IP Telephony Systems
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2009
Bringing home the bronze award for IP telephony is Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS). OCS incorporates IP telephony and conferencing capabilities into Microsoft's Live Communication Server (LCS), which offers clients enterprise IM and presence.
Microsoft's approach to IP telephony is a completely software-based solution leveraging the applications that information workers use, allowing them to initiate voice communications from many Windows business applications. OCS 2007 can also interoperate with existing PBXs over session initiation protocol (SIP) or with a media gateway.
Not surprisingly, respondents to our Product Leadership survey were most impressed by OCS's IP communications/messaging capabilities, with 75% of them awarding the system four or five stars on our five-star scale. Readers also scored the product high for voice quality and scalability, although a few commented that licensing could become a usability issue, especially when dealing with users outside the organization.