Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The train is going on…. UCVUG Q3 session 2010 Join us now!

Registration link: http://ucvugnlq3.eventbrite.com/                  (150 tickets available)
SESSION scheduled on Tue 9/20/2010 (20th of September 2010) UTC +01:00 Amsterdam. Join us now and subscribe yourself for FREE

This event is organized by Live Meeting 2007 so you can join us from home!

Introduction: Joachim Farla (founder and owner of ucvug.nl) Office Communications Server – MVP (MCSE/MCITP/MCTS)

image Yes! After a great Q2 meeting with interesting speakers like Ilse van Criekinge (Microsoft) and Mike Stacy (Polycom) we continue our journey with a new scheduled session UCVUG Q3 #ucvug_nl ! It’s all about Wave 14 and the new version of Office Communications Server (W14) #ocs. And of course we will not forget the new version of SharePoint 2010 this time. This time we only have English speakers so everybody is welcome to join.

So I’m proudly to present the upcoming speakers on UCVUG:

Session 1: Bas Krikke Presented in English. Talking about SharePoint 2010 and its Social Aspects and strong reflections to Unified Communications as communication platform underneath.

imageBas Krikke specialized in SharePoint 2007 and 2010. Total linked stack of Microsoft products. Managing politically challenged projects. Gain insights on applying The New World of Work in your organization. Create workable project definitions based on business needs. Strong focus on: SharePoint 2007 and social capabilities of 2010, presentations,  discovering business requirements or needs, awareness on the New World of Work, Impact approach. Check out his linkedin and his own weblog or follow him on twitter.

Session 2: Xander Kupers Presented in English. Talking about Plantronics portfolio for Wave 14. Strong reflections to Unified Communications

imageXander Kupers specialized in Telecommunications, publishing, information services. Country Manager Plantronics Netherlands. Main focus: direct touch. Responsible for sales via distribution channels, premium & certified reseller channels and direct touch. Evangelising the importance of audio quality in communications. Customers include contact centers, large end users and organisations implementing unified communications and the new way of working. Check out his linkedin also!

Session 3: Johann Deutinger Presented in English. Talking about Ferrari Electonic AG portfolio for Wave 14. CTO at Ferrari electronic AG.

  • short information on Ferrari electronic
  • UC/UM gateways including survivable branch appliance (technical details)
  • new gateway features in CS2010
  • fax server for Exchange (and other platforms), Inbound fax solution built into all gateways, also for Exchange 2010
  • fax for BPOS and hosted Exchange

imageSession 3. UC Specialist for over
20 years! Experience in computerfax and Unified Messaging. Check out his linkedin also! More information on this session (to be continued!)

We are still looking for a sponsor for this event. Any suggestions are welcome. Please contact me directly if you have suggestions. The event is hosted by e-office (e-office.com / e_office.com on twitter).

NEW: e-office SharePoint 2010 migration audit

#sp2010 #migration #sharepointaudit

SharePoint 2010 auditCheck out our SharePoint 2010 migration audit on the new e-office website. You can find all the information there (currently only in English) to investigate how you can migrate your existing SharePoint (2003, 2007) infrastructure to SharePoint 2010 (SharePoint Online). More information needed? Feel free to shoot an email or chat via our improved OCS Webchat to our sales representatives.

  • More information about the new way of work: link (Collaboration Community).
  • More information about the improved OCS Webchat: link (UC Community)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Microsoft Communications Server 2010 Licensing (Wave 14)

#ucoms #cs2010 #voice #cs2010licensing #wave14

image Long time ago I did some blog posting on the OCS 2007 R2 licensing model. You can find my first blog post here. Today some new information was released about future licensing changes resulting from the upcoming Microsoft Office Communications Server “wave 14” release (the official name right now is: Microsoft Communications Server 2010). A short wrap up for you is provided over here:

  • In CS2010 access to the voice workload will be licensed via its own Client Access License (“OCS Voice CAL”)
  • ”Some of the voice specific capabilities will be removed from the OCS wave 14 Enterprise CAL and combined with new voice features/functionality in the new CS Voice CAL.
  • The OCS wave 14 Voice CAL will be an additive CAL on top of the OCS wave 14 Standard CAL.
  • The OCS Voice CAL and associated voice functionality will not be included within the Enterprise CAL Suite (ECAL Suite) when OCS wave 14 launches.
  • The OCS wave 14 Enterprise CAL will undergo a price decrease to reflect the move of voice functionality to the OCS Voice CAL
  • Customers who purchased an OCS Enterprise CAL or the ECAL Suite prior to July 1, 2009 and have maintained their Software Assurance have access rights equivalent to the rights under the OCS Voice CAL for two releases, OCS wave 14 and OCS wave 15.

Source: link (entire article on licensing).

If you need any additional information please contact your local software reseller or shoot me an email.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Voice Partner news: New Devices Optimized for Office Communicator

New Devices Optimized for Office Communicator

Microsoft is pleased to announce the qualification of one new HD Microsoft Hardware webcam,  three new HP Computers, and the FIRST new Dell laptop Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2.  View TechNet for the full list of qualified devices, and product support.




Dell Latitude E6410

Designed for easy mobile collaboration and advanced productivity, the dependable and stylish Dell Latitude E6410 14-inch professional laptop.

HP TouchSmart 9100

Add a new touch of style and interactivity to your day with the all-in-one, multi-touch enabled HP TouchSmart 9100 Business PC.


HP Elitebook 8530W

The 15.6” HP EliteBook 8530W offers outstanding performance and visual accuracy to run your most demanding graphic-intensive applications.

HP Elitebook 8730W

Get the broadest color support, richest visual quality, and consistently accurate results with the optional HP DreamColor display with the 17” diagonal display HP EliteBook 8730w Mobile Workstation. 



Microsoft’s HD-6000 webcam is designed specifically for laptops and provides users of Office Communicator with true widescreen 720p HD* video at up to 30 fps.   *Quad-Core required to achieve 720p HD

Source: Voice Specialized Partner Sales and Technical Resources April 2010

SP2010 RTM deployed within e-office

Last night SharePoint 2010 and Office (Project/Visio) 2010 become available on MSDN. All night long we processed the downloads on our download servers and today we started to deploy SharePoint 2010 for our customers in Amsterdam (hosting center e-office). As we speak we setup all our servers! Nice moment and proud to be an early adopter ;-)

Much success to the e-office Collaboration community!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

e-office UC Community goes to Airlift and Metro program

Publication: International, National

image While back we get invitation only tickets for the new Microsoft Communications Server 2010 Airlift in Redmond (WA) and the new Metro Early Adopter Program for UC Developers in Germany on the new version of UCMA (3.0/Core) and different Managed API’s (example: Communicator 2010).

Since the first of April 2010 we started the NEW UC community at e-office. We are focused on Unified Communications Development (Yellow) and Unified Communications Services (Blue). Providing you with a well fitted suite for each of your scenarios. So, implementing presence in all your business applications, providing you with contextual collaboration solutions and integrate UC in for example SharePoint or Domino. Join our other communities if you have any questions for them.

Attention: each event is under NDA so we can’t provide you with all the great details but stay tuned to follow us. Join our community members and meet us!

New: UC community assistant

image For the upcoming months UCVUG will introduce a new service. Each month we select several UC experts (MVP’s etc) to have a consultation hour. Very low level and good feedback to support your Unified Communications project (PABX, Software, Hardware anything!) The sessions will come available through Live Meeting.

Check our product site for all the upcoming Human Software Components or check our Unified Communications International weblog for the latest details and online material (webcasts, code sample’s etc).

About e-office:

e-office, the human software organisation, is specialised in optimising working processes for professionals. We offer a transparent working environment in which people are able to collaborate any time and any place providing them with the right information and expertise they need.
So they can fully focus on their talents; decision making, being creative and exploring new combinations and solutions. We call this new way of working: work21

Follow us on twitter on these twitter tags: #ucservices and #ucdev.

