Microsoft Moves UC Ball Forward

Microsoft focuses on call quality in the latest Unified Communications advance.

San Francisco, Calif.—Microsoft, here at VoiceCon, acknowledged the need to provide more fine-tuned monitoring of call quality on VOIP (voice over IP) calls when it launched its new Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Quality of Experience Monitoring Server.

In his keynote address at VoiceCon, Gurdeep Singh Pall, Microsofts corporate vice president of the Unified Communications Group, gave attendees an early look at the new tool, intended to help telecom managers better monitor voice and video call quality.

"This server allows you to capture rich information about the phone calls going on in real time, and allows you to analyze that information using off-the-shelf tools," he described.

With the help of Microsofts Systems Center Operations Manager, the demonstration showed how Mean Opinion Scores that are less than optimal can be flagged and then investigated.

Using off-the-shelf programs such as Microsofts SQL Server, Warren Barkley, group program manager in Microsofts Unified Communications Group, showed how reports can be quickly generated to look at call detail records and investigate possible call quality problems.


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The Quality of Experience Monitoring Server generates real-time updates, alerts and detailed analysis of network performance to reflect the call experience users have from the endpoints they are using.

The server gathers 35 different parameters from each call, and call detail records can include information on the type of device used in the call.

"When you have rich data available in an openly described database, you can take off-the-shelf applications and point them at that database and do something you couldnt do before," Pall said.

Also in his keynote, Pall announced that six vendors have licensed its new voice codec software, RT Audio Codec, which compresses digital speech samples into a digital media bitstream.

Those vendors include Intel, Texas Instruments, AudioCodes, Dialogic, LG-Nortel and Polycom.

Intel for its part will use the voice codec software in its planned Intel Integrated Performance Primitives software library release aimed at PCs.

Pall asserted that the audio codec can be used in end points such as PC soft phones or IP phones to remediate problems associated with jitter, latency and loss on the network.


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