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Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 Overview

Updated: June 1, 2005

Communicator 2005 is an integrated communications client, enabling information workers to communicate in real time. As the recommended client for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, Communicator 2005 integrates with Microsoft Office System applications and enterprise telephony infrastructure.

On This Page
Connect People Inside the Enterprise in Real TimeConnect People Inside the Enterprise in Real Time
Connect the PC and the PhoneConnect the PC and the Phone
Increase the Velocity of your Supply ChainIncrease the Velocity of your Supply Chain
Pricing and LicensingPricing and Licensing

Connect People Inside the Enterprise in Real Time

In a world of communications overload where virtual working continues to increase, existing forms of asynchronous communication are no longer sufficient. Communicator 2005 integrates rich communication capabilities to allow teams and information workers to more easily and efficiently communicate in real time.

Find people you need to communicate with easily via integration with existing corporate directories.

Communicate seamlessly with others in different locations or time zones, with a range of different communication modalities.

View rich information about a contact's availability—details about their schedule, or even their 'out of office' message—through integration with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and Microsoft Exchange Server.

Avoid continually checking for colleagues' status. Communicator 2005 lets you tag key contacts so you can know when they become available and can communicate with them more quickly.

Use 1:1 video and voice communications capabilities for rich interactions beyond text-based instant messaging (IM) conversations.

Connect the PC and the Phone

The enterprise telephone has been a key form of real-time communications for some time, although until today it has not been well integrated with the PC. Communicator 2005 bridges the gap between the enterprise phone and the PC.

Initiate telephone calls with your enterprise phone directly from Communicator 2005, or other applications such as Outlook, without having to take the number out of one application and dial it into the phone.

Forward your desk phone automatically, based on where you are—if you walk away from your desk, your calls can automatically be diverted to a mobile phone.

Access phone features via Communicator 2005—accept, transfer, and divert calls or add people to the phone conversation—through an easy-to-use, intuitive user interface, rather than having to remember complicated sequences to dial into a telephone.

Switch from a group IM conversation to an audio conference call at the click of a button using Communicator 2005's integration abilities with audio conferencing service providers. The conferencing bridge automatically calls participants at the number they choose, making it unnecessary to circulate PINs or passcodes via another form of communication.

See pop-up notifications for incoming calls. Integration with Outlook and your corporate directory lets you know who is calling you and whether they are online of offline. With one mouse click, you can answer the call if you are next to your phone, or, divert the call to another number such as a mobile or home phone.

Increase the Velocity of your Supply Chain

Even with the best communications tools, being restricted to communicating within one enterprise is often not enough to meet the demands of business today. As the recommended client for Live Communications Server 2005, Communicator 2005 extends the reach of these solutions beyond the traditional boundary of the enterprise and enables faster reactions throughout your supply chain.

Conduct IM conversations securely with customers and partners from one client whether they use Live Communications Server or a public IM client like AOL, MSN, or Yahoo!.1

Escalate an IM conversation to a Microsoft Office Live Meeting or start a conference call with a public switched telephone network (PSTN) conferencing provider easily from within the Communicator 2005 client.

Make more informed decisions about which calls you want to take and stay in touch with customers and business partners using Communicator 2005's telephony integration capabilities—call forwarding based on presence and corporate directory and personal address book integration.

Stay connected whether you work from the office, the road, or home. Communicator 2005 makes it easy for people to stay part of the team. With Live Communications Server's support for the 'outside user' scenario, no virtual private network (VPN) is required making it much simpler for people to stay connected.

Pricing and Licensing

The IM, presence, and 1:1 audio and video capabilities available in Communicator 2005 are provided to customers who have Live Communication Server 2005 Client Access Licenses (CALs) at no additional cost. For these customers, using the telephony features of Communicator 2005 (private branch exchange (PBX) integration for remote call control and PSTN audio conferencing) requires the purchase of the appropriate number of Live Communication Server Telephony CALs. For more information about pricing of these CALs, please see the Live Communications Server How to Buy page.

Certain elements of functionality, including telephony integration, require integration with other systems, which may require deployment of additional components from third parties, and additional cost.

1Public IM Connectivity is required to connect Live Communications Server-enabled users to the public IM service providers MSN, AOL, and Yahoo!. For more information, see the Live Communications Server 2005 Public IM Connectivity Overview.

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