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Christine Fitzpatrick

Last modified: Tuesday, May 22, 2007

IU and Microsoft to bridge communications systems

Industry-wide support for Microsoft unified communications software brings flexibility and cost savings to IU

May 22, 2007

LAS VEGAS -- Today at Interop Las Vegas 2007, Microsoft Corp. and 12 industry leaders announced plans to make it easier for Indiana University to protect and extend its communications investments.

These industry leaders are extending their support for unified communications software from Microsoft by implementing the company's interoperability specification for Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007. This broad interoperability will help IU deploy software-based unified communications and cost-effectively adapt to voice and data network convergence.

"By deploying Microsoft Office Communications Server alongside our existing PBX systems, we've found a powerful and sensible strategy for moving to an IP-based communication solution," said Sue Workman, associate vice president for support at Indiana University. "This new solution opens up many new possibilities for communication. For example, we could make it possible to 'speak' to newly admitted students without worrying about long distance costs.

"Additionally, Office Communications Server enhances the Office suite of products with feature-rich productivity tools like presence management, mobility, and integration. These tools will help us streamline administrative processes and communication between faculty, staff, students and external partners," Workman said.

In the two months since Microsoft published this interoperability specification, global telephony and networking companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Ericsson, Mitel Networks Corp., NEC Corp., Nortel Networks and Siemens Enterprise Communications, and gateway providers Audiocodes Ltd., Dialogic Corp. and Quintum Technologies Inc., have stated their support for the interoperability specification for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. Together these vendors provide interoperability with approximately 90 percent of communication systems.

"As the traditional business telecommunications model evolves, businesses are seeking guidance for the best way to leverage their existing assets as they deploy unified communications," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president, Unified Communications Group at Microsoft. "This broad industry support will give business the assurance that Microsoft's unified communications software will work with the applications and networks they have today."

Microsoft has published this specification to enable businesses to deploy Office Communications Server 2007 for voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), presence, instant messaging, and conferencing while maintaining compatibility with existing and planned telephony systems. This will allow businesses to reap the benefits of Microsoft's unified communications software for streamlined communications while extending the life of their existing investments.

Unified communications software from Microsoft consists of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, the Microsoft standards-based solution for VoIP, presence, instant messaging, and conferencing; and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, the industry's leading platform for e-mail, calendaring and unified messaging.

Indiana University is one of the oldest state universities in the Midwest and also one of the largest universities in the United States with more than 110,000 students, faculty, and staff on eight campuses. IU has a national reputation in the areas of information technology and advanced networking. PC Magazine ranks IU Bloomington No. 1 among all publicly supported universities in its 2007 ranking of Top 20 Wired Campuses.

IU was the first university to sign an enterprise license agreement with Microsoft in 1998. In addition, IU has moved increasingly toward convergence of communications technologies over the past few years by increasing the reliability of its data network and by deploying a unified messaging system that allows users to store voice messages in their electronic mailboxes.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.