Although mobile devices help workers stay in contact with clients and colleagues, there’s still little opportunity for workers to collaborate or feed into real time discussions with those working in the office. Often decisions are taken on the spot, and sometimes, responding to an email chain or phoning in, could be too late to have your say on the matter.
The ability to communicate in real time using features like instant messenger has become standard practice in offices. Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile transfers this function to mobile devices, helping workers out of the office to remain in the loop at all times.
The best thing about this application is the way that its features and functions are extremely similar to the Microsoft desktop set up, which means you can just move between the two devices seamlessly. There’s no need to learn new shortcuts or functions on your mobile device.
The instant messenger application is very handy as you’re able to drag and drop contacts from Outlook 2007 using names in the To and CC fields of an Outlook message into the Communicator contact list. Another handy feature is that you can view a contact card for each person in your contact list, which will provide you with not only additional details about the person, but an actions menu with options for contacting them. The application also enables you to set up an IM or phone conference session, just as if you were at your desk, which is perfect for when you need a group discussion on a particular issue.
Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 now offers Enterprise Voice, which is the IP telephony component for Microsoft’s Unified Communications solution. Essentially the feature provides a softphone that has a great range of features. In particular users can manage multiple phone calls simultaneously; each call is handled through a separate conversation window, so it’s easy to use features such as call holding and call transfer to work through their various conversations. Enterprise Voice can also convert calls made to work phone numbers into VoIP calls, so users can have the benefits of a VoIP connection, while still using a familiar number. I like it!