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  • Question

  •    I'm reading the documentation for the OCS 2007 Beta, and am a wee-bit overwhelmed. Perhaps someone could enlighten me a little on a few points. I'm trying to evaluate it's possible deployment in a Small Business (SBS 2003) environment.

       I have an SBS 2003 installation, in a home office environment, Office 2007, with presumably a PSTN phone system, and DSL. My clients are small businesses, with 6 to 12 PC's, Office 2003/2007, also running SBS 2003, and PBX (I think).

     

    1. Will OCS 2007 run on SBS 2003, or is it 64 bit only, like Exchange 2007
    2. How much functionality is lost with an Exchange 2003 installation -- just the unified store?
    3. A hardware device, "Media Gateway",  is required for the VOIP functionality? If so, any recommendations? Won't my old modem workSmile
    4. Is OCS 2007 a good fit for the SBS 2003 sized business?

    One of my clients recently switched to a VOIP system, but is rethinking it, due to some lost calls and such, but one of the big draws was Outlook Contact integration, so I'm looking to OCS 2007 as a possible replacement.

    Thanks,

    Mark

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 12:05 AM

Answers

  •  Onjay wrote:

       I'm reading the documentation for the OCS 2007 Beta, and am a wee-bit overwhelmed. Perhaps someone could enlighten me a little on a few points. I'm trying to evaluate it's possible deployment in a Small Business (SBS 2003) environment.

       I have an SBS 2003 installation, in a home office environment, Office 2007, with presumably a PSTN phone system, and DSL. My clients are small businesses, with 6 to 12 PC's, Office 2003/2007, also running SBS 2003, and PBX (I think).

     

    1. Will OCS 2007 run on SBS 2003, or is it 64 bit only, like Exchange 2007
    2. How much functionality is lost with an Exchange 2003 installation -- just the unified store?
    3. A hardware device, "Media Gateway",  is required for the VOIP functionality? If so, any recommendations? Won't my old modem work
    4. Is OCS 2007 a good fit for the SBS 2003 sized business?

    One of my clients recently switched to a VOIP system, but is rethinking it, due to some lost calls and such, but one of the big draws was Outlook Contact integration, so I'm looking to OCS 2007 as a possible replacement.

    Thanks,

    Mark

     

    In your customer segment I'd take a look at the new Response Point system from Microsoft  http://www.microsoft.com/responsepoint/default.mspx

     

    To answer your questions:

     

    1. OCS is 32 bit

    2. Without Exchange 2007 you will not have unified VM or the Exchange speech services.

    3. YES There are several gatways on the market take a look at this one: http://www.audiocodes.com/objects/30010_DS_MP-11X,%20MP-124D.pdf

    4. I would say that OCS would fit in well in larger SBS installs but that Response Point  would be better for smaller customers.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 12:22 PM

All replies

  •  Onjay wrote:

       I'm reading the documentation for the OCS 2007 Beta, and am a wee-bit overwhelmed. Perhaps someone could enlighten me a little on a few points. I'm trying to evaluate it's possible deployment in a Small Business (SBS 2003) environment.

       I have an SBS 2003 installation, in a home office environment, Office 2007, with presumably a PSTN phone system, and DSL. My clients are small businesses, with 6 to 12 PC's, Office 2003/2007, also running SBS 2003, and PBX (I think).

     

    1. Will OCS 2007 run on SBS 2003, or is it 64 bit only, like Exchange 2007
    2. How much functionality is lost with an Exchange 2003 installation -- just the unified store?
    3. A hardware device, "Media Gateway",  is required for the VOIP functionality? If so, any recommendations? Won't my old modem work
    4. Is OCS 2007 a good fit for the SBS 2003 sized business?

    One of my clients recently switched to a VOIP system, but is rethinking it, due to some lost calls and such, but one of the big draws was Outlook Contact integration, so I'm looking to OCS 2007 as a possible replacement.

