Microsoft OCS + ShoreTel = IM

Microsoft Office Communications is a powerful collaboration tool. The MOCS provides web conferencing, IM, audio conferencing, desktop sharing and also provided SIP. For purposes of this brief discussion, we will stay focused on the Internet Messaging component of MOCS. With the Release of ShoreTel 8+, the Professional Call Manager provides both desktop to desktop video conferencing and Internet Messaging. The Internet Messaging component makes use of a Microsoft OCS server and the ShoreTel solution integrates the solution as an application server defined within the ShorewareDirector portal.

Internet Messaging, or IM as it is popularly referred to, seems to fall into two corporate philosophy camps: companies who absolutely abhorrer its use; and companies who find it to be an essential business tool. Those companies who do not allow IM of any kind typically have very tightly controlled employee desktops, enable website filtering and block IM ports for Yahoo, AOL, Google and others. Sometimes the excuse is HIPA/Sarbanes Oxley compliance or a general concern that employees might communicate private company information out this internet portal. Companies that find IM to be essential can be broken down into two additional categories: those that allow IM clients on an ad hoc basis and those who want total control of the IM client.

Microsoft OCS provides a solution for that last group of customers; those that need IM but want to control and monitor its utilization. MOCS enables you to “record” all IM conversations to an achieve server to meet those HIPA and Sarbanes Oxley compliance requirements and to assure the content of IM does not violate Corporate use policy. MOCS also enables you to set up “federations” so that inside IM participants across the Company can communicate with Yahoo, AOL or Other corporate MOCS users outside the domain. All in all, MOCS is the great unsung hero of the Microsoft Servers!

The integration of ShoreTel Professional Call Manager and the MOCS is not that complex, but falls under that summary statement “well know, to those who know it well”. Microsoft clearly has a VOIP strategy in which the MOCS plays a key role. Working with a ShoreTel IPBX and a Professional call manager, it becomes a viable solution for adding IM to and existing ShoreTel installation. The video is just a quick overview of how you actually deploy the integration.