. Building on this we then drill into conferencing from both detailed technical and architectural perspectives.

Week two is mainly about voice and all that entails. Some of the most exciting sessions here let you explore real world complex voice designs and really get into what it takes to get design and deploy these. We also look at video and video interoperability with other vendors and then what it takes to design and deploy edge infrastructures.

Bringing it all together in week three we look at broader architecture and operational issues such as high availability, disaster recovery, monitoring and capacity planning.

One final area that I felt strongly about including in the curriculum was application integration. One of the strengths of the Microsoft UC platform are the integration possibilities for existing line of business or newly developed custom applications. Where carefully scoped and executed such integrations can drive considerable returns for our customers and it was with this in mind we have ensured you will learn how to identify and, at a high level, architect solutions based on our range of APIs and development environments. Will we turn you into coders? No – that isn’t the aim but we will make sure you understand the ‘art of the possible’ with the tools at your disposal.

Throw all that together with lots of class discussion, white boarding and hands on time and you’ve got a feel for what you’ll be getting.

One other comment – we cover both OCS 2007 and R2 in the instruction although the focus is primarily on R2.

Despite the structure of the curriculum around you there is only one person that is in charge of your learning ‘experience’ – you. We will provide you with the tools, information, environments and training to become the most highly skilled and qualified OCS consultants on the planet but it is entirely down to you as to how much value you derive from these elements at your disposal. You will get as much from the program as you put in in terms of time, effort, attention and sheer determination. Given that you will also be bringing experience of your own you will also be expected to contribute for the benefit of the group. The rotations typically will include people from around the globe who have each faced different challenges and have different experiences that are valuable to share and so working with each other and as a team will ensure your own best possible chances of success.

How do I get the experience necessary?

You need to have the exams listed on the website on your transcript for starters and you really need to be in a delivery role. By this I mean that you are actively engaged in the design and deployment of OCS infrastructures rather than simply supporting an existing deployment. So if this isn’t you today you will probably not be accepted onto the program as we will ask for a resume that illustrates your real world experience and if you don’t have the experience we won’t accept your application. Again, I’m doing my best here to ensure your best possible chance for success rather than being difficult for the sake of it. Getting into programs such as Voice and OCS ignite will certainly help but real hands on experience is key. Also, don’t send me a fictitious resume – if you make it into the program and fail you’ve wasted a lot of your time and money. I really don’t want anyone to be in that position.

What about that Voice Specialisation Exam?

This exam (88-924) is due to be re-released in January 2009. You will need to take and pass this exam as a pre-requisite of attendance for the June 2009 (RTM) rotation. Due to the timing of this exam only being available in January we will not be enforcing it as a pre-requisite for attendance in the March (public beta) rotation.

How will I benefit?

Here I’m going to call out some of the same things that Greg mentioned in his Exchange blog


You are going to get three weeks of the best training on OCS available. Period. That does count for a hell of a lot and will help you build your credibility as a true subject matter expert.


You will have a recognised certification which demonstrates that you’ve been trained, tested and found to meet or exceed a bar that ensures you are the best out there. Others can say they’re the best, and who knows they might be, but you’ve got a cert to prove it.


Despite the OCS MCM program being new to the Masters series we already have an awesome and growing community that spans our instructors, the MS field, the UC Product Group and the support side of the organisation. For me this is probably the most critical component of Ranger that we are bringing to Master. The strength of the community of certified individuals and handpicked MS and Partner experts has a unique value all of its own. I’ve seen the Ranger community have a hugely positive impact on Exchange as a product over the years. It is my goal that the OCS Master should do the same for OCS.

Continued Education

In line with the other Masters programs we will have a number of annual training events to enable you to keep up with the latest and greatest. We will also feature sessions with the PMs and others that can bring specific knowledge to bear on different subjects.

What are the tests?

There are four. Three are written and one is lab based. You have to pass all of them to certify.

What if I fail?

Good question – given the depth and breadth of skills required to pass it is entirely possible you will fail the program at the first attempt. If that happens we will work with you to help you understand your weaknesses so that you can work on those and provide mechanisms for retakes of the exams and lab.

Once I’m a Master what’s next?

Wow – you’re keen. Becoming a Master in OCS is a pre-requisite to the forthcoming Microsoft Certified Architect in Office Communications Server 2007 certification. I don’t have a date for you right now on when we’ll be bringing this program on stream but it will most likely be the first half of 2009. I’ll post more information once it’s available.

How will the program evolve?

As we head towards Wave 14 we will be building an upgrade path for Masters that certify on OCS 2007/R2 to enable them keep their certification up to date. I will also be working with the growing Masters community to drive value back into the product and the wider IT Pro community by authoring blog posts based on the lab work and personal assignments they complete during the rotations.

Where do I sign up?

We have seats available in the March and June rotations so if you think ‘It’s time to be a Master’ then sign up here. If you have questions about the program please mail me directly – admac at you-know-where and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

37 days before worldwide release OCS 2007 R2 RTM

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 RTM will be released within 37 days from now. The product is already RTM but is public available from 3rd of Feb 2009. This announcement will not forbid you to start off to plan your OCS 2007 R2 migration or OCS 2007 R2 setup as "Greenfield" solution. When looking on the Internet more closely you will find some wonderful support articles and OCS documents to help with your migration/setup.

The following updates are required for OCS 2007 and OCS 2007 R2 interoperability. 



Even interesting are the links for:

NOTE: This is preliminary documentation and is subject to change.

Proof of Concept for Unified Communications: Voice Datasheet

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The Proof of Concept for Unified Communications: Voice offering provides customers with a design and production proof of concept (POC) of a Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 voice solution. The offering provides a prescriptive methodology to design and pilot the capabilities with minimal effect on the customer’s existing environment. The offering provides the delivery team with the deliverables and processes to implement a successful POC.