Create a UCMA application with presence aware workflow

In a webcast which I did together with Joachim Farla about Unified Communications Development For Non Professional Developers I talked about creating a UCMA workflow. It is based on the inbound/outbound sample which you can download from GotUC.net.

It is a pretty simple application; it starts a collaboration platform, registers an OCS endpoint and begins listening for incoming calls (or IMs). In this example, it uses client credentials. For production usages, take a provisioned application to do this.


At the same time it also starts a Windows Workflow runtime. When a message is received, it is passed to this workflow so it can be handled. The workflow is the standard XOML workflow of the Windows Workflow Foundation but enhanced with a communications service and OCS activities.


It will first accept the call, determines the presence of a configured SIP address and with an if/else construction choices the right branch. If the user is online, an instant message is send with a question and answer activity. if the user is offline, a outgoing voice call will be created. Using the text to speech functionality, the user will hear some text spoken to him/her and a question is being asked. After giving an answer, the call is disconnected. Meaning you can still reach the user over the phone but use IM primary when he/she is available.

You can configure the actions with your own answer/question systems, call other users, disconnect the call or use speech. There are a lot of OCS activities to pick.


Very simple, but it shows how to use the workflow to make interactive sessions with a user.

To run this sample, make sure you have Visual Studio 2008/2010 and the UCMA SDK installed. You can create an OCS test account at GotUC.net or use your own.

Please see the video for a demonstration of the code.

Presence Aware Workflow with OCS 2007 R2 from e-office on Vimeo.

Using Exchange Web Services

A while back I did a webcast together with Joachim Farla about Unified Communications Development For Non Professional Developers. One of the items I talked about was the Exchange Web Services in Exchange 2010.


The Exchange Web Services aren’t new. Introduced in Exchange 2007 and enhanced in SP 1 and 2010, they now have a native API to call the SOAP service and also supplied UI controls. These controls allows you to build Outlook like applications in Windows Presentation Foundation. You can download this API from the Microsoft Download site.


So what can you build with the EWS API? Basically you can build your own Outlook clone. Microsoft created the MacOS version of Outlook, Entourage, with the Exchange Web Services. But you can also sync contacts with your own CRM system, create SharePoint WebParts to display calendar data or create a room booking application. It also supports auto discovery. You supply an email address and credentials and it will find the correct EWS server.

In the WebCast I demoed a sample application from Microsoft. You can view this section in the video below.The sample code used can be found at GotUC.net.

EWS Managed API from e-office on Vimeo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

BoxedUC Appliance – Part III

We continue the story on the BoxedUC solution. The challenges of a full-feature system, easy to install and start-up were, as mentioned, the engineering of the start-up procedure and the preparation of the integrated Microsoft UC environment, that means a pre-configured architecture allowing to activate gradually services/users minimizing the time and optimizing the customer’s experience.

With boxedUC an Exchange user could immediately access to OCS features. This model permits a soft and smart adoption (services could be enabled only for a part of the users) where the customers start and stop paying for a service for its effective usage.

In this scenario the self-administration tool has a strategic role because it manages the accounting of users and services guaranteeing to the reseller/provider the control of a correct use of the system.The Active Directory environment consists of a Forest with a single domain and 2 domain controllers in a typical Resource Forest Model.

When BoxedUC is delivered to a customer they plug-in the server and launch some scripts to reconfigure IP, modify firewall rules, tune the OCS and Exchange platform. Then they check if all services are up by the Monitoring Server and begin to check the environment using the standard tools (IE, Communicator, Outlook). A checklist has been developed and intensively tested in our labs.


They are now able to create a mono-directional trust from the customer AD domain to the BoxedUC domain: in this way, end-users will access the services without login thanks to the Single Sign On feature. The self-administration tool supports trusted AD and will manage the services basing the accounting on the related AD.