    Thanks,

    Mark

     

    In your customer segment I'd take a look at the new Response Point system from Microsoft  http://www.microsoft.com/responsepoint/default.mspx

     

    To answer your questions:

     

    1. OCS is 32 bit

    2. Without Exchange 2007 you will not have unified VM or the Exchange speech services.

    3. YES There are several gatways on the market take a look at this one: http://www.audiocodes.com/objects/30010_DS_MP-11X,%20MP-124D.pdf

    4. I would say that OCS would fit in well in larger SBS installs but that Response Point  would be better for smaller customers.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 12:22 PM
  • Hello Mark,

     

    adding to what Tdar329 said:

     

    1. Technically you probably can install OCS2007 on a SBS2003. But the documentation says that OCS2007 will not
    be supported on a domain controller. So don't expect official support from PSS for such an environment. For audio/video/web

    conferencing you should also be aware of the fact that this features require more processing power. Though, it depends on

    the actual environment and usage scenarios. I personally wouldn't install OCS2007 on a SBS2003 box in a productive environment,
    where I have to rely on telephony, etc.

     

    3. Additional to AudioCodes you could also take a look at Dialogic, Vegastream oder Quentum gateways. While in general you

    can use any RFC3261 (SIP) compliant gateway that supports at least SIP-over-TCP and the G.711 codec, you'd probably

    prefer an advanced gateway that AudioCodes and Dialogic will have available at lauch time. Withouth an advanced gateway

    in most cases you'd need an addtional server that runs the OCS2007 Mediation Server role. An advanced gateway supports

    all the required features for OCS or comes bundled with a Mediation Server compatible software module. I'm not sure if it would

    be possible or supported to install the Mediation Server role on the OCS2007 server itself.

     

    4. yes and no. While OCS2007 supports most of the VoIP scenarios it still lacks some legacy features in the current version,

    like boss/assistant scenarios, support for analog or dect devices, elevator or emergency phones, etc. Some small businesses

    may not require those features and could use OCS2007 as their primary telephone system, but it really depends on the

    company and the required scenarios.

     

    Response Point is a very good alternative for small businesses with up to 100 users. It is a fully functional VoIP telephone

    system with desk telephones. But I'm not sure if it will be available outside the US with the upcoming release.

     

    HTH

     

    Cheers,

    Thomas

     

     

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 2:23 PM
  • SBS in general is an interesting topic - currently the OCS system is positioned towards the larger businesses, ones running full versions of the OS, Exchange, etc. (not the SBS versions). While OCS "should" work in an SBS environment, I am not aware of any testing or individual who has done it. The architecture of OCS is split into multiple boxes, with 2 required for external communication. As mentioned, if you want to utilize  the UM features of Exchange, 2007 is required (and thus a 64-bit box). The media hardware gateway interfaces the exisiting telephony world with the OCS world. In addition to the hardware VoIP gateway, you will also need another OCS server running the Mediation role to interface OCS to the PBX (OCS - Gateway - PBX). In the future, VoIP gateways will be ablew to integrate the Mediation server into the appliance eliminating the Mediation Server role requirement. I think OCS fits well for many users - small/medium./large - but the telephony integration piece is still a bit of a reach for small business. I am currently working on a step-by-step solution for this role, but I expect it to be a few weeks out (and it still requires a mediation server, a VoIP gateway, Exchange 2007, and a PSTN phone line).

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 9:15 PM
  •  

    One other thought about using OCS in a Small Business Setting. As we are discussing over in a thread in the telephony section of the forum, OCS does not support hunt groups at this time. As these are almost essentials for small business phone systems, one must be aware of this limitation before recommending OCS in a small business setting.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 12:11 AM
  •    I appreciate everyone's input, I now have a much better feel for what will work in my client's offices, and what won't. While OCS is really a compelling system, the added cost and complexity would be real deal breaker in a small business environment running SBS -it basically defeats the purpose of SBS, of reducing complexity and costs. Though perhaps on the upper-end of the spectrum, where a business is teetering on a migration to a full-blown Windows Server environment, OCS could be the little push over the top to justify the migration.

       For now, for my clients, I think I'll take a closer look at Response Point. Perhaps the next version of SBS, due out early next year I think, will either support an enhanced version of Response Point, or a streamlined version of OCS. Either way, for the SBS community, a lot depends on how well Microsoft configures SBS to take advantage of all the new software released this year.
       VOIP, IM, Groove, SharePoint, Office, Outlook, and SBS integration are all in flux for now.

    Thanks,

    Mark

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:29 PM
  • Response Point is a limited and non-extensible solution. No OCS2007 integration, no AD-integration. Also we don't know anything about the price.

     

    Wednesday, July 4, 2007 11:07 AM