Architecture and Design for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Datasheet

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cayman for Kids

Language: Dutch (Cayman for Kids Day)

image Vandaag was de grote dag. De Cayman for Kids kreeg vandaag echt gestalte. Vanmorgen vroeg vol spanning naar Pon Automotive in Leusden. Het gekraai van imageonze zoon vanmorgen om 06:00 kon op geen beter moment komen. Vandaag was de dag voor papa! Veelal sta ik met pest in mijn lijf om 06:00 op! Vandaag voelde dat toch echt anders. Goed nu actie. In de auto om 08:10 om maar op tijd te zijn in Leusden.

 image Eenmaal aangekomen stonden de bolides al te fonkelen in de ochtendmist. Wat een prachtige wagens overal. Wat wel echt typisch is dat je alleen maar Volkswagenmannentjes ziet. Alleen maar dikke GTi’s/R32/R36 nieuwe Passat Coupes/Chirocco en ga zo maar door. Eenmaal binnen bij Porsche Import komt een duidelijke rust over je heen. Tot in de puntjes verzorgt en super vriendelijk te woord gestaan. De dame achter de balie gaf mij duidelijke instructies waar ik naartoe moest lopen. Gang uit, trap op, derde deur links, vierde rechts..... wat? Nou, gewoon proberen maar! Al gauw na 5 minuten zoeken kwam ik tot de conclusie dat ik Porsche Import niet kon vinden. imageJe gaat dan al gauw aan jezelf twijfelen. Is het nou te vroeg, is zij nou onduidelijk, ben ik onduidelijk??? Nee, meneer Farla moest gewoon niet overal blijven staan. Dikke Carrera GT’s, Turbo, GT3, GT3 RS, Boxsters. Al om al alles boven de 100k aan euro’s ;-). Quite impressive. 

image Inmiddels had ik Porsche Import gevonden en begonnen bij mij de zenuwen echt parte te spelen. De prachtige bolide werd inmiddels vanuit mijn ooghoek de “hangar” uitgereden. Wat een prachtige en bijzondere auto. Vreemd genoeg kwam ik binnen met; “jij bent vast in dienst van Hameeteman”??! De man van de nieuwe GT2 (man Roland je hebt een naam daar!). Na wat formaliteiten begon het echte avontuur.

Met zweethandjes en een sleutel in mijn zak van een auto van ruim 83k begin je toch aan jezelf te twijfelen (zal ik er geen deuk in rijden?, lukt mij dit wel?).image

Na een korte instructie in waar zit het contact (links bij een porsche) ging ik op pad. Met een hoop gerommel en gepruttel verliet ik Leusden tussen de weilanden door. Man ik voelde mij koning op de weg. Het is een auto om te zien en gezien te worden. Alle mannen boven de 18 heb je gewoon met zo’n auto. Er zit haast geen maximum in leeftijd (een oude man achter mij begon zelfs een beetje te slingeren). Ging verder goed met hem hoor.

image Toen op weg naar Waddinxveen om mijn vader op te halen welke al klaarstond met een bak koffie om even tot rust te komen. Pfff wat een indrukken. Al gauw na 10 minuten stonden we weer buiten om te gaan rijden. Terug naar Utrecht en bij Bunnik er af. Kort koffie en weer door. Na de koffie terug naar de Meern (mijn vrouw even een ritje aangeboden naar Woerden en weer terug), vader opgepikt en oude pand van e-office laten zien in Huis ter Heide. Vanuit Huis ter Heide (via Houten) naar Amersfoort en door naar Almere Hout. Toen was het weer tijd om terug naar huis te gaan. image Met top 193 op de teller en 5500 rpm terug naar huis. Er zit zoveel vermogen in die auto dat je eigenlijk laat gaat schakelen. Optrekken tot 4500-5000 rpm – in zijn 1 (70km/pu), bij 5000-5500 schaken naar 2 (door naar 115km/pu), dan naar 3 door naar 6000 rpm (155km/pu) – toen maar ff inhouden zoals je zult begrijpen. Had onder mijn hand nog een 4 en 5 over. Ook deze versnellingen hadden elk weer een prachtig geluid. Mijn voorkeur gaat uit naar in zijn 3 tussen 5500-6500 rpm en 4 – 160> km/pu. Dan komt deze auto pas echt tot zijn recht.

We moesten de auto schoon en afgetankt afleveren in Leusden. Dus wij al trotse eigenaars van een Porsche naar buiten om de P schoon te maken. Wat een aandacht, oe a wat mooi enzo ;-). Gewoon genieten.

Op weg naar Leusden tot nog even terug schakelen naar 3, boem wat geluid. Nu snap ik het wel dat Porsche bezitters hun auto parkeren op 2 parkeerplaatsen in een parkeergarage. Daar wil je echt geen deur in hebben.

Met ruim 550 km op de teller en 5:15 uur in de auto gezeten te hebben met een gemiddeld gebruik van 10.2 ltr op 100 km hadden wij een heerlijke dag. Ik wil iedereen ook namens mijn vader hartelijk danken voor deze geweldige dag. Wij dragen ook het goede doel een warm hart toe.


NB: ook onze naam stond op de auto echter bij een eerdere kleine aanrijding was onze naam verdwenen. Nu staan we er weer terug op! Op de motorkap. ;-)

Joachim en Rene Farla 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 Hotfix KB 949280

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Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 Hotfix KB 957465

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 sent of to RTM


Just to clarify. Currently only Voice Ready for Microsoft Office Communicator partners can use the R2 RTM bits in production.

This partners will have the bits (R2 RTM) 6 weeks earlier before the official launch at the 3rd of Feb 2009. Customers are not be able to use or buy R2 before the 3rd of Feb 2009.

Source:Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 will be sent off to manufacturing on Dec. 19th and will have a worldwide virtual launch on Feb. 3rd, 2009”

Important Mitel Live Business Gateway 3.1 Patch Release


Mitel Live Business Gateway 3.1 Patch Release


Mitel is pleased to announce the general availability (GA) of a patch release for Mitel Live Business Gateway
release 3.1. This patch release adds a number of important enhancements to Live Business Gateway release 3.1
providing improved integration between Mitel 3300 IP Communications platform (ICP) and Microsoft Office
Communications Server (OCS) 2007. The Live Business Gateway release 3.1 patch release will be generally
available from December 15, 2008. Read this entire article to read  exactly what the new features and benefits are. Special thanks to my buddy John de Breij,

Mitel Benelux & Nordics
e-mail: john_de_breij@mitel.com

Product Overview / Features & Benefits / Description

Live Business Gateway allows the OCS 2007 to communicate with a 3300 ICP and enables a user to place and receive calls from the
Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 via a Mitel IP desktop phone. It also provides Communicator 2007 and the Microsoft Office system with the telephony status of enterprise users. The combination of OCS 2007 and Live Business Gateway enhances information worker productivity and greatly improves business process efficiencies by combining a wide range of collaboration tools with Mitel’s trusted IP
telephony solution.

Live Business Gateway release 3.1 provides standards-based (SIP/CSTA) connectivity to Office Communications Server 2007 via a single platform design.

Live Business Gateway release 3.1 provides access to key business resources in the moment they are needed, resulting in faster decision making and issue resolution by integrating the 3300 ICP with OCS 2007 and Communicator 2007.

