New capabilities of Office Communications Online

I’m quite a fan of Office Communications Server (OCS) and have been for many years. So much so that I was one of the first 250 people in the world to be certified on it. While I love that Office Communications Online (OCO) gets the technology into more organisations I have been disappointed by the limitations imposed by having it hosted in the cloud. However with the release of Office Communications Server ’14’ impending, we will see some key functionality rolled out to OCO:

  • Audio/video across firewalls
  • File transfer across firewalls
  • Presence with pictures
  • Federation (!!!)
  • IM with Windows Live
  • Co-existence with OCS
  • Server-side IM archiving
  • Office Communicator is the unified client for conferencing (bye bye Live Meeting!)
  • Application & desktop sharing
  • Content presentation
  • Integration with 3rd party PSTN audio conferencing services
  • Client-side recording/playback

There are a few pieces of advanced unified communications functionality that will also be released, however these will only be available through select carriers and will have limited worldwide availability. In any case, these features are:

  • Single number for Office Communicator and your mobile phone
  • Common call controls
  • Unified voicemail

New capabilities of Exchange Online 2010

There’s a few links around the net listing some of the features coming in Exchange Online with 2010 but they are few and far betwee, so I thought it would be good to summarise them here.
The key components are:

  • Voicemail with Unified Messaging
  • Integrated archiving
  • Retention policies and legal hold
  • Transport rules
  • Multi-mailbox search
  • Conversation View
  • MailTips
  • Enhanced web-based administration
  • Role-based access control
  • Remote PowerShell
  • Free/busy between cloud & on-premise
  • Cross-premises management
  • Native migration tools

Let’s have a look at these in a bit more detail.

Client Access

  • IMAP
  • Customise ActiveSync security policies
  • Full OWA support in Firefox & Safari
  • IM and presence in OWA
  • OWA side-by-side calendar view
  • Mobile free/busy lookup
  • Mobile reply status
  • Mobile SMS sync
  • Over-the-air update for Outlook mobile

Email & Calendaring

  • Conversation view
  • Ingore/move conversation
  • MailTips
  • Mailk aggregation
  • Shared nickname cache across OWA & mobile
  • Message tracking (user self-service)
  • Free/busy interoperability with on-premise
  • Free/busy & calendar sharing with other organisations (ie. Exchange federation)
  • Publish calendar for anonymous access

Contacts & Directory

  • Dynamic distribution groups
  • Restricted distribution groups
  • Moderated distribution groups
  • Share personal contacts
  • Contact information update (user self-service)

Unified Messaging & Fax

  • Hosted voicemail (integrationon with PABX)
  • Outlook Voice Access
  • ‘Play on phone’ button
  • Missed call notifications
  • Caller ID
  • Company auto-attendant
  • Self-service PIN reset
  • Message waiting indicator
  • Voicemail preview
  • Call answering rules
  • Protected voicemail


  • Sign in using AD credentials
  • Route outbound mail via on-premise for filtering
  • Multi-factor authentication (smartcard, soft certificate)
  • Integration with on-premise RMS (for search, pre-licensing)
  • RMS transport rules
  • Journal decryption of RMS messages
  • Outlook Protection Rules


  • Remote PowerShell
  • Role Based Access Controls
  • Exchange Management Console
  • Enhanced migration tools
  • No OST re-synchronisation after migration
  • Offboarding tools
  • Support for organisations greater than 30,000 users

Compliance & Archiving

  • Exchange Personal Archive
  • E-Discovery (Multi-mailbox search)
  • Message Retention (Archive & Delete policies)
  • Message Retention (Legal Hold poliy)
  • Compliance auditing
  • Transport rules
  • Custom disclaimers