Partners bulking up ahead of Microsoft VoIP launch

Channel partners are gearing up for the flood of new business opportunities expected to flow their way as Microsoft jumps into the VoIP market with its long-awaited unified communications portfolio. Solution providers expect to see significant sales growth as a result of the product launch, including the debut of Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, […]

Channel partners are gearing up for the flood of new business opportunities expected to flow their way as Microsoft jumps into the VoIP market with its long-awaited unified communications portfolio.

Solution providers expect to see significant sales growth as a result of the product launch, including the debut of Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, which promises to bring VoIP, presence, instant messaging> and conferencing together; the Office Communicator 2007 unified communications client; Office Live Meeting 2007 hosted conferencing and the RoundTable videoconferencing system.

Lest anyone doubts how seriously Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft is taking its push into the voice market -- which the company has estimated to be a US$45 billion opportunity by 2010 -- Chairman Bill Gates plans to raise the curtain himself at a launch event on October 16 in San Francisco.

For Microsoft solution providers that aren't yet playing in the VoIP market, the new product portfolio represents an opportunity to take advantage of one of the fastest growing technology markets. But in order to reap the rewards, partners know they need to plunk down some cash, building up their skill sets with internal investments.

"For the past 18 months we have been investing significant capital to build our technical and sales teams to capitalize on what we believe is the biggest wave to hit the industry in years, and that's Microsoft unified communications," said Bill Vollerthum, president and CEO of Enabling Technologies, a Microsoft Gold partner.

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Microsoft, Partner, Microsoft Partner, VoIP, OCS 2007, Office Communications Server, Online Communication, Internet Communication