Please refer to the Live Business Gateway release 3.1 bulletin PB20070153 and the Live Business Gateway product overview and data
sheet available from Mitel OnLine (MOL) for more details.
Live Business Gateway 3.1 Patch Release

The Live Business Gateway 3.1 patch release adds support for a number of important features:

Single Step Transfer
The single step transfer mechanism was changed between LCS 2005 and OCS 2007, as a result Live Business Gateway 3.1 was not
able to able to support single step transfer. This issue has been resolved with the Live Business Gateway 3.1 patch release.
There are now two ways to transfer a call using Live Business Gateway:

Single step transfer (blind transfer)

• During an active call, in the conversation window, click the transfer icon
• Select the transfer option
• Enter a phone number or select the contact to who you want to transfer the call
• Click OK to complete the call transfer

Consultation transfer

• During an active call, start a second call by entering a number or selecting a name from the main Communicator window and
pressing enter. The first call is put on hold,
and a second conversation window opens for the new call
• When the called party answers, transfer the call by clicking the transfer icon and selecting the name and number of the original

Incoming Digit Modification

This is a new feature within Live Business Gateway. This feature has been added to provide improved deployment options within an
OCS 2007 and Microsoft Exchange environment where reverse number lookup can be a problem due to the different number formats used by OCS 2007 and Exchange. While this is not really a Live Business Gateway problem, Live Business Gateway can add value by providing an incoming digit modification feature.
The number format for incoming calls can be modified by Live Business Gateway, this can be used to convert a number into E.164 format or to amend / append digits to an existing E.164 number. A new incoming digit modification (IDM) tab has been added to the Windows® and Mitel Standard Linux (MSL) control panel tablet. Each ICP programmed has its own inbound digit modification list.
A link has been added to the ICP list to manage incoming digit modification.
A new rule has been added to the end of the list.
The administrator has the ability to move the rule up and down.
The new incoming digit modification tab is similar to the ICP tab with the add, remove, modify, move up, and move down buttons.
These buttons are disabled when the service is running.
The new incoming digit modification tab is shown below. The diagram below shows the interface for Windows, a similar tab is available for MSL environments. For full configuration and programming details please see the Live Business Gateway 3.1 Installation &
Maintenance guide available from MOL.

Improvements to the Outgoing Digit Modification Table

The Live Business Gateway 3.1 patch release contains an enhancement to the existing digit modification tab. This is to provide more
flexibility for digit manipulation especially in E.164 or Microsoft Exchange environments, Exchange and OCS 2007 support different
E.164 number formats.
Exchange stores internal numbers as E.164 global numbers.
In order for Live Business Gateway to dial global E164 numbers as internal numbers, a change to the Live Business Gateway digit
modification table has been made.

Administrator programs the following DigitMod pair:
The leading digits field is 1613592
The replacement digits field is left blank
If the administrator does not want Live Business Gateway to apply ARS digits to the outgoing number that matches the rule, then the "ignore ARS digits" check box is checked.
If there is a request (say, MakeCall) for "tel:+16135925660"
Since the replacement digits is blank, Live Business Gateway will strip "1613592" from the TEL URI ==> "5660" and treat it as an
internal number. ARS will NOT be applied to this number.
The call will be attempted for "5660" without any further modification.
The new improved digit modification tab is displayed below.


For full configuration and programming details please see the Live Business Gateway 3.1 Installation & Maintenance guide available
from MOL.

Support for Dual Forking with Remote Call Control (RCC)

Dual forking with remote call control (RCC) is targeted at users who want the combination of using their Communicator client with a Mitel desk phone when based in the office or at their home location (using a Mitel Teleworker Solution phone) and using Communicator
as a SIP softphone when travelling or away from their desk phone.
When the user selects “computer mode” for softphone selection, the audio is handled by the computers audio devices (speaker /
headset / microphone). When the user selects “phone mode” for integration with the Mitel desk phone, the audio is handled through the 3300 ICP and the Mitel desk phone.
When a Communicator user is configured for dual forking with RCC, the Communicator user can toggle between their preferred mode of operation depending on their location.
The reference to dual forking is due to the fact that a call presented to a user's desk phone is "forked" using Mitel Unified
Communicator® (UC) Mobile (formerly Mitel Mobile Extension) technology to the user's Communicator softphone, in addition a call presented to a user's Communicator softphone is also "forked" by OCS 2007 so that the call is also presented to the user's Mitel IP phone.
The diagram below shows the connectivity diagram.

When a call is received, the Communicator softphone and the Mitel desk phone will ring simultaneously. A single incoming call
notification (also known as a "toast") will be presented to the user's personal computer (PC) showing the name and / or telephone number of the caller*. When the user clicks “answer call” , the user’s preferred calling device will answer the call.
Dual forking with RCC is supported using a combination of the 3300 ICP release 8.0 UR3 and above, UC Mobile release 1.6 and
above, Live Business Gateway 3.1 patch release and Direct SIP connectivity between the 3300 ICP and the Microsoft Mediation server.
The Microsoft Mediation server software is provided by Microsoft as part of the OCS 2007 solution.
In order to support dual forking with RCC, the Communicator client has to "merge" the two incoming calls presented from the 3300 ICP.
For the Communicator client to be able to "merge" the two incoming calls, the calling device ID from both the Live Business Gateway and SIP trunk has to be the same. Since the calling device ID must be in E.164 format, Live Business Gateway is now able to modify the incoming digit format so that it is in E.164 format and matches the incoming digit format of the call being presented from the 3300 ICP across the SIP trunk. The "add +" check box within the incoming digit modification table should be checked if dual forking with RCC is required.
* If the incoming call is presented without the calling line identification (CLI), then two incoming call notifications will be presented to the user. To answer the call using the Mitel phone select the incoming call notification that displays “unidentified caller". To answer the call using the Communicator softphone select the incoming call notification that displays “+ xxxxxx”
Full configuration and set up details for implementing dual forking with remote call control will be available in a Knowledge Base article (08-4355-00001) that will be posted to MOL.

Upgrading to Live Business Gateway

Existing Live Business Gateway customers can upgrade to release free of charge. Release is available as a software
download from MOL from December 1, 2008.
Please see the Live Business Gateway release 3.1 Installation & Maintenance guide and MSL Installation and Administration Guide
available from MOL for full upgrade instructions and configuration details.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Interoute: Best Practice Sales Reference Study


3487c6d[1] "Special tenx to Nelson Tavares da Silva - Account Director Interoute (Amsterdam) more information review his LinkedIn profile: link"

1 Customer: DQ&A clip_image001[6]

Products: Interoute One and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007


2 Business background

DQ&A are an international on-line advertising company. They place advertising campaigns, at the right time, live on the website of the client. Results are then scanned and feedback and advice is given about the most popular banners, as well as which advertisement space is hot. DQ&A clients include MSN, AOL, Marktplaats, Hyves and Ilse Media. The company has offices in São Paulo, Cape Town, Stockholm, Madrid and Hamburg, and is headquartered in Voorburg, the Netherlands.