The roles activated in the architecture are:

- Basic roles

  • Active Directory organizations
  • Exchange 2010
  • OCS

- Optional roles

  • OCS Edge
  • BES
  • etc

Blackberry is, as mobile business tool, strategic for today’s companies: boxedUC implements the BlackBerry Enterprise Server solution based on the 5.0 version (Standard or Express) of the product enabling immediately a client to access all his Exchange resources (push e-mail, PIM synchronization).

As communications services are critical in the business processes, boxedUC could implement High Availability, using a second appliance. In this way they get a totally redundant environment using the native mechanisms. Of course they have to implement a load balancer. They do this through a customized software application.


The voice integration could be done in two different ways:

  • Activating the “routing center”, a complete software solution running in boxedUC allowing to integrate a SIP trunk and to register IP telephones directly;
  • Using the external “Voice Gateway”, a 1RU appliance which hosts the mediation server roles of OCS and could integrate PSTN interconnection boards (BRI, PRI, etc).

The voice gateway permits to activate Exchange Unified Messaging features (ex: voice mail) and to enable in/out calls from OCS.

How do they know it performs well in a live scenario with 500 users? Simply they stressed it! They used the OCS Capacity Planning Tool together with Exchange LoadGen to simulate user activity. Furthermore they have developed custom scripts to generate calls from a PBX and they have collected performance metrics in the Hyper-V layer as well as in the application layer. The results have been excellent as far as I know.

Finally, to improve the security of the data stored in boxedUC (in particular Exchange mailbox data), could be provided an external backup appliance with the basic role of Network Area Storage in which local backups could be copied.


For more info please check www.boxeduc.com or e-mail info@boxeduc.com or contact me directly. This blogpost was the last blogpost on BoxedUC so far.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

UCVUG Q2 Recording and downloads

Amazing presentations by Ilse van Criekinge and Mike Stacy! Last night we organized our second Virtual User Group for this year. Microsoft Communications Server 2010 and the Wave 14 devices from Polycom (phones) were on the stage. After a short introduction from the founder and organizer we started with the first session (Ilse van Criekinge -  MSFT) and later on the second session presented by (Mike Stacy – Polycom)

In this blogpost we will give you all the slidedecks and offline recordings made during the UCVUG sessions. Spread the world!

Video Recording: here (currently converting)

Download 1. Main Slidedeck - here

clip_image001Session 1: Ilse Van Criekinge talking about W14 introduction and voice capabilities (wrap up TechDay’s). Presented in English.


  • Introduction to Microsoft Communications Server “W14”
    Positioning and main features for Microsoft Communications Server “W14”, with emphasis on Voice and Collaboration capabilities
  • New voice capabilities and infrastructure in Microsoft Communications Server “W14”
    Detailed description of voice features in Microsoft Communications Server “W14”, with discussion of implications on topology and interoperability

Ilse Van Criekinge has recently joined Microsoft as a Technology Advisor – Microsoft Unified Communications. Before that she worked as an ICT Trainer and Consultant for Global Knowledge. Being an MCT, she has offered several companies guidance in their Exchange and MOM deployments, as well as auditing the disaster recovery capabilities in their mail environment. Ilse has held the Exchange MVP award for three years since April 2007. You can follow her experiences at http://blogs.technet.com/ilvancri.

Download 2. Session 1 Slidedeck - here

Session 2: Mike Stacy (OCS MVP) talking about Polycom and their UC offering. Presented in English.

  • Quick overview on the products involved in the Microsoft solution
  • Review of the current and near term (April release) Microsoft integration
  • Live Demo

clip_image002Mike Stacy is a Microsoft Solutions Architect for Polycom and Microsoft OCS MVP.  Before joining Polycom in January, Mike was responsible for designing and deploying Microsoft-based unified communications solutions for enterprise customers as large as 160,000 users.  Mike is also a former Microsoft employee, where he worked as a Premier Field Engineer and later as a Unified Communications TSP out of the New York City office.

Download 3. Session 2 Slidedeck - here

Special thanks to our sponsors Ferrari Electronic AG and Plantronics for supporting us!

We are still looking for interesting speakers for our Q3 meeting UCVUG. Contact me directly.

Technorati Tags: UCVUG.nl, Communications Server 2010,Wave 14,W14,OCS,ilse van criekinge,mike stacy,polycom

And the winners are?

Last night we organized the second UCVUG meeting for this year. And yes we had some nice prizes! And yes we have winners! As we promised it’s 12:00PM so lets get started with the prizes.

Our sponsors sponsored:

  • 3 x Plantronics Voyager UC PRO
  • 1 x OfficeMaster 4BRI from Ferrari electronic AG

And the winners are:

Prize Winner Sponsor
1 x Voyager UC PRO
Plantronics Voyager PRO UC
Martijn Schouten, e-office Plantronics
Bluetooth and hands-free headset solutions
1 x Voyager UC PRO
Plantronics Voyager PRO UC

Jonathan Steeman, Getronics

Bluetooth and hands-free headset solutions
1 x Voyager UC PRO
Plantronics Voyager PRO UC
Erwin Jansen, C2ICT B.V Plantronics
Bluetooth and hands-free headset solutions
1 x OfficeMaster 4BRI
Yorrick Puts, 2sync people Ferrari
Ferrari electronic

Please sent your correct address and we will make sure that you receive your prize! Thanks for joining us and stay tuned next time.

sent to: joachim.farla@e-office.com

UCVUG Q2 2010 Meeting (Session 2 Slidedeck)

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: UCVUG Q2 2010 Meeting (Session 2 Slidedeck) - presented by Mike Stacy

UCVUG Q2 2010 Meeting (Session 1 Slidedeck)

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: UCVUG Q2 2010 Meeting (Session 1 Slidedeck) - presented by Ilse van Criekinge

UCVUG Q2 2010 Meeting (Main Slidedeck)

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: UCVUG Q2 2010 Meeting (Main Slidedeck) - presented by Joachim Farla

Saturday, April 3, 2010

BoxedUC Appliance – Part II

After some investigations see this blogpost on the new BoxedUC Solution (Part II). The basic idea in designing boxedUC was to create a private cloud to be installed in customer’s premises providing all the services in the smartest way and avoiding big infrastructures in terms of hardware.  So, virtualization is the central technology qualifying the system to this role.

The choice is Microsoft Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 (Datacenter / Enterprise edition) running on a powerful hardware enabling to run all UC services with an high end quality for organizations up to 500 users.

The basic hardware configuration for the appliance is:

  • 2 x Intel Xeon quad core processors (16 cores with Hyper threading!)
  • 64 GB RAM
  • 15.000 rpm SAS Hard disks

The system has been tested with several stress-test, done with official Microsoft tools running UC systems on the appliance, and the results were very good in terms of load/response of the Hyper-Visor.


This picture shows the measure of the Hyper-V Logical Processor usage during a test with 500 UC users; the value for an healthy state should be under 60% average. As by the graphs, during our tests on boxedUC we got an average usage of 7%.

To guarantee architectural and security requirements inside the Hyper-Visor (and inside the whole system), the different networks has been created, divided in the following roles:

  • Public front-end
  • DMZ
  • Private back-end
  • Management (H24x365 monitoring and management)
  • Service (installation and emergency)

The networks could be configured depending on the customer’s network: for example boxedUC could be stand-alone or integrated and adapted to an existing infrastructure (ex: below a customer’s firewall).

clip_image006  clip_image004

The security, one of the strategic target of boxedUC engineering, is managed on different levels:

  • Network: boxedUC is protected by a local firewall and the differentiation of networks (DMZ)
  • Antivirus local: each host is protected by Microsoft Forefront
  • Application Antivirus: application servers are protected by specific Microsoft Forefront plug-ins
  • Perimeter SMTP: mail messages are relayed by a data center infrastructure through a multi-level antivirus and anti-spam engine, managing the mail queue in case of back-end-fault and avoiding the direct publishing of the Exchange on the public network
  • Management: all connections set up between the provider’s infrastructure and the appliance for management purposes is tunneled in an encrypted connection.
  • Patching: all security patches are tested and automatically applied through a WSUS service
  • Monitoring: all hosts (virtual / physical), services and performances are continuously monitored by a centralized system
  • The engineering of the system permits to reduce the installation time and operations to minimum. The first activities after plugging the power and switching-on the appliance are:
  • Set-up the IP address for the management network through a local web “service console” reached by a pc directly connected to the appliance (service network)
  • The provider’s staff reaches the appliance through a secure VPN on the management network

