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    So I have a theoretical question.  Understanding the risk, would it be possible for an organization to jettison a legacy PBX in favor of OCS 2007?  Are there OCS-compatible gateway products out there that can handle incoming/outgoing PRIs, analog station connections, etc?  Has anyone developed a way around OCS' lack of E911 capability?  Can OCS work with a standard SIP phone (I understand the UDP/TCP issue...)

     

    Just questions running through my head and, so far, Google searches have just resulted in more questions!

     

    Scott

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:28 PM

All replies

  • Hi Scott,

    All good questions. here's my take:

     

    1) you could ditch a legacy PBX for OCS. There are some tradeoffs, but you can certainly do it.

    2) There are OCS-compatible gateways that can handle PSTN connections. This is the official MS site listing those gateways: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/bb735838.aspx

    3) There is no OCS E911 solution yet

    4) The only handsets supported by OCS are MS/OCS approved. "Standard" SIP phones don't have the proper "MS extensions" to SIP. Although MS publishes the requirements for anyone wanting to create phones for OCS, as far as I know only Polycom and Nortel have produced OCS-Specific IP handsets. A few other vendors have come out with USB phones, though. http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/microsoft/microsoft-office-communications-server-2007-optimized-ip-devices.asp

     

    But bottom line: you can replace a PBX with OCS, but you should just know all the requirements of the PBX and make sure that OCS meets them. For example, OCS doesn't have hunt group functionality and doesn't support shared line appearances (although I understand that these are being worked on and considered for upcoming releases).

     

    I've found OCS to be an especially good solution for mobile workers ("information workers") who are comfortable communicating w/out using a traditional handset.

     

    Regards,

    Matt

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:38 AM
  • Matt,

     

    Excellent answers, all.  In a perfect world, OCS would support E911, hunt groups and shared line appearances now, but I just need patience.  We do have a Nortel CS1000 switch, which is fully supported by OCS, but we also have a limited budget and are considering telephony options for the future.  On the "risk scale" OCS is rather high for me to take the full plunge right now, but it's something that we will likely phase in... or maybe just go Pingtel and still ditch the Nortel :-)

     

    Regardless of what we do, we'll be looking at about 200 analog ports still connected to whatever system we use, so a number of analog to IP gateways will be installed.

     

    Again, I appreciate your answer!

     

    Scott

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008 6:38 AM