3 Business Drivers

DQ&A are serving customers from branch offices all over the world on a 24/7 base. They are looking to become the European market leader in Ad Operations and are expanding in to new markets in Southern Europe, North and South America at a great pace. Their main business driver is to reduce the costs of international calls and make more effective use of Microsoft OCS which is already used in some sites.

4 Challenges

During early 2008, DQ&A started its search for a new solution to replace their existing fixed line telephony which they currently use for all international calls. DQ&A are expanding fast and require a cost effective and easy to implement solution in many countries that will reduce the cost of International and between office calls.

‘Making international calls over fixed lines is still very expensive. But that’s not all. We are a fast growing organisation and we don’t want to be limited, as you are with fixed telephony, by the limitations of a PABX,’ said Peter van Wingerden, CEO of DQ&A.

5 Solution

Interoute One is the business quality and fully secure alternative for Skype-alike VoIP services. It adds telephony to the digital business environment, making the expensive and traditional PABX obsolete. An additional advantage of Interoute One is the unlimited availability of telephone numbers.

Interoute One works with IT standards like Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS) and makes VoIP as easy to manage and as cost effective as e-mail. OCS combines all forms of communication like chat, VoIP, audio, video and web conferencing in one user friendly system. All incoming and outgoing phone calls between offices and business partners who are using the OCS platform are free. Calls to fixed and mobile numbers are at competitive rates.


Good early dialogue with the DQ&A IT department ensured the project started quickly. Within a few months Interoute One was up-and-running. As DQ&A was already using an office system from the Microsoft family, the integration with Outlook, for example, was very simple and quick to do.

Peter Van Wingerden: ‘Interoute One is very quick to install. There were of course some small problems like there always are during any implementation. They didn’t hurt us however and within a few weeks the problems were solved.

For the mean time, due to customer choice, the new and old system is running in parallel. This is not an ideal situation and also more expensive for the customer.

Peter Van Wingerden: ‘The moment we stop using fixed landlines is a big step forwards for us as we will become totally dependent from the new system and it will also require a big culture change. We will move from the old system to the new one as soon as our employees feel comfortable with the new way of communication.

6 Results

DQ&A can make substantial savings on international phone calls with no degradation in quality. DQ&A can also have real time video conferences with for example their Hamburg office.

Peter Van Wingerden: ‘At European level, video conferencing has a perfect signal. There is no delay between speech and video image.’

Peter Van Wingerden thinks that Interoute One is the future. ‘The popularity of the system is growing and growing. It is more than normal that a technology company like us are is using this new technology. Our expectation is that we will save at least a minimum of 20% on our telephone cost in 2009 but I think it will be much more.’

Peter Van Wingerden: Return on investment and total cost of ownership are hard to present yet as we have just started a few months ago. But so far we are very pleased with how it goes and we have great faith in the product.

7 Sales approach

It all started with a good relationship between the two companies. First, DQ&A checked several references and then they formulated the criteria the Interoute solution should meet: efficiency, better scalability than existing phone systems, and last but not least: cost reduction.

A good international reputation, many strong customer references, quick implementation, flexibility and a good relationship made this sale a success.

8 Why did we win

DQ&A are taking a step by step approach to deploying Interoute 1 and OCS to their international offices. Interoute supports this global expansion plan by distributing the local phone numbers ourselves and this is a key reason DQ&A see Interoute as the perfect partner.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Global Settings Migration Tool

Brief Description

Migrate OCS 2007 global settings from the System container to the Configuration container using the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Global Settings Migration Tool.

Quick Details

File Name:


Date Published:


Download Size:
363 KB


The Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Global Settings Migration Tool enables Administrators of existing deployments of OCS 2007 to migrate the OCS-specific global settings residing in Active Directory, from the root domain’s System container to the Configuration container. The migration of OCS global settings to the Configuration container provides a better solution for decentralized AD topologies.

System Requirements
  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition (32-Bit x86); Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition (32-bit x86); Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
  • This download works with the following Office program:
    • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

e-office is Voice-Ready partner!

Its official! e-office is now Voice Ready for Microsoft Office Communicator. Welcome Microsoft UC Partner! We have worked very hard and we are excited to have e-office in this special partner group.. (Microsoft)...

...via this way I (Joachim Farla) would like to thank Menno Windsma (managing director e-office), Dirk van der Meer (Exchange Specialist e-office) and second technical contact OneTAP, Katherine Green (Microsoft) as projectmanager and ofcourse Thomas Binder (Microsoft) to be our SWAT. Also special thanks to Hans Sleurink (Infrastructure Specialist e-office) for setting up QoE.

"I hereby wish to inform you that e-office successfully completed the Microsoft OCS Unified Communications internal pilot, and as such is now a Voice-Ready partner for Microsoft Unified Communications" Marc Sanders, Senior Lead Program Manager, Microsoft Unified Communications Group

More information on this status please check this website later on. I'm very proud that we accomplish this program with such a wonderful team.

What happens when deleting the OCS computer object?

Sorry sorry I've been very busy the last three weeks. First the kick-off for The New Way of Work event (second) at e-office together with Macaw. Later on I had a big issue on the customer side. The last 2 weeks I was working on a big OCS issue. The entire environment was corrupted and each MCU failed to start. Hundreds of users failed to sign in. Lots of "server unavailable messages"!

Customer case:

Customer was implementing new GPO's into their Active Directory. While doing this they use Group Policy Managed Console to edit those GPO's. Accidentally the Member Server OU (top level OU with 150 production computer objects beneath) was removed without any notification. After doing this they had a big problem with member servers joined in the domain infrastructure. The members server OU also contained the OCS Servers OU. So after that we had a very clear case. How can we restore the entire computer object of OCS and its configuration?


  • AdRestore v1.1 By Mark Russinovich, Windows Server 2003 introduces the ability to restore deleted ("tombstoned") objects. This simple command-line utility enumerates the deleted objects in a domain and gives you the option of restoring each one.
  • Windows Server 2003 - Authoritative Restore, an Authoritative Restore of Active Directory is one of the hardest tasks in Windows Server 2003.  To succeed, you need to understand how Active Directory Replication works, be an expert with NTDSutil, find the backup tapes and above all, a sound written plan.

Because no DC can be taken offline the ADRestore was the best option.Tombstone reanimation (which has nothing to do with zombies) provides the only way to recover deleted objects without taking a DC offline, and it's the only way to recover a deleted object's identity information, such as its objectGUID and objectSid attributes. Source

Our briefed investigation to fix this issue:

Error messages (1):

    Office Communications Server ACP MCU Service could not be started.

    Message: No corresponding MSFT_SIPMCUSetting for service DN 'CN=LS ACP MCU,CN=Microsoft,CN=OCS01,OU=OCS Servers,OU=Member Servers,DC=nl,DC=contoso,DC=local'. Stack: at Microsoft.Rtc.Internal.Wmi.WmiConsumer.get_Msft_SipMcuSetting() at Microsoft.Rtc.Internal.Wmi.WmiConsumer.get_Msft_SipMcuFactorySetting()at Microsoft.Rtc.Internal.Wmi.WmiConsumer.get_PoolDn()at Microsoft.LiveServer.AcpMcu.Config.ReadPoolConfig()at Microsoft.LiveServer.AcpMcu.Config.InitializeWmiConsumer()at Microsoft.LiveServer.AcpMcu.Config..ctor()at Microsoft.LiveServer.AcpMcu.ConferenceManager..ctor(IServiceFeedback service) at Microsoft.LiveServer.AcpMcu.AcpMcuService.CreateConferenceManager() at Microsoft.Rtc.Server.McuInfrastructure.RetryLogicHandler`1.ExecuteMethod(RetryableMethodDelegate retryableMethod, TimeSpan retryPeriod, TimeSpan maxDuration) at Microsoft.LiveServer.AcpMcu.AcpMcuService.OnStart(String[] args)

    Error messages (2):

    Failed to start service for the following reasons No corresponding MSFT_SIPMCUSetting for service DN 'CN=LS AV MCU,CN=Microsoft,CN=OCS01,OU=OCS Servers,OU=Member Servers,DC=nl,DC=contoso,DC=local'.

After some investigation (with ADRestore) and looking for other deleted objects (not only computer objects) I found (in the lost and found container) the following entries:

Enumerating domain deleted objects:

cn: LS ACP MCU DEL:54eaa9df-0401-4ff5-b31d-bcdd4ae05afe distinguishedName: CN=LS ACP MCU\0ADEL:54eaa9df-0401-4ff5-b31d-bcdd4ae05afe,CN=Deleted Objects,DC=nl,DC=contoso,DC=local lastKnownParent: CN=Microsoft\0ADEL:90419c61-6339-47f1-975a-add0cedfdd52,CN=Deleted Objects,DC=nl,DC=contoso,DC=local

and serveral MCU's with CN: cn: LS AV MCU, cn: LS Data MCU, cn: LS IM MCU

hmmm. Looks like the OCS computer objects stores configuration information right under the computer object in AD. Lets check into our own environment. Open dsa.msc (open in Advanced Features and Users, Groups, and Computer and Containers).


Browse to your OCS computer object:



Well probably the deleted objects matches the configuration of this customers computer object. The problem we had was that each MCU was listed twice (old unprep of previous OCS installation in PoC). Another question was rising which object to we need to restore?

Tip: The whenChanged attribute gets updated during the tombstone process, and should reflect when the actual delete took place.After having that information (thanks, Scott Oseychik/Senior Escalation Engineer/Microsoft, Unified Communications Team)

We restored the last objects (newest timestamp) and try again to start the OCS MCU services. So you probably think that the issue was fixed... not! ;-( the corresponding services were still in pending state.

Again after some investigation we decided to activate the MCU's again:

  1. First we deactivated the MCU's by using lcscmd.exe;
  2. after that we broke the domain membership of this OCS server (back in workgroup);
  3. removed the OCS Servers OU and the corresponding computer account (OCS01;
  4. re-create the OCS Server OU under Member Servers OU;
  5. OCS01 rollback into domain (contoso);
  6. move computer account to OCS Servers OU;
  7. activate MCU again;
  8. after all these steps the OCS infrastructure was fixed and started ;-)


ADRestore is really a powerful tool but probably not the best tool to restore configuration objects of OCS. We do some restores by using the ADRestore but we saw that some value were stripped off. ;-( example: MCUFactory URL was not restored. Well just a brainwave at my side.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 available

Microsoft Certified Master

The Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 program provides the most in-depth and comprehensive training available today for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 (R2). This three-week training program is delivered by recognized experts from Microsoft and Microsoft partner organizations.

Training deepens and broadens the technical skills of experienced professionals working with Microsoft communications technologies

Microsoft Certified Master training—a mixture of presentations, white-board discussions, and goal-based labs—covers the individual core Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 technologies as well as broader architectural and operational areas, such as telephony integration, upgrade and migration, application integration, performance analysis, management, and operations. Candidates complete an independent lab exercise as a part of their training, which allows them to develop and apply their learning in an environment where instructor and peer support is readily available.

Certified individuals prove their technical mastery

Candidates who successfully complete the program can expect to have a greatly improved understanding of the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 platform. Microsoft Certified Masters can design and build customer-specified solutions, and they understand how design decisions affect the final solution. They can troubleshoot and diagnose configuration and performance issues, and they have the detailed knowledge and skills that are required to successfully operate and manage an enterprise-class Microsoft Office Communications 2007 infrastructure.

Source: link

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile (2007 Release), 2.0.467.0

Brief Description

Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile is a unified communications client for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. Communicator Mobile runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 or 6.0 software for Pocket PC and smartphone devices.

File Name:


Knowledge Base (KB) Articles:

Date Published:


Download Size:
4.7 MB

System Requirements
  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows Mobile 5.0 software for Pocket PC; Windows Mobile 5.0 software for Smartphone; Windows Mobile 6
  • Supported PC Operating Systems for installation:Microsoft Windows XP SP2; Microsoft Windows Server 2003; Windows 2000 SP4; Windows Vista ;-)
  • Installation software requirements: Windows Mobile Device Center when installing from Windows Vista; Microsoft ActiveSync 4.2 or Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5 otherwise.
  • This download requires the following Office program:
    • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

Friday, November 7, 2008

Interview Eric Swift and demo Jamie Stark on YouTube

Interview Eric Swift and demo Jamie Stark on YouTube. Feel free to look at it. Enjoy!

What New in Administration and Management with Office Communications Server 2007 R2


Episode 6 in a series

I wrapped up my interviews with the OCS team with Anand Lakshminarayanan, who showed me some of the IT Admin specific features in OCS R2.

Color me impressed.

Need to plan an OCS architecture?  How about a wizard that you provide with your locations, users, and feature requirements and it spits out a detailed Visio style architecture for you, including recommendations for number of servers and locations.  Bandwidth requirements too!

Need to expose your OCS environment to the internet?  No problem.  Here's a wizard that will list out all the ports, IPs, etc. that you need to open.  Just print it out and hand it off to your firewall guy.

