Office Communicator is proving to be a real time-saver at ChemPoint.com. For example, Lux used to be sent PDF copies of invoices for approval, a process that sometimes took several iterations. Now, finance staff use Communicator's screen-sharing feature to show him the relevant invoices and get immediate approval. "It completely changes the way you do business," he said, and the company is looking for other areas where this technology can be applied.
As for desktop virtualisation, Lux's intention is to see what makes sense for different classes of users. Some people make extensive use of Office 2010's PowerPivot feature, and for them an i7 based desktop with 12G of RAM is an attractive buy at around $US1000. All the other applications are already web-based or - in the case of Great Plains - accessed via Terminal Services, so moving their users to a virtual desktop wouldn't be a big problem.
Stephen Withers travelled to Seattle as a guest of Microsoft, where he spoke to Lux.