IP PBX, you are so last year. At least, that’s what software giant and all-around communications behemoth Microsoft Corp. says. With the latest version of its Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2, its software-based unified communications system announced this week, MSFT is taking another step toward making the PBX irrelevant.
Standalone, hardware-based business telephony systems will be relics of another era, according to Bill Gates himself, and the new version of OCS furthers that vision by wrapping in PBX functionality directly into the OCS server to make hardware redundant. For instance, dial-in audio conferencing support, single number reach, SIP trunking support, mobility extensions and mash-ups with business apps are all part of the new release.
IP PBX folks still have some time to combat the software-centric barrage of technologist theology: OCS 2007 R2 is in beta and won’t be commercially available until Feb. 2009.