Reports?  Lots of reports added in R2.  breakdowns of voice and video activity.  Performance reports, including types of devices and how they're performing.

He also talks about virtualizing, scaling and managing OCS R2.

If you’re interested in learning more about Office Communications Server 2007 R2, go ahead and sign-up for their FREE virtual event and evaluation bits here: www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver

Source: Edge TechNet Specials tenx to Adam!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

UC Appliance Performance Test

StartReady: UC Appliance Performance Test

About three months ago I started blogging about StartReady. One of the things StartReady recently did, was a performance test of their UC Appliance. In this episode I’d like to share the results with you.

Challenges of Virtualizing of the Mediation Server

As you probably all know, Microsoft doesn’t support virtualizing Microsoft OCS in any way. For most roles, virtualizing is not a real issue, but for the Mediation Server specifically it is. Working with SIP Traffic is highly processor agnostic and performance intensive. When using a Virtualization layer, this can result in performance and timing issues. Of course, this doesn’t happen immediately, but Microsoft is unsure of its exact limitation, hence the non-support statement.

StartReady knew about this when they started building the Appliance and until now, they claim that they haven’t run in any issues. To address the non-support issue they currently offer a Scale-Out Appliance for Mediation Role. This Scale-out scenario places the Mediation role on a separate server (through an automated and scheduled process). In this new environment, the Mediation Role is run in an non-virtualized manner, all within the prescription of Microsoft.

But to be able to give customers a clear understanding of when this Scale-Out Appliance should be used, they needed the results of a clear and precise performance test. With Mitel (Netherlands) they arranged for this. Together they build a test environment to stress the virtualized Mediation Server.

For this test StartReady had three goals in mind:

1. Find out the maximum concurrent phone calls on the StartReady UC Appliance with the virtualized Mediation Server;

2. Stress the RTCAudio codex;

3. Tune the Hyper-V for the Mediation Role.

The test environment is build out of several components, see figure. First, there is the StartReady UC Appliance with System Center Essentials and the 3 OCS Server Roles all virtualized on Windows Server 2008. Secondly, there is the Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platform. This a highly scalable IP-PBX that provides robust call control, extensive features and supports a wide range of innovative desktop devices and applications for medium-to-large enterprises. For generating the calls to the Mitel-platform they used a Linux server with Asterisk’s Call Generator. The Call Generator places the call and playes a .wav file to simulate a conversation.


To make the test environment realistic they virtualized 100 Windows XP Clients with the Office Communicator 2007 installed. They also developed a tool to automatically answer incoming calls with the Communicator. So, the complete call was scripted and automated. To make sure that the audio was really getting through the entire system, they first recorded the audio in the communicator and also logged (client side) the network traffic with WireShark (this is a network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows). With these basic test results, they were ready to stress the system.

The tests

They ran about 10 tests in total. They started with 10 concurrent calls and increased each run with 10 additional calls. So, finally they would end up with 100 concurrent calls on the UC Appliance.

Each test cycle consisted of the following steps: setup a new call every 3 seconds, automatic answering of the communicator call, play the 4 minute .wav file to simulate audio and place one additional ‘real’ call between a Mitel attached device and a laptop with Communicator running. The last call was done to confirm the quality of the call/audio.

The grand finale was a burst test cycle. The time interval between calls was reduced to 0,5 seconds. This was done to stress the environment even more.

The results

During the test they logged performance counters from the host machine and the virtuals. They mainly focused on CPU performance.
Let’s discuss two tests, because these are the most relevant. The first one is a test run of 95 concurrent callers, see picture. The purple line displays the calls being placed. The bold blue line is the CPU performance of the Mediation Server. So you can see that with this load the mediation server is peaking to about 30/40 percent and has an 25% average. The brown line indicates the CPU performance of the Windows Server 2008 host environment.


The second result I would like to share is the burst test cycle. As already mentioned each 0,5 seconds a new call is placed. So within a time frame of 50 seconds all (in this case 96) calls are placed. This result also shows that the Mediation server isn’t stressed at all. And what’s nice to see is that the OCS server (standard role), the green line, is busy in the beginning and at the end: the OCS server is setting up and disconnecting the calls.



With these results, StartReady claims they can support up to 100 concurrent places calls with limited server load. The test results prove it and Mitel acknowledges it all. To be on the safe side, StartReady advises customer to consider the Scale-Out Appliance if a customer reaches 75 concurrent callers on a regular basis. I think this test makes sense and I agree with them.

What does this mean for customer?

Well, first of all, this test is only relevant for customers that uses OCS to actually make phone calls (interop with phone system). Customer that only use the PC-to-PC call functionality are not limited by it. Next to that, a company that runs up to 75 concurrent calls through OCS is in general a company of about 750 employees (1:10 ratio). And, it would also mean that this 10% of the people ALL use Communicator to place those calls: in ordinary scenario’s people also use Mobile and Fixed Phone lines to call in & outbound. With this in mind, it could mean that customers with more than 1.000 employees might not even need the Scale-Out Appliance. It’s still a complex calculation, but I think that most of the companies currently evaluating Microsoft OCS, can safely invest in the appliance concept.

For more information check out their website on http://www.startready.com.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cayman for Kids

Everyone especially Roland Hameeteman and Rutger Stekelenburg (owners e-office) giving me the opportunity to drive the Porsche Cayman for Kids for 1 day! If you are interested in rent this car for your company please visit the right upperside corner of this weblog and hit the Porsche Cayman for Kids banner (Dutch). After having this day with this wonderful car I will but some pictures on this weblog for fun.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Microsoft Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program updated!

Thanks to my buddy John de Breij from Mitel Netherlands. Mitel is now listed on the interoperability program site of Microsoft! So Mitel is now fully qualified IP PBX vendor.

Qualified IP-PBXs for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

Listed below are IP-PBX and firmware combinations that have been independently qualified viatekVizion labs or at Microsoft to meet qualification requirements. Please contact the vendor for more information on these products. Other supported products may also be listed by request of the vendor as the same firmware is used in these products.


