Hosted Pilot for Microsoft Unified Communications – Features

As promised here is a post looking in a little more depth at the features of the Hosted UC Pilot from Microsoft.

Firstly I will look at some of my favourite features and then will take a look at what is not available.

The first thing that strikes you as you log into Outlook Web App, is that you now have a fully fledged Exchange 2010 mailbox.

This is accessed using the https://mail.uctrial.com URL.

One of the nicest things here is that you can start sending IMs immediately by using the integrated IM functionality. Obviously this is not as feature rich as Office Communicator or even Communicator Web Access but it gets you started. Another new addition is the ability to see presence within OWA as can be seen in the email and top right of the screenshot below:

image

In my previous post on this subject I showed the process of logging into Office Communicator. Having done so I started poking around, and the first thing I tried was adding a federated user.

This gave me the following error:

image

The link for more info pointed here:

http://office.microsoft.com/client/helppreview.aspx?AssetID=HA103556171033&ns=COMM2007R2&lcid=1033

I then tried to add a friend at Microsoft – Brett Johnson

Surprisingly this worked as can be seen below, the globe icon shows up next to Brett which means that Federation is working for users at Microsoft but not external domains.

image

I then tried a bunch of other UC functionality such as desktop sharing, and peer to peer voice calls. Everything worked well! Sadly, one thing that is not available is Enterprise Voice which means that you can’t go making phone calls on the system.

One major thing that is really important to understand is that this is a multi tenant system on which you can see all the other accounts that people have created! There is NO segregation at all!!

So all in all this is a great service for anyone wanting to test out the full range of Microsoft UC functionality minus of course Enterprise Voice.

Cheers

Nathan

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