Microsoft Unveils the Next Step in the Evolution of Communications



    Canadian customers benefit from software-based approach to communication
    technology

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Microsoft Canada Co. today announced the
availability of the next era of communications products, taking the first step
towards significantly reducing the cost of the average Voice over IP (VoIP)
communication system by half. Together with Canadian customers and technology
partners, Microsoft is launching a unified communications solution that brings
together the phone, e-mail, instant messaging and video for a consistent user
experience, all through software.
    "Microsoft unified communications gives Canadian businesses more choice
for the way they connect and collaborate in the workplace," said Phil Sorgen,
President, Microsoft Canada. "We're bringing voice back into the enterprise by
weaving it through familiar business processes. Microsoft's vision brings
voice seamlessly into the productivity and knowledge tools businesses use
today."
    By combining voice mail, e-mail, phone and video with the power of
"presence", unified communications solutions from Microsoft offer users a
single point of contact and makes it easier for them to connect. People no
longer have to punch in a work phone number, cell phone coordinates, or try
numerous e-mail and instant messaging addresses to reach whoever they want to
contact. This simplifies connectivity for Canadian workers.

    
    The suite of unified communications products include:

    -   Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007: software that delivers
        VoIP, video, instant messaging, conferencing, and presence within the
        applications people already know and use such as Microsoft Office
        system applications and upcoming versions of Microsoft Dynamics ERP
        products and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM release due later this year.

    -   Microsoft Office Communicator 2007: client software for phone,
        instant messaging, and video communications that works across the PC,
        mobile phone and Web-browser.

    -   Microsoft Office Live Meeting: advanced conferencing service that
        enables workers to conduct meetings, share documents, utilize video,
        and record discussions from any computer.

    -   Microsoft RoundTable: a conferencing phone with a 360-degree camera
        that captures a panoramic view of meeting participants, tracks the
        speaker and can record meetings.
    

    Service pack update of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007: the industry's
leading e-mail, voice mail, calendaring and unified messaging platform.
    These solutions help pave the way for cost-effective enterprise
connectivity. With software as their foundation, they also help eliminate the
need to rip and replace existing PBX systems, integrating seamlessly with
existing technology investments.

    Customers win early

    The Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC) is
using Microsoft-based unified communications solutions to improve mobile staff
collaboration and find a more efficient way to streamline voice mail, wireless
and e-mail messaging capabilities, incorporating VoIP into its communications
system. A province-wide organization that serves community care access centres
- which provide long-term home care and other specialized health services -
OACCAC relies on Microsoft unified communications to address CCAC and client
needs more efficiently. Taking advantage of new conferencing capabilities,
staff can quickly ensure that case managers have access to the information
they require to provide clients with quality care.
    As a nationally recognized organization, CNIB looked to Microsoft to help
provide an intuitive and cost-effective infrastructure to support its
communication needs. With more than 1,100 workers, some of whom experience
vision loss, CNIB is using unified communications tools from Microsoft to help
provide staff the ability to read e-mail messages and listen to voice mail
within the Microsoft Office Outlook(R) messaging and collaboration client, or
listen to e-mail over the phone. As a result, CNIB is benefiting from better
communication, increased efficiencies and a significant gain in productivity.
    "Our users depend on unified communications to help them answer client
questions as quickly and accurately as possible. We see the system making an
immediate impact in improving collaboration and communication across the
organization," says Jim Sanders, President and CEO, CNIB. "It's ultimately
helping us to better meet our mandate of helping those living with vision
loss."
    Customers can learn more about Microsoft unified communications software
at: http://www.microsoft.com/canada/media/UC2

    About Microsoft Canada

    Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of
Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software,
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full
potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting
and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in
Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has 10 regional offices across the country
dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place
and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit
www.microsoft.ca





For further information:

For further information: Melissa Legaspi, High Road Communications,
(416) 644-2295, mlegaspi@highroad.com

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