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January 30, 2006

Microsoft merges Exchange and Real-Time Collaboration Groups

Posted by David Hunter at 7:12 PM ET.

Press release:

Microsoft today announced it is merging the Exchange and Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) groups to form the Unified Communications Group (UCG). With the mission-critical nature of e-mail and the rapidly increasing use of instant messaging, VoIP, audio/video/Web conferencing, customers are asking for an integrated communications experience that enables them to intuitively and seamlessly communicate across all modes of communication. The merger of the teams aligns Microsoft’s efforts internally and allows the company to more rapidly and effectively addresses these customer needs.

The Unified Communications Group resides in Microsoft’s Business Division, led by division President Jeff Raikes. The combined group will be led by Anoop Gupta, currently corporate vice president of the RTC group.

A biography of Gupta is here (he’s a former Stanford professor and Bill Gates’ technical assistant) and per Ina Fried at CNET:

Gupta, whose leadership of the combined unit was also announced Monday, used to head the RTC unit. Under the changes, Exchange chief Dave Thompson will continue to direct that product, but will report to Gupta. Thompson had reported to Paul Flessner, a senior vice president in the server and tools business.

You may recall that the Business Division was created last September by having Information Worker (aka Office) and Microsoft Business Solutions report to Raikes, so the net is that Exchange has been moved out of Server and Tools (part of the Kevin Johnson/Jim Allchin Platform Products & Services Division) and into Office.

The rest of the press release has some Q&A’s with Gupta which provide the usual corporate reorganization rationale of improved coordination, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt that a premier server product like Exchange will add some earnings mojo to the lackluster results in the Business Division ([1], [2]).

And speaking of financial results, Microsoft separately announced the CFOs for the three overarching divisions created in the September announcement. Details are in the Ina Fried article linked above.

Filed under Anoop Gupta, David Thompson, Exchange, Executives, Financial, General Business, Jeff Raikes, Jim Allchin, Kevin Johnson, Office, Office Communications Server, Servers

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4 Responses to “Microsoft merges Exchange and Real-Time Collaboration Groups”

  1. Microsoft unveils unified business communications push -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Last January, Microsoft merged Exchange and Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) groups to form the Unified Communications Group (UCG) under corporate VP Anoop Gupta, and yesterday the group had a gala introduction of their upcoming enterprise offerings for unifying all of the forms of business communication.Press release: June 25, 2006 – Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division, today unveiled the company’s vision, technology road map and partner framework for unified communications at a strategy event in San Francisco. Microsoft Corp.’s approach to unified communications will break down today’s silos of e-mail, instant messaging, mobile and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) telephony, and audio-, video- and webconferencing. Through software, Microsoft and its partners will put people at the center of communications through a single identity across all modes and integrate communication into people’s everyday work processes, including the widely used Microsoft® Office system and third-party software applications. … Raikes was joined onstage by Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Unified Communications Group, to demonstrate key capabilities of the new and updated servers, services and devices: [...]

  2. Changes in Microsoft’s financial reporting -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] The company will announce financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter on July 20, 2006 for the seven business segments under which the company operated in fiscal year 2006, and will provide fiscal year 2007 guidance under the new operating segment structure. The good news here is that Client, Servers and Tools, and Online Services weren’t all mashed together. The bad news is that Office (Information Worker) will cover up whatever is happening in Microsoft Business Solutions. In Entertainment and Devices, the action is mostly in the Xbox (and maybe the upcoming Zune) anyhow, so the obfuscation of Mobile and Embedded could charitably be called a neutral. As for Exchange Server getting counted with Office and MBS, that was odd from the start. Well, at least we get a parting glance of the old seven segment breakout to shoo us on our way. Filed under Office, Servers, Exchange, Xbox, MBS, General Business, Financial, Microsoft, Argo, Zune   [Permalink] [...]

  3. Microsoft launches private beta of Office Communications Server 2007 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] With native support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator, part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, interoperate with products from industry partners including Nortel Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., LG-Nortel Co. Ltd., Mitel Networks Corp., NEC Philips Unified Solutions, Polycom Inc. and Siemens Communications Inc. Through these relationships, customers worldwide will be able to support VoIP using their existing desktop phones, data networks and time division multiplexing (TDM) or Internet protocol (IP) private branch exchanges (PBXs). Customers will also able to leverage the softphone capabilities of Office Communicator to make and receive phone calls from their PCs, eliminating the need to purchase expensive IP-compatible phones. Microsoft is being coy about an availability date, but Office Communications Server (which had a shotgun wedding with Exchange in January) is key to Microsoft’s Unified Communications push. There’s also a Q&A on the whole lashup here. Filed under Office, Coopetition, Servers, Exchange, Beta and CTP, Office Communications Server, Cisco, Microsoft, Alcatel, Nortel, Mitel [...]

  4. Gupta out as Raikes takes over Microsoft’s United Communications Group -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Just a little over a year ago Microsoft merged its Exchange server and Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) groups to form the Unified Communications Group (UCG) under corporate vice president Anoop Gupta and put it in the Business Division (mostly Office), led by division president Jeff Raikes. The UCG is reponsible for Microsoft’s well hyped Unified Communications push announced last June. Today, however, Mary Jo Foley reports that Gupta is out and Raikes has personally taken over UCG leadership. The ostensible reason for the change is that Gupta felt is was time to move on to a new role. His new job is corporate vice president of technology policy and strategy under Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie. Filed under Office, Executives, Servers, Exchange, Office Communications Server, Jeff Raikes, Craig Mundie, Anoop Gupta, Microsoft [...]

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