More information see

Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 Hotfix KB 957707

File Name:


Knowledge Base (KB) Articles:

Date Published:


Download Size:
4.9 MB

System Requirements

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000 Service Pack 4; Windows Server 2003; Windows Vista; Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • This download works with the following Office program:
    • Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

Friday, October 17, 2008

Keynote: Eric Swift, Senior Director, Microsoft (VoiceCon Amsterdam 2008)

Keynote: Eric Swift, Senior Director, Microsoft (VoiceCon Amsterdam 2008)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Speech Server Scoop on OCS R2

The gotspeech guy (MVP dubby Marshall Harrison) did post some interesting material on Speech Server and OCSR2. Absolutely worth to read this article when you have developer skills.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Video: Microsoft Business Division President Elop on the Debut of Office Communications Server 2007 R2

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 14, 2008 — Today Microsoft debuted the new release of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, currently in private beta testing and becoming available for purchase in February 2009. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 highlights the pace of innovation that is possible with software, putting the new release on a rapid path to deliver voice software that does much more than a network PBX and with much less cost. More than half of the Fortune 500 companies have already licensed OCS and Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop discusses what the upcoming release means for the future of corporate telephony.

Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop talks about the debut of Microsoft’s Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 (R2), an update to the award-winning Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, and how it fits into the future of corporate telephony.

Watch the video

Microsoft Unveils OCS 2007 R2!

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 will launch in a worldwide online event Feb. 3, 2009.

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands –– Oct. 14, 2008 –– Today, Microsoft Corp. debuted Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 (R2), an update to the award-winning Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. Microsoft representatives demonstrated the new release for the first time before an audience of telecom and IT professionals at the VoiceCon tradeshow in Amsterdam. Customers will be able to purchase the release, currently in private beta testing, beginning in February 2009.

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 delivers important new functionality that extends software-powered voice, particularly for remote and mobile workers; provides on-premise audioconferencing to help reduce operational costs; and introduces new developer advances, including the ability to build communications-enabled business processes. These enhancements will improve business communications through a unified infrastructure and user experience.

“Office Communications Server 2007 R2, debuting just one year after the Microsoft unified communications launch, highlights the pace of innovation that is possible with software,” said Stephen Elop, president of the Microsoft Business Division at Microsoft. “This new release puts Microsoft on a rapid path to deliver voice software that does much more than a network private branch exchange (PBX) and with much less cost.”

Customers worldwide are embracing Microsoft’s unified communications platform, which streamlines communications by combining e-mail, instant messaging, conferencing and voice communications onto a single, unified platform.

More on the source

Key new features of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 include the following:

Next-Generation Collaboration

Dial-in audioconferencing. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 enables businesses to eliminate costly audioconferencing services with an on-premise audioconferencing bridge that is managed by IT as part of the overall communications infrastructure.

Desktop sharing. This feature enables users to seamlessly share their desktop, initiate audio communications and collaborate with others outside the organization on PC, Macintosh or Linux platforms through a Web-based interface.

Persistent group chat. This enables geographically dispersed teams to collaborate with each other by participating in topic-based discussions that persist over time. This application provides users with a list of all available chat rooms and topics, periodically archives discussions in an XML file format that meets compliance regulations, provides tools to search the entire history of discussion on a given topic, and offers filters and alerts to notify someone of new posts or topics on a particular topic.

Enhanced Voice and Mobility

Attendant console and delegation. This allows receptionists, team secretaries and others to manage calls and conferences on behalf of other users, set up workflows to route calls, and manage higher volumes of incoming communications through a software-based interface.

Session Initiation Protocol trunking. This feature enables businesses to reduce costs by setting up a direct VoIP connection between an Internet telephony service provider and Office Communicator 2007 without requiring on-premise gateways.

Response group.A workflow design application manages incoming calls based on user-configured rules (e.g., round-robin, longest idle, simultaneous), providing a simple-to-use basic engine for call treatment, routing and queuing.

Mobility and single-number reach. This extends Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile functionality to Nokia S40, Motorola RAZR, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms, allowing users to communicate using presence, IM and voice as an extension of their PBX from a unified client.*

New Developer Tools for Business Applications

APIs and Visual Studio integration. This improves the efficiency of everyday business processes by enabling businesses to build communications-enabled applications and embed communications into business applications.

Join Us for Launch


Thursday, October 9, 2008

What’s happening!?

Today something different. No blogging about Unified Communications or what so ever. Dow falls below 9,000                                      Dow falls below 9,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost about 679 points -- some 7 percent -- in frenzied trading during the final half hour of Thursday's session as the Treasury's eye on buying stakes in struggling banks failed to reassure investors amid the ongoing credit crisis. Source CCN.com.

Problems with ICESAVE. Dutch government grants emergency loan to Fortis and since 1 hour the entire Dutch economy (Wouter Bos)

Main question:

What’s happening!?

Still 1 out of 3 children die before they become 5 years old in West Papua (Indonesia).

How is the economy going? Everyone is concerning about the entire economy these days. My point of view is quite different. It remembers me the time when my own sister Gaby Farla was in Papua for over 4 months. The real life is over there!


West-Papua is an Indonesia n province with many faces. It is a beautiful province with beautiful people, overwhelming and sometimes impenetrable nature, unique cultures and a lot of secrets that are yet to be discovered. West-Papua is also the area with the biggest poverty, the most tropical diseases and the highest percentage of child mortality in Indonesia. It’s a country where foreign investors have their minds set on the rich natural resources. It’s an area where human rights are violated and Papua’s can almost only be found in the inland and the remote areas.

The foundation for Sustainable Development Papua Barat (SDSP) isimage a Dutch Foundation. This foundation works hard to make improvements in West-Papua. Two volunteers from the SDSP, Jurgen Nagel and Ellis van Minnen, started a Mother and Child project in the inland (Senopi) of West-Papua. Jurgen en Ellis stay in West-Papua at least two years and they want to build a clinic, inform the locals about basic hygiene and improve the life circumstances for the locals. Unfortunately they don’t have enough resources and possibilities for transport to complete their mission. Besides that the Indonesian government doesn’t co-operate. How is that possible? Still 1 out of 3 children die before they become 5 years old!


The Dutch broadcasting company “Llink” pays € 100.000,- if this project gets the most votes. Please vote for this good initiative!

Surf to www.llink.nl and become a member from Llink for only € 5,73 and vote for http://reddegroensteomroep.llink.nl/video/we_don_t_need_flying_cows.

For the complete report surf to http://player.omroep.nl/?aflID=8030704. Unfortunately these movies are only in Dutch.

If you would like to have more information about this specific project of the SDSP or other initiatives, please check www.sdsp.nl or www.kuku.nl.

Thanks a lot for helping the Papua’s! Special greetings to my sister Gaby Farla who was taking this initiative. Good luck!

Friday, October 3, 2008

NEW: Exam 088-924 Voice Specialization


Technical Exam Requirements: To qualify, your organization must employ or contract with at least two individuals, each of whom must have passed both of the following Microsoft exams:

  • Exam 70-638 TS: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Configuring

  • Exam 088-924: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 – UC Voice Specialization (available in fall 2008)

Attending the Unified Communications Voice Ignite workshop is recommended as preparation for Exam 088-924 (available in fall 2008). Voice Ignite attendance is based on workshop availability . You must complete the following prerequisites, which are both available online, before attending:

Learn more about the value of Microsoft certifications and a new generation of offerings available from Microsoft Learning.

