After much fun with the beta, RC, and finally our internal RTM deployment we just completed our first scheduled customer engagement to deploy R2 RTM. Even more exciting was the fact that we would be deploying R2 to replace the customer’s Shoretel PBX. The total solution provided more integration than their Shoretel PBX, and while it’s highly likely the Shoretel has some features that MS UC solution does not, the reality is that the customer wasn’t using any features that we couldn’t replace with OCS R2/Exchange UM and they were gaining a huge array of features such as conferencing, remote access, desktop sharing, integrated fax, and so on.
The architecture was simple – we dropped a Quintum Tenor DX (SSG firmware) in between the PSTN (T1) and the Shoretel. From there we added on OCS R2 and configured UM on their existing Exchange 2007 system. Using the routing capability of the Tenor they could move extensions seamlessly from the Shoretel to OCS.
They still have a few features to migrate but ultimately will be using the R2 Response Group service to replace their auto attendant and will include a branch to the Exchange auto attendant to facilitate dial by name. Response Groups will also be used for customer service routing, and they are planning to extend their customer service reach to the web using our SmartChat product to integrate with Communicator. They will also realize immediate cost savings by using the included web conferencing rather than paying an external provider, dropping their external phone conferencing relationship, and conducting their company wide quarterly meetings virtually rather than bringing their entire field sales force in from various locations.
Overall it was quite a successful deployment. It’s great to use all the new capabilities to bring real cost savings and collaboration improvements to an organization, and it really makes a statement as to what we’ll see with R2 in the coming months.