At this moment the provider’s staff will configure other necessary IP addresses,


the networks matrix and the public DNS service. In less than two hours the system is up and running. Immediately after the go-live a backup of network configuration is taken by the provider’s and stored in a data center to reduce eventual restore operations time.

Scripting has been used to manage the turn-on/switch-off procedures of the entire UC environment: a windows service using Hyper-V primitives and the Windows services monitoring allow to control the turn-on/switch-off processes.

In the next articles we will go deeper to the Microsoft UC services, the interactions and the self-management, meanwhile please check www.boxeduc.com!

e-office goes to Microsoft Communications Server “14” Airlift as UC partner

Yes we have a seat. So, we are there during the Airlift of Microsoft Communications Server “14” . Together with almost 250 partners we are there over 83 countries. As you probably saw e-office started the new UC community (1st of April). Together with the Yellow and Blue organisation structure we are more focused on UC then ever before.

As you might discovered the last weeks/months we pushed (e-office)  into a new organization structure. A organization structure which is much more suitable for us. Like a good fitting suit. The structure of yellow and blue! More information can of course be found on the weblog of Roland Hameeteman, CEO e-office (Dutch)

It really feels good and we are making great progress. The new organization will be much more social. Experts in our own internal organization are even important as external experts.  Experts who live in the “cloud” or for example join the “UCVUG.nl Virtual User Group”.  You guys are significally important to us.

Unified Communications is still one of our core competences. This year we start the UC Community @ e-office! The UC community is there for you. Is doesn’t matter what kind of role you have in a organization. The community is there if you have any questions about Unified Communications or related products. We are ready together with our community experts to help you. We are yellow “innovative” and “creative”. On the other hand we can deliver HSO (Human Software) products and services for each kind or project. Blue! Aka: we are ready to ROCK! See our trip to the new upcoming Airlift to Seattle.

The roadmap for upcoming activities:

  • UC Metro Program “14” we are participating in one of best programs for the next version of OCS. (NDA)
  • The new e-office corporate website is LIVE and kicking (check it our www.e-office.com and feel free to give us feedback on feedback@e-office.com. See also the new UC Workshops.
  • Each employee now is OCS Webchat enabled. Check out the “medewerkers” section on our brand new site. See also our OCS Group Chat strategies! See the new presence icons corresponding to the new presence icons in for example Office, SharePoint etc.
  • UCVUG.nl is again this year live and kicking. Each quarter there will be a virtual user group session. The first one of this year can already be downloaded. See: http://ucvug.nl/ (homepage) and download the corresponding presentation materials. See also our Live Meeting Recording. The next one is also scheduled and present on the 6th of April.
  • unified-communications.blogspot.com will continue this year with lots of hot content!
  • e-office will attended the MVP Summit 2010 in Seattle. (NDA). The MVP Global Summit is a multi-day event that is hosted in Bellevue and at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
  • We actively recruiting for UC/SP experts (UC/SP IT Pro’s or UC/SP Developers). Check out the site (Dutch)
  • e-office will present quite frequently on the NEW Microsoft UC Community Days at Microsoft HQ Netherlands. The last presentation can be viewed here.
  • e-office Joachim Farla [MVP] and Michiel van Oudheusden  presented a TechNet Webcast about. Unified Communications Development for Non-Professional Developers (Level 300). Download here: here
  • We will continue our activities on the UC&C section on www.kennisportal.nl meet the experts: here

I’m proud so far! Stay with us this year and please spread the world about our initiatives. More to come….