The feature known as “Hybrid Voice” has been deprecated from Lync Online.

Author: Jamie Stark, Lync Senior Product Marketing Manager

Published: May 13, 2013

Product version: Lync Server 2013, Lync Online

The Lync hybrid configuration option referred to as “hybrid voice” has been deprecated from Lync Online and is no longer being sold nor provisioned. "Hybrid voice" was a Lync Online multi-tenant configuration option that required customers to deploy and maintain Lync Server on premises but provided only a subset of enterprise voice features for configured users.

While this change went into effect today across Lync Online, it affects only the “hybrid voice” capability of Lync, and no other functionality in Lync Server, Lync Online, or Office 365. As such, all of the other Lync hybrid capabilities continue to be supported, including using Lync Server in combination with Exchange Online and splitting users between Lync Server and Lync Online (known as “split domain”).

So I want to discuss for a bit the Hybrid scenarios that we continue to support.

First, Lync Server may be used in conjunction with Exchange Online, which allows missed call notifications, voice mails, and unified messaging capability for Lync to be delivered using Exchange Online through a connection to the on-premises Lync installation. This is particularly useful for Exchange Online customers who need the full Lync enterprise voice feature set.

Second, Lync Server may be used in conjunction with Lync Online in a “split domain” configuration. This allows customers to home some users on Lync Server and others in the Office 365 cloud, with users homed on Lync Server taking advantage of the full Lync Server feature set, including all enterprise voice features.

Microsoft is making the change in “Hybrid voice” for several reasons. While both “split domain” and “hybrid voice” require customers to deploy and manage Lync Server on premise, “split domain” provides the complete Lync enterprise voice feature set for voice configured users. Further, after announcing our intention to deliver enterprise voice in the cloud and progressing our design approach, we understood that the architectural model of “hybrid voice” is not optimal to be carried forward. We do not want customers to invest in a short-term approach that may require complex migration scenarios in the future.

Our commitment to Lync and Cloud has not changed, as evidenced from commentary in Microsoft's recent Q3 FY13 public earnings call and statements made by the President of the Skype Division, Tony Bates, in a recent public blog post on the future of communications. We're making this change to ensure we can execute efficiently on these goals and provide the best way for customers to transition to the cloud.

Thanks…

Jamie Stark  (@nomorephones)

About the Author

Jamie Stark is a Senior Product Marketing Manager in the Microsoft Skype division and looks after voice, networking and interoperability for Microsoft Lync. Jamie has spent the last 15 Years in Enterprise Software for Telephony, Contact Center, and Enterprise PBX systems and is a frequent speaker at Microsoft’s TechED and other industry events, including Enterprise Connect. Jamie lives in Seattle and tweets sporadically @nomorephones.

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Keywords: Lync Online, Hybrid Voice