Office Communicator Can Save Money
Joe Lear, Associate Director/Systems Administrator
With the economy in bad shape, every Extension office needs to stretch
their budget where they can. One way to do this is by using Office
Communicator 2005 to talk with Extension Faculty and staff instead of
using the telephone and reducing costs for long distance service.
Office Communicator allows you to Instant Message (IM), share files and
even talk in real time to other faculty and staff in Extension. The
only requirement is that the people you want to talk or IM with have
Office Communicator installed and running as well.
Office Communicator is installed on every Extension machine that has Vista
installed. During the initial computer setup, instructions were
included to setup Office Communicator for your account. If Communicator
has been setup then you should see an icon in your system tray (lower
right hand corner of your computer screen) that looks like a comic
dialog balloon with
a green dot.
If you do not see this icon or the dot
on the icon is red with an X through it, then you may need to follow the
S:\MuCampus\ETCS\helpdesk\Communicator\Setup Microsoft Office
Communicator.docx to properly setup office Communicator for use.
If you are still using Windows XP and want to install Office
Communicator follow the installation instructions at
Communicator is tied into the Active Directory and Outlook, so you can add anyone in
Extension as a contact in Communicator. To add a person as a contact;
Open Office communicator by double clicking on the icon in the system
tray, Click Contacts on the Menu Bar and then click Add Contact (figure
can then choose to search for a contact, which will allow you to search
by first name, last name, and e-mail address or any combination.
can click “By e-mail address or sign-in name” if you know the person’s
username (figures 3 & 4). If you choose this option, do not use “@missouri.edu” with
the person’s username. You must use “@umsystem.edu” to add the account
properly to your contacts. Contacts can also be sorted into Groups.
Since you can invite multiple people into an IM conversation (max of 32
including yourself), you can use groups to organize contacts in to
collaborative efforts or meeting groups.
You can have one to one voice communications using Communicator as well
You can right-click on someone in your Contacts list and choose Call,
and then click Computer, or use the find function to type in someone’s
email@example.com to see if they are on line and then click
the drop-down arrow next to call, and choose Computer. If this is your
first time to connect via voice, then you’ll be taken through the Audio
Once completed, the call will be made and if the person accepts
the call, you can begin your conversation. If you are in the County
office you must have the Extension VPN connection running to use the
voice calling feature of Office Communicator.
File transfers (of office documents and other files considered safe) can be
transferred from one person to another by simply press the send file
icon during a conversation.
We hope that you’ll find Office Communicator a useful tool for
inter-office communications and that it will help you stretch your