Sales Exam Requirement: Employ or contract with two or more individuals who have passed the Unified Communications Voice sales training assessment (available in September 2008).

More information see

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Proof of Concept for Unified Communications: Voice Datasheet

Quick Details

File Name:


Date Published:


Download Size:
175 KB

Estimated Download Time:
1 min 56K


The Proof of Concept for Unified Communications: Voice offering provides customers with a design and production proof of concept (POC) of a Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 voice solution. The offering provides a prescriptive methodology to design and pilot the capabilities with minimal effect on the customer’s existing environment. The offering provides the delivery team with the deliverables and processes to implement a successful POC.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 with SP1 Hotfix KB 950614

Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 with SP1 Hotfix KB 950614 released

Quick Details

File Name:


Date Published:


Download Size:
879 KB

Estimated Download Time:
2 min 56K


This hotfix download for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 with SP1 is described in the Knowledge Base article 950614.
NOTE: The Hotfix described in Knowledge Base article 911996 for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 with SP1 must be installed prior to installing Hotfix KB 950614.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Offices should be a place of inspiration..

A couple of months ago Plantronics filmed at e-office HQ. Now you can see the end result!

Offices should be a place of inspiration, innovation and a place for a productive knowledge economy. The office of e-office in Houten is an example of that. Everything in the office is focused so that employees can work as easily as possible, making use of the newest information and communication technology. This vision is also known as the new way of working and can be seen in the following video.

In the video you can see the contrast between a traditional office and an office according to the new way of working. You see an employee moving freely through the office with the help of Microsoft Unified Communications and a Plantronics headset. Not being bound by a court, no new telephone between the era and the shoulder and the ability to move freely. On the other side you see a stressed employee and the inconveniences that he has by not using headset.

Special thanks to: Xander Kupers ,B2B Sales Manager Netherlands Mobile: +31 (0)6 5249 2834 E-mail: xander.kupers@plantronics.com (If you need any information about Plantronics or additional services please contact Xander Kupers).

Support21 and Ton Stegeman [MVP]

As you probably see my colleague Ton Stegeman (MVP – Office SharePoint Server) also at e-office microsoft team is currently working on our new Support21 application.

What is support21?

The e-office support21 solution adds the power of speech server to a traditional support application. A support call by a customer would – in a traditional support environment – have to be handled by a (1st line) helpdesk employee. In the e-office support21 solution, this interaction is handled by the Speech Server. A support call by a customer is recorded and categorized by the speech server and filed in a SharePoint site. A follow up is produced by a 2nd line helpdesk employee and the speech server calls back the customer and ‘tells him’ the answer to his question. Apart from the obvious efficiency advantage, the solution removes the necessity for the support center to be in the same time zone as their customer.

Read the entire blogpost on the weblog of Ton Stegeman!

Something completely different this time. Must be my first blogpost in 2.5 years without the word SharePoint. I just started developing for Office Communications Server. On the weblogs of my colleguaes Joachim and Marc you can find a lot more information on OCS. I will post some of the things that I had some challenges with, or I found difficult to get started with. This post also contains the links that got me started.

I am working on a WCF service that is using the AC AJAX API to communicate to the OCS server. The UC AJAX SDK contains a sample that is really nice to study. It helps you to get a feel of what it is like to build an application using OCS technologies. The biggest challenge for me was to get used to programming everything asynchronous. Studying and debugging he SDK example really helped here. This sample also contains the wrapper components that make your live a lot easier. This wrapper and the request builder do all the hard work for you, and you can focus on your application. The wrapper is also packaged in a CWA connector on the weblog of Michael Dunn.

Direct SIP with IP-PBX in Office Communications Server 2007

With the hotfixes released in August 2008, Microsoft is significantly improving the capability for Office Communications Server 2007 to exchange calls with SIP-based IP-PBX, in particular from Cisco. As a consequence, Microsoft now supports OCS deployments in Direct SIP with IP-PBX between Office Communications Server and specific versions of Cisco Call Manager.

This change gives administrators the possibility to set up Office Communications Server so that it can directly interoperate with IP-PBX using E.164 globally routable telephone numbers without RFC3966’s mandated “+” prefix. Additionally, Office Communications Server will now be able to interoperate with IP-PBX within a private dialing plan, exchanging locally routable private numbers…..

More on the source ;-)

Communicator Gadget

Communicator Gadget

Downloads: 138

Created by:

Dmitry Polzin

Price: Free

Allows easy conversation management from sidebar.
+Ability to dock conversations to sidebar
+Ability to hide conversation windows to free up space in taskbar

Details and Requirements


File size: 297.19 KB

Posted: 9/25/2008


Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a difference 3 years makes


In early 2007, Cisco was touting their three year lead on Microsoft in UC.  Now, Cisco seems to have decided they were running in the wrong direction - and perhaps even in the wrong race. In the last month, Cisco has added two new software pieces to their UC puzzle and are now playing catch up to companies like Microsoft and Nortel who have long seen that the path to UC was in powerful, well-integrated software, not wires. 

Cisco’s offering is the definition of “un-unified” communications. With more than 40 products, their solution is a patchwork of technologies and networking. The risk for customers is that a patchwork system is slower to roll out, harder to train users, and more expensive to manage and maintain over the long term.

By contrast, software-based unified communications is just that: “unified.”  It provides customers with the power of one – one infrastructure and one user experience that simplifies and speeds deployment and adoption, and it interoperates more easily with existing systems. Businesses save costs with software-powered UC – an all-important consideration in today’s financial climate. Our customers tell us that our system slashes their overall telephony costs by 30 to 60 percent, with their long distance charges reduced by up to 76 percent, and almost one-third sliced off their mobile telephony overhead.  Those are some pretty compelling economics. 

We shipped Microsoft’s UC platform in Office Communications Server and Exchange Server 12 months ago, and today, more than half of Fortune 500 companies are using the technology. Now, we’re moving on to the next phase in delivering on our unified communications vision, and we’ll be sharing more about that early next week and at VoiceCon Amsterdam in October.  You’ll see how we’re extending OCS telephony beyond remote and mobile workers, delivering more robust collaboration capabilities, better integrating mobile phones into a complete UC solution, and delivering innovations that unlock the power of what industry analysts call ‘communications-enabled business processes’ and what I call ‘jet fuel for business processes’.

Gurdeep Singh Pall - Corporate Vice President, Unified Communications Group