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Microsoft Unifies Business Communication with New Office Software

  • 10 May, 2005 12:40

<p>Sydney – 10 May 2005 – Microsoft Australia today launched new versions of its Microsoft® Office real-time collaboration software, Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2005 and Microsoft Live Communication Server 2005, at an event in Sydney.</p>
<p>A preview was also conducted of Microsoft Office Live Communicator 2005, a new secure enterprise messenger integrating real-time communications into existing desktop applications, which will soon be available to Australian customers.</p>
<p>According to Microsoft Australia’s real-time collaboration business manager, Mr Oscar Trimboli, organisations are continually looking for new ways to communicate more effectively and make meetings more productive.</p>
<p>"In a business environment, it is essential that communications are secure, private, can be audited and provide a measurable return on investment,” said Mr Trimboli.</p>
<p>“Microsoft’s real time collaboration software has already helped a number of Australian organisations, including Fuji Xerox Australia, Edith Cowan University, NEC, BHP Billiton and OBS to communicate with new and existing customers and grow revenue streams.”</p>
<p>Live Communications Server 2005
The new version of Microsoft’s real-time communication platform provides secure, scalable, enterprise-grade instant messaging (IM) and seamless integration of presence information with other Microsoft products. With its extensible development platform based on the industry standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), customers and partners can quickly and cost effectively augment Live Communications Server 2005 to meet the needs of their unique environment including voice and video. To offer further integration and security, Live Communication Server 2005 Service Pack One was released in March, including enhanced ‘spim’ (spam over IM) control and secure connectivity to the MSN®, Yahoo! and AOL public IM networks.</p>
<p>Edith Cowan University in Western Australia selected Microsoft Live Communication Server 2005 to allow staff and students to interact via the wireless campus or at home. Students can communicate via IM or soft phone with academic staff and faculty and with each other.</p>
<p>Mr Tony Hume, the university’s manager of development and alumni, said the implementation of collaboration technologies had improved the University’s image with a new generation of students. A research project conducted by the university found that students were demanding instant messaging and other new technologies as a way to communicate with the university.</p>
<p>“The world of study has changed. It is not a nine-to-five activity anymore, with many students holding part-time or full-time jobs or studying remotely outside business hours,” said Mr Hume.</p>
<p>“This technology gives our teaching staff flexibility and control as well as improving the learning experience for students. It helps us consolidate our position as a leader in post-graduate and remote learning and gives us better access to international markets.”</p>
<p>NEC Business Solutions has integrated its voice technologies with Live Communications Server 2005 and the beta version of Office Live Communicator. The company is currently trialling it with around 25 staff in administrative, finance and technical roles. The solution will be extended to the remainder of the company’s 600 staff over the next few months and also offered to NEC Business Solutions customers.
Mr Paul Grady, general manager of the i-Solutions Division at NEC Business Solutions said that voice integration with business software applications was the key to productivity improvements and cost savings and opened up new business opportunities.</p>
<p>“Microsoft’s collaborative technologies are the perfect accompaniment to our voice technologies. By integrating telephony and IT, organisations can have all the benefits of IP technologies while protecting their investments in existing infrastructure,” he said.</p>
<p>Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2005
Microsoft’s popular web conferencing service helps people conduct effective online meetings and collaborative sessions from anywhere and at anytime. This major update includes a new user interface, deeper Office connections, integrated call controls and one way Voice over IP (VoIP).</p>
<p>Fuji Xerox Australia is using Live Meeting to provide regular product training for its geographically dispersed sales and support technicians at branch offices and dealers throughout the country. Previously, Fuji Xerox would fly them to its Sydney training centre. Now, regular sales and support staff training is held via a web conference using Live Meeting.</p>
<p>Fuji Xerox education services manager Mr Martin Head said the company had adopted Microsoft Office Live Meeting for improved productivity, not cost savings.</p>
<p>“You can’t get away from the need to travel, but you can make the most of it when you do. We find people are now better prepared when they do come in to our national training centre, and so get more out of it,” said Mr Head.</p>
<p>Nintex, a Melbourne software vendor and Microsoft Gold Partner, has adopted Microsoft Office Live Meeting to help its sales and technical teams reach interstate and international markets. From an initial investment in the Live Meeting service of A$780, the company has brought in revenue of more than A$280,000 from overseas clients from such varied geographies as Russia, The United Kingdom and The United States.</p>
<p>“We are now able to demonstrate our software anywhere, anytime without the expense of travel as well as having shortened our sales cycle with personalised customer service,” said Mr Brett Campbell, Sales Director at Nintex. “This simple-to-use tool has quickly justified the initial cost to our business.”</p>
<p>Microsoft Office Live Communicator 2005
Expected to be available before the end of the second quarter in 2005, Office Live Communicator integrates communications capabilities including instant messaging, rich presence, PC-based voice and video, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and enterprise telephony with productivity and other communications applications. Microsoft Office Live Communicator 2005 will be the recommended client for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005.</p>
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<p>About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.</p>
<p>For further information or to arrange an interview:</p>
<p>Shannon Rudd
Product Communications Manager
Microsoft Australia
Ph: 02 9870 2451 or 0410 533 055
shannr@microsoft.com</p>
<p>Susannah Hardy or Susan Moore
Howorth Communications
02 8281 3830 or 0410 613 510
howorth@howorth.com.au</p>

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