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Can OCS be a PBX? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

     

    We have outgrown our old PBX and would like to get into the land of VoIP.  I am wondering if it is possible to set up a PBX functionality with the OCS product.  For example, can we purchase SIP-based phones, a hardware gateway to connect to our PSTN (via ISDN) and have the OCS as the software tier that manages the calls?  Our old PBX is too old and we plan on throwing it out once we find a new solution.  We want incoming and outgoing calls, voice mail (delivered to Exchange mailbox), call queues, and a managable menu system (ie: press 1 for sales, ...). 

     

    If ICS is capable of this, what are the main components that are required?  I have read a lot of documentation, but the telephony requirements are really not that easy to find...

     

    Thanks,

    Shan McArthur

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007 4:57 PM

Answers

  • Trying to do the same thing here (we have an ancient Lucent Partner system).

     

    The short answer is yes, it can do what you are looking for, but getting any-old SIP phones isn't going to work with OCS alone.  SIP phones do not work directly with OCS, only "UC" phones work with OCS.  You can get SIP phones and connect them to an inexpensive SIP-PBX, and possibly interoperate with that system through OCS's remote call control features.   Otherwise, you will need to purchase UC phones, none of which are available to purchase yet - though they should be available soon.

     

    The features you are talking about with queues, etc. seem possible through the use of OCS Speech Server, which we are currently investigating as well.

     

    If you are a small business, however, Microsoft is releasing a product (the name of which escapes me) which is a basic PBX system that might be more along the lines of what you're looking for without the need for setting up a huge server farm.  I am not positive, but the marketing I read about it made it seem like it would work with a wider range of telephones.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007 10:41 PM

All replies

  • Trying to do the same thing here (we have an ancient Lucent Partner system).

     

    The short answer is yes, it can do what you are looking for, but getting any-old SIP phones isn't going to work with OCS alone.  SIP phones do not work directly with OCS, only "UC" phones work with OCS.  You can get SIP phones and connect them to an inexpensive SIP-PBX, and possibly interoperate with that system through OCS's remote call control features.   Otherwise, you will need to purchase UC phones, none of which are available to purchase yet - though they should be available soon.

     

    The features you are talking about with queues, etc. seem possible through the use of OCS Speech Server, which we are currently investigating as well.

     

    If you are a small business, however, Microsoft is releasing a product (the name of which escapes me) which is a basic PBX system that might be more along the lines of what you're looking for without the need for setting up a huge server farm.  I am not positive, but the marketing I read about it made it seem like it would work with a wider range of telephones.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007 10:41 PM
  • Response Point is the name of the small biz phone system to which you're referring.  Be aware that it does not integrate with OCS.

     

    OCS by itself is not a replacement for a PBX.  OCS does not have the capability to directly interact with the PSTN network - you will always need a gateway for this.

     

    Mike

    Thursday, June 21, 2007 4:49 PM
    Moderator