Unified Communications Featured Article

Aspect Supports Virtual Launch of Microsoft OCS 2007 Release 2, MS Gears Up for ITEXPO

January 29, 2009

Despite the recent turbulence emanating from Redmond, software giant Microsoft can still fill a room – even if it’s a virtual one.

Unified communications (UC) and contact center software provider Aspect announced today it is now supporting the virtual launch of Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 Release 2 as a platinum sponsor.
The virtual online event is expected to draw plenty of traffic from around the world as the OCS 2007 R2 offering will feature a keynote address, fifteen breakout sessions, online areas for attendees to view product demonstrations, explore customer experiences, and learn about offerings from Microsoft and its partners, according to Mike Sheridan, senior vice president of strategy at Aspect.
The Office Communications Server 2007 R2 will launch in a worldwide online event Feb. 3, 2009. Those interested can register to participate in the launch  here.
"We are looking forward to the launch of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and to being able to deliver the expanded UC capabilities for the enterprise and the contact center to our customers," said Mike Sheridan, senior vice president of strategy at Aspect.
At Aspect’s online booth, attendees will be able to view videos, listen to a UC podcast, and read white papers and other key documents where Aspect is expected to highlight its UC services offerings, said Sheridan.
“The strategic alliance between Microsoft and Aspect is helping companies improve productivity and the customer experience they deliver,” said Sheridan. “This release of Office Communications Server will help companies make significant inroads on their UC journey."
In addition, the Aspect offering provides strategic planning and implementation capabilities for companies deploying UC strategies and Aspect Unified IP 6.6 with its “Ask an Expert” function leveraging the capabilities of OCS 2007.
"Both Microsoft and Aspect remain focused on our global strategic alliance and our joint, on-going commitment to develop solutions and services that streamline communications, resulting in enhanced business processes and increased business productivity for customers across the entire enterprise," said Betsy Frost Webb, general manager of Microsoft Unified Communications Group at Microsoft.
Aspect is making a lot of inroads of late in the UC space as the company is also taking part in a panelist discussion – along with Nortel, CommuniGate, Interactive Intelligence and Objectworld – at TMC’s INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO East 2009 in Miami.
The companies will present their UC solutions and position their products in comparison with one another.
Each panelist will make the case for choosing their offerings by laying out a business case, explaining differentiators and providing a quick demonstration of their systems. The “shootout” format provides just seven minutes for each to make their case, and the session provides a detailed Q&A for attendees to dig deeper into each vendors’ claims. “Internet Telephony magazine Editorial Director Greg Galitzine will moderate.
The session is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2. For more information please visit ITEXPO page here.
Microsoft will also be a very active participant at ITEXPO, delivering and participating in numerous sessions. Redmond will spend a good deal of time in Miami discussing its Microsoft Response Point Solution.
From Microsoft Response Point Tutorials to providing VAR’s Perspective on the solution to Integrated Solutions for the SMB, Microsoft will be covering all angles for its powerful solution.
Microsoft’s Response Point is an advanced, software-based VoIP system for businesses with less than 50 employees. It provides small businesses with advanced features such as multi-party calling, call forwarding capabilities, contact management from Outlook or the Windows Address Book, and voice recognition technology to manage calls and voice mail.
The schedule for the event, which kicks off on Tuesday, February 3 at ITEXPO and continues on Wednesday, February 4, is as follows:
8:30 AM:
Microsoft Response Point Tutorial:
This 90 minute, hands-on tutorial, presented by Marta Barillas and Luis Esparragoza of the Microsoft Response Point team, will educate VARs and Agents about technical aspects of the Response Point software solution, including installation, configuration, SIP Trunking, and hardware & software management.  
10:00 AM:
The Microsoft Response Point ITEXPO Keynote Address
11:00 AM:
Visit to the ITEXPO Exhibit Hall
1:00 PM:
A VAR’s Perspective: Response Point as a Business Driver:
This session, delivered by RiteTech’s Dave Bainum, a leading Response Point VAR, will discuss how to generate revenue from Response Point on a transactional and recurring basis.  
2:00 PM:
A Technical Deep Dive on Response Point:
This presentation by Aastra’s (News - Alert) Steven Grinsztein will provide a detailed look at the hardware and software features available in Response Point for configuration and customization.  
3:00 PM:
An Integrated Solution: “SMB Phone” Goes to Market with Response Point:
Led by SMB Phone’s Erik Lagerway (News - Alert) and Trent Johnsen, this session will identify how VARs and ITSPs leverage Response Point as a key technical and business component in nation-wide go-to-market programs that are aimed at SMBs.  
4:00 PM:
Response Point OEM Roundtable:
Provides an opportunity to interact with the key members of the Response Point Ecosystem. Presenters will include executives from Aastra, D-Link,Syspine ( News - Alert), Clear One, Sangoma, Quintum, and members of the Microsoft Response Point team.
February 4 Tracks:
8:30 AM:
Microsoft Response Point Tutorial:
This 90 minute, hands-on tutorial, presented by Marta Barillas and Luis Esparragoza of the Microsoft Response Point team, will educate VARs and Agents about numerous aspects of the Response Point software solution, including: installation, configuration, SIP Trunking, and hardware & software management.  
10:00 AM:
Tips and Tricks in Selling Response Point Solutions
Join Sypsine’s Tom Burgess in a best practices discussion on selling Response Point solutions into the SMB space. Tom, an experienced VOIP and Telco professional with 20+ years of industry knowledge, will share his insights on how best to utilize the Microsoft brand, Response Point technology, and VAR/Agent expertise for successful selling.    
11:00 AM:
Microsoft Response Point Service Provider Roundtable
Interact with the key members of the Response Point Ecosystem. Service Providers will be represented and open to discuss their service offerings and VAR/Agent programs.
Registration for ITEXPO is now open at www.itexpo.com. Admission to Microsoft’s Response Point Solution Seminar is free for all ITEXPO attendees.
For information about exhibit and sponsorship opportunities at ITEXPO, please contact Dave Rodriguez at drodriguez@tmcnet.com, or 203-852-6800, ext. 146.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for unified communications, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray

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