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Office Communicator FAQs

by Cal Doval published Sep 07, 2012 09:40 AM, last modified Dec 17, 2013 03:27 PM
Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions regarding Office Communicator.

What does Communicator do?

  • Instant messaging: chat with a colleague, in real-time. You can also start a conference in a chat room, and everyone in the chat group can participate. Transcripts of chats can be saved in Outlook, or not, at your discretion.

  • Presence information: You can tell Communicator whether you are free or busy, and this will be displayed as an icon in Communicator, Outlook, or SharePoint. When you are inactive or logged out of your computer, Communicator will change your status accordingly. Communicator will also note that you are busy if your Calendar shows you are in a meeting. Finally, you can setup various contact groups, so people on your immediate team see details, but others see only what you want them to see.

  • Video-conferencing: With the proper equipment, you can setup audio or audio/video calls between two Communicator clients. (Note: We do not yet support this by default, as it requires special equipment and installation for all parties.)


Why would I use this?

  • Front-desk letting someone know their appointment has arrived

  • Checking on the availability of someone in the office

  • A quick back-and-forth chat between geographically dispersed locations that would otherwise require a lengthy email exchange


Is this safe?

Communicator encrypts data between clients, and information is stored on the Office Communication Server, run by CRU. Communicator works with your regular Dean’s Office Active Directory account, so you don’t have to sign up for any additional services, or login to another provider.


How do I start using it?

Within the next few days, Communicator should be automatically installed on your computer. You can find information about how to configure and use Office Communicator here:

http://computing.caes.ucdavis.edu/how-to-guides/office-communicator/

In addition, several units (UAP and the Business Office) have already been using Communicator, and some of your peers may be able to show you how they use Communicator.


Can I talk to my relatives/friends at Yahoo/AIM/MSN?

Office Communicator Server has this capability, but it requires a monthly per-user fee. At this time, we do not have a business case sufficient to justify purchasing and supporting this.


Can I talk to Skype users?

Skype is a walled garden; only Skype users can talk to other Skype users. Communicator can do everything Skype does, except talk to Skype users. Skype has a number of undesirable features that prevent us from using it widely.


Can I submit Computer Help Desk requests via Communicator?

Please continue to submit Help Desk tickets through the usual email route,csrequests@caes.ucdavis.edu. Emails to our various addresses are entered automatically into a database and thence into our work queue. This helps us to help you

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