Just today, Nick Galea, CEO of 3CX has commented on the recent developements of Microsoft Communications Server (formerly Microsoft Office Communication Server). Nick reiterated that PBX's are moving to software, and how that Microsoft will help in explaining the case for communications on Windows. Nick also noted how this move by Microsoft may affect 3CX:
At the same time, we have 'gained' a significant competitor and the question is how much of this now huge Windows PBX market will choose Microsoft Communications Server over 3CX Phone System.
One thing in the article that I would want more information on is the comment that 3CX integrates to Microsoft Office as good as Communicator. To quote the article:
And in the case of telephony it does not have a big strategic advantage in terms of integration with other Microsoft products. The Office 2010 communication APIs will be available to 3CX and we will achieve a similar level of Office integration.
One of the very strong points of Communicator is it's integration to Office. Why do I say this and what are some of the integration points I'm talking about?
-Instant Message history is automatically stored and searchable in Outlook
-If you Instant Message someone and they don't acknowledge an IM it is sent to their Outlook --Inbox as an email automatically
-Inside outlook you can see user presence anywhere that user shows up (Inside Outlook)
-You can label an instant message's subject so you can easily find it in Outlook history
-Search Outlook contacts from inside Communicator (live connection to Outlook)
-Outlook Appointments can change Communicator presence to "In Meeting" automatically
-Missed Calls show up in Outlook
Click here to see my video on Communicator integrating to Office. Microsoft also has a great video on how Communicator and Office integrate.
We haven't talked about integrations into current versions of Sharepoint & CRM.
And Outlook, Word and Excel 2010 have even deeper integrations to Communicator along with the 2010 version of Dynamics products.
Current version of Dynamics CRM Integration:
Dynamics GP 2010 Integration to Communicator:
Nick makes a very good point that the PBX is a huge market. 3CX certainly has some things it does very well:
-Very low cost
-Very easy to use interface
-Very easy to install
-Very good how to install hardware documentation
Adtran, pbxnsip and others fill the more advanced PBX market that wants more pbx features, more mature platform and still simple infrastructure.
Microsoft fills a need for those that have next generation communication needs that allows users to securely federate presence/collaboration between companies, easily bump an IM/voice call to include HD video, & desktop sharing. Microsoft fills the need for those that want communication enable applications and want to benefit from an ever growing eco-system for MS Communication Server.
If Microsoft would release a Microsoft Communications Small Business Server, like it's very popular Small Business Server 2008 the playing field for small business communications would be massively altered. The lively field of Windows-base communication solutions certainly keeps things interesting.
Read the whole blog article by Nick at: