The NextHop Team is privileged to work with a broad spectrum of Lync Server experts, across multiple Microsoft teams (Product Development, User Assistance, Customer Support, Consulting Services, Partner Services, and Masters Certified Trainers), as well as with external partners (Most Valuable Professionals, Microsoft Partners, and respected bloggers).

Our goal is to give you, the reader, access to insights and real-life experiences from the most knowledgeable people in the Lync Server community.  

Below, we introduce you to these contributors, who are all valued members of the NextHop Team. If you would like to write an article for NextHop and enter these ranks, just email us with your article idea at You can also tweet us at We look forward to working with you!

Dr. Rez

I work on the Microsoft Lync Server team as a Lync Server expert.

I have 40 years of experience in the technical arena. At Microsoft, I worked on multiple versions of Windows and Windows Mobile, and released all versions of Office Communications Server, where I helped to ship 20 commercial products. Previous experience includes consulting, working at IBM, RSA, founding and running a culinary school, writing an award-winning cookbook, and performing with a modern dance company while touring Europe and Asia. I earned a master’s degree in abstract algebra with a specialization in cryptography. I also earned bachelor degrees in Literature, Fine Art, and Apparel Design. 

When not focused on writing books for Office Communications Server, I lead the effort on the NextHop and UCode Web portal fronts. I am also @DrRez on Twitter, in addition to being a member of a v-team focused on partner engagements. Occasionally, I enjoy a fine meal and a select bottle of Northwest wine with friends and colleagues. I do the cooking, of course.

My published credits include:

  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Resource Kit (Double Winner: Society for Technical Communications 2009 Distinguished Technical Communication and Best of Show awards)
  • Programming for Unified Communications
  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit
  • Running Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 in a Virtualized Topology
  • Pro LCS: Live Communications Server Administration
  • Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking
  • Multiple articles for the Office Communications Server Team blog
  • Multiple articles for TechNet magazine
  • Contributing editor for Cooking Light Magazine 

You can contact me at:

Aaron Steele

Aaron Steele is a Senior Consultant with Microsoft. He has been in the IT industry for the past 15 years. As a consultant with Microsoft he specializes in Lync Server 2010 voice architecture and deployments. He has been working with the Microsoft Unified Communications stack since the days of Live Communications Server 2005. He has implemented and administered Exchange since the halcyon days of Exchange 5.5 up through Exchange 2010. When not playing with technology he spends time with his wife and two kids in Chicago. He enjoys good food and finding new places to eat with his pastry chef wife.

Adam Dudsic

I am a member of the Unified Communications (UC) Localization and Globalization team, and am the Site Manager for UC TechNet, MSDN, and Office Online Web sites (en-US), as well as the Next Hop Web site. I am primarily responsible is for site implementation, with additional responsibilities that include oversight of UC Office Online International site content publishing, publishing Communications Server, Communicator, and Live Meeting content in the MSDN and TechNet libraries, and providing assistance with Microsoft Download Center publishing and tracking for UC User Assistance, UC Customer and Partner Experience, and various other teams.

Previously within Microsoft, I’ve been an American English Lexicographer, a Data Collections Program Manager, an SDK Technical Writer, and an SDK writing team Acting Lead in Microsoft Speech Technologies. Before coming to Microsoft I was an Adjunct Lecturer of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Arizona, and taught a variety of courses as a graduate student, including Freshman Composition, English as a Second Language (ESL) Composition, English Linguistics, and Second Language Acquisition Theory and Practice. ???????

I’m one of the handful of Microsoft insiders (to which Susan Bradley refers) who know who Dr. Rez is…but I’ve been sworn to secrecy. :)

Adam Jacobs

I have worked within the IT industry for over 15 years, specializing in large IT infrastructure systems and VoIP deployments.

Recently, I worked within a UK/Irish-based financial services organization, delivering a technology platform that caters to a dynamic and growing business. As an early adopter of Unified Communications, I focused on integrating pre-existing communications systems using Microsoft Office Communications Server, Microsoft Exchange, BlackBerry Mobile Voice Solution, and Nortel CS1000.

I have been a speaker at various events, including some Microsoft events, and run the I’m a UC Blog.

You can contact me at:

Andreas Strebel

Andreas Strebel is a Program Manager for the Lync Server team at Microsoft, focusing on voice applications. He has over 10 years of experience in unified communications and has worked on client as well as server products for the telecommunications and enterprise sectors. Before joining Microsoft in 2005, Andreas worked as a software engineer for media-streams, Cisco, dynamicsoft, the IBM Zurich Research Lab, and Lucent Technologies. He holds a master's degree in communication systems.

Andrew Sniderman

I’ve worked in Microsoft Consulting Services for over 10 years in various roles. My focus is currently on the architecture and delivery of messaging and real-time communications solutions for our largest customers and partners.

I’m the lead MCS Unified Communications architect in the United States, focusing on building capacity and capabilities, excellence in delivery, project scoping, and oversight. I run a worldwide community that covers the Lync Conferencing Workload.

My Published credits are:

You can contact me at:

Bernd Ott

Bernd Ott is a Senior Premier Field Engineer in the Microsoft Premier Support organization. He has been working for Microsoft for 10 years. In his various support roles, Bernd has had experience troubleshooting and debugging various aspects of infrastructure services like DNS, DHCP, WINS, SMB, and the TCP/IP stack. Starting with Live Communication Server 2005, he was involved in supporting Premier customers in unified communications. Bernd achieved the Microsoft Certified Master status for Office Communications Server 2007 in early 2009. Before joining Microsoft, Bernd worked for various companies as an administrator of Windows and Unix systems.

Brandon Bernier

I’m a Senior Program Manager on the Lync Deployment Engineering Team. I’ve worked in the software industry for over 10 years as an enterprise architect, system administrator, and several other support roles. I joined Microsoft in 2006 as a support engineer, working on network components and Live Communications Server 2003 and Live Communications Server 2005 Service Pack 1. At the launch of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, I joined the field as a Premier Field Engineer, which consisted of traveling around the United States, solving critical customer problems onsite and delivering Office Communications Server-related workshops before moving into the Lync Product Group. I also hold a Microsoft Master’s certification on Office Communications Server 2007 R2.

Brian R. Ricks

I own a Microsoft-centric Infrastructure consulting business, BriComp Computers, LLC based out of Gilbert, Arizona.

My passion for computers began at the age of 9 and has progressed through various products and technologies, landing me in my current nirvana called Unified Communications. I have worked with Microsoft UC since MSMail and Live Communication Server 2003. Today, I implement, teach, and provide training for Microsoft Exchange Server and Office Communication Server to anyone willing to listen. When I am not doing UC work, I am typically laying the infrastructure framework for future UC projects, such as Active Directory, System Center products, networking designs/topologies, and so on. In addition to BriComp, I am a partner in The Best Damn IT Services (TBDITS), located in Phoenix, Arizona, where John Lockett and I team up on larger engagements.

I have been married to my beautiful wife, Julissa, since 2003 and have two amazing boys.

I hold the esteemed credential of Microsoft MVP and have held the award since 2006, Office Communications Server 2005.

My published credits are:

  • Contributing author for TechNet magazine
  • Co-manage the Phoenix Unified Communications User Group

You can contact me at:

Byron O. Spurlock

I work for Quadrantechnologies as a Unified Communications Principal Architect.

I’ve worked for six years in the U.S. Services division as a Unified Communications consultant within Microsoft Consulting Services. My primary role was working with partners and customers, designing and deploying Unified Communication Solutions within the TAP/RDP program.

I’m the founder for Quadrantechnologies. I focus my efforts on implementing Microsoft technologies in organizations throughout the United States. I’ve completed more than 75 successful Unified Communications implementations and have worked with some of the largest organizations in the United States. I’m a frequent speaker at Microsoft Unified Communication events throughout the United States.

My published credits are:

You can contact me at:

Chris Dragich

I have been a technical writer at Microsoft for two different stints totaling over 13 years. I began back in the days of Microsoft LAN Manager and the first version of Windows NT. I am currently a Senior Technical Writer on the Microsoft Lync Server UA team, and am the overall lead for the Planning and Getting Started documentation.

Publishing credits:

You can contact me at:

Chris Norman

I have worked 12 years in the IT industry working in large enterprise organizations from government and defense to manufacturing. My last position was at a large aerospace company working as a Voice Engineer specializing in unified communications voice architecture.

I currently work at Microsoft as a Voice Technical Specialist. My role takes me from the smallest to some of the world's largest UC deployments using Microsoft technology. Based in the Pacific Northwest region in the United States, I consult with the engineering and technical staff of different companies to get the most out of their Microsoft UC deployments and provide the most current architectural and technical data to ensure a seamless deployment.

You can contact me at:

Collin Hoag

I work with the Microsoft Office Communications Server Support team, as a Senior Support Escalation Engineer. I have worked with this team for over two years. During this time I have engaged with customers over the phone, directly onsite, and by filling in for Premier Field Engineers.

Before joining Microsoft, I worked for different consulting firms deploying Microsoft Exchange and Windows Active Directory implementations. I worked in environments from small businesses to large enterprises.

My current focuses on the Microsoft Office Communications Server Support team are Exchange Unified Messaging, Microsoft Office Communications Server, and Live Meeting Service.

My published credits include:

  • Exchange Free/Busy and Communicator Presence Issues
  • Roundtable Reference Information

You can contact me at:

Curtis Johnstone

I work for Quest Software as an architect and a unified communications domain expert.

My background is rooted in Microsoft Exchange application development, but I have now focused and worked extensively with Microsoft Office Communications Server for more than two years. I have architected and lead several Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 rollouts with lots of hands-on experience—from architecting, deployment, management, and developing custom solutions to troubleshooting.

I’m also the founder of and key contributor to, a popular Office Communications Server community blog. You can contact me there.

Dustin Hannifin

I work for Unify2 as a Senior Unified Communications Consultant. I’m a Microsoft MVP–Lync Server 2010. I have expertise in many Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Office Communications Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Active Directory Domain Services, and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager.

I regularly contribute to my blog at and other technology communities, including leading the Dallas/Fort Worth Microsoft Unified Communications User Group and the Microsoft Unified Communications Virtual User Group (

I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University. I’m a Tennessee native, and I currently reside in Dallas, Texas.

My published credits include:

You can contact me at:

Edwin Anthony Joseph

I currently work for Microsoft India as a Senior Support Engineer on the Micrsoft Unified Communications Team (Bangalore). I am on the path to becoming a SME for MAC clients and for Communicator Web Access within the Microsoft Unified Communications Team.

I worked for Microsoft in the Small Business Server Escalation Team before joining the Unified Communications Team in July 2010.

I have worked on the following publications:

You can contact me at:

Fabian Kunz

I work for Connectis AG as a Unified Communications and System Center solution architect.

Before joining Connectis, I worked for several different consulting companys deploying Exchange Server, Office Communications Server, Lync Server, and Microsoft System Management Server / System Center Configuration Manager. I have over 12 years of experience in the IT industry. My work is primarily focused on IT architectures as well as complex deployments.

You can contact me at:

Fabrizio Volpe

I have worked in the Iccrea Banking Group since 2000. We started with NT4 and Exchange 5.5, managing 300 users. Now, as the Microsoft Technologies workgroup, we manage more than 2000 users at our central site and provide services for more than 400 banks. We are focused on Windows systems, unified communication and virtualization. Our last project was a centralized Exchange 2010 infrastructure with continuous high availability on a remote site.

Prior to coming to Iccrea I worked at multiple IT companies, focused on Windows and Exchange deployment, optimization, and training. Since 2000 I have presented at events and live conferences organized by Overnet Education, Microsoft, and user groups (Italian and international ones). Until mid 2012 I collaborated with my fellow MVP Edoardo Benussi, to moderate Microsoft TechNet Forums (Italian language).

Previous Article/Book Credits

Contact Information

Faruk Celik

I've been a member of the Microsoft Premier Support EMEA Team since 2006. I focus on supporting our Premier customers' development issues-the data access layer of the application's back-end database, whether it's Microsoft SQL Server or another database. I continue to develop my coding and development skills for SQL Server Azure and Windows Azure.

 In 1997, I began my professional IT career as a Web developer. For many years, I focused mainly on Web development. I worked on the largest Internet portals and ISPs in Turkey, worked on various operating systems, and used quite a few programming languages and/or frameworks for my various projects.

You can contact me at:

Gareth Ireland

I currently work for Micrsoft in South Africa as a Senior Unified Communications Consultant and have recently been involved in the early adoption of Lync Server 2010 to Microsoft TAP customers and have had a part in developing IP for this new release. I'm a Microsoft Certified Master for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, and I'm passionate about what Microsoft unifed communications can bring to our customers.

I have been in the IT services industry for 12 years and was previously involved with Exchange and Active Directory designs and deployments while dabbling in the adoption operations management frameworks as they related to these technologies. For the past two syears I  have taken a more holistic view towards unified communication for MCS in South Africa and have assisted Microsoft's customers and partners in the design and deployment of Office Communications Server 2007 and 2007 R2.

Greg Anthony

I work on the Microsoft Enterprise Messaging team in the role of Support Escalation Engineer, supporting Office Communications Server and Exchange Unified Messaging.

I have over 25 years of IT experience deploying, managing, and troubleshooting networks, systems management, software development, consulting, and project management. In my last place of employment I was both technically hands-on and managed a team of about twenty network and desktop support engineers for a National Worker's Compensation Insurance Company.

You can contact me at:

Indranil Dutta

I’m a Senior Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft. I cover platforms and unified communications (UC) technologies. During my five years at Microsoft, I have worked with over 400 of the largest Microsoft clients, solving their critical technology problems and educating them about Microsoft products. In 2009, I was certified as one of the first Office Communications Server Masters.

Prior to joining Microsoft, I worked in various capacities at other Fortune 100 companies, including General Electric, Bristol Myers Squibb, Pitney Bowes, UBS Warburg, and Unilever. At my last company (before Microsoft), I managed the global directory services and Office Communications Server infrastructure for a geographically dispersed international corporation of more than 350,000 users. 

You can contact me at:

Janet Lowen

I work for Linda Werner & Associates on the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 User Assistance team, as a Senior Technical Editor.

I have worked in the technical communication field as an editor for 13 years. I spent four years with Boeing, two years with Microsoft, and have currently been with Linda Werner & Associates for 7 years. As a Microsoft vendor, I've had the privilege of working for a variety of teams, such as SQL Server, Certification and Exams, and Exchange Server.

I am currently working with the Lync Server 2010 team, focusing on the NextHop and DrRez blogs, as well as various book projects, such as the Resource Kit and Programming Guide.

My published credits are:

You can contact me at:

Jared Gradle

I’ve worked at Microsoft in a variety of roles, primarly supporting communication systems. I’ve been working with Microsoft Lync and its precedeing technologies since 2005. Prior to supporting Lync, I supported Microsoft Exchange for a number of years. I joined Microsoft in the spring of 2000. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, mountian biking, and restoring cars.

I’m currently a Dedicated Premier Field Engineer for Lync Server 2010 and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. I work with enterprise customers, assisting with deployments and operations.

My published credit is:

You can contact me at:

Jason Shave

I currently work with a great team of consultants at Microsoft Canada focusing on delivering Microsoft Lync Server and Exchange Server platforms.

Previously I worked for for a Microsoft Partner in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada focusing on the Microsoft Unified Communications platform. I also worked with a large wood products company in Federal Way, Washington.

I recently attended the Microsoft Certified Master Lync program and look forward to contributing my experiences to the IT community.

You can contact me at:

Jeff Schertz

I am currently a Microsoft Solutions Architect for Polycom, focused on helping customers integrate our video conferencing solutions and UC endpoints with Microsoft OCS and Lync environments.

As a Microsoft MVP awardee in Communications Server since 2008 my contributions include TechNet forum participation and moderation, writing technical blog articles and white papers, presenting on UC topics to virtual users groups online, and representing Microsoft at TechEd and other public conferences. Other recent duties include working on various content development tasks for product documentation, testing and training materials as an external consultant.

As a consultant in Microsoft infrastructure technologies I have over 15 years of experience in the IT industry, most recently as a Senior Consultant for PointBridge Solutions on projects ranging from targeted global messaging migrations to enterprise Active Directory, Exchange Server, and Communications Server architecture and deployment.

My published credits are:

You can contact me at:

Jens Trier Rasmussen

I currently work for Microsoft as a Senior Program Manager on the Lync Deployment Engineering team. I focus on internal readiness and general knowledge sharing with Microsoft Services, partners, and customers.

Previoulsy, I worked for Microsoft Services with a focus on Microsoft Exchange, Live Communications Server, Office Communications Server, and Identity and Access Management. Before that I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation with a focus on messaging using DEC products and Microsoft Exchange.

My published credits are:

  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Resource Kit, Reviewer and Sidebar author
  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit, Reviewer and Sidebar author
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 Resource Kit, Author
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Resource Kit, Contributing Writer
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Infrastructure Design, Co-existence, Migration, and Connectivity, Reviewer

You can contact me at:

Jérôme Bernière

I work for Microsoft as a Senior Program Manager for Office Communication Group/Customer and Partners Group

Prior to working in Redmond, USA, I worked for Microsoft France, where I was in charge of developing the adoption of Microsoft Unified Communications. Prior to working for Microsoft, which I joined 4 years ago, I worked for Newbridge Networks, Cisco Systems, and Alcatel Reseaux d’Entreprise (Nextiraone). I have 10 years of experience in telecommunications, including unified communications, unified messaging, contacts centers, interoperability, and data networking. I hold a Master’s degree in Telecommunication and Computer Sciences.

Currently, I work on large Office Communications Server topologies and deployments, with particular expertise in Voice over IP technologies.

My published credits include:

Jigar Dani

Currently, I am a Lync Program Manager focused on designing the future of voice quality. I joined the team in 2012 following a stint in Microsoft Support where I was the Voice SME working on Lync, OCS, Exchange Unified Messaging, and Live Meeting Service. I have worked extensively with customers on deployment designs of various loads and with the product group to improve our product. Based on my ongoing experience, I blog about Lync Server 2010 and Communications Server at

Before joining Microsoft, I built my experience in the Voice/Video over IP while at quite a few companies, including the following:

  • Radvision (Solution Provider): Software Engineer-developed, supported, handled technical sales of Radvision stacks, and tested solutions.
  • Dialogic (Vendor): R&D Software Engineer, VoIP SME-built HMP gateways and DMG gateways.
  • Voila IP Communications (Video Service Provider): Software\Network Engineer-developed software for the deployment of video services.

I've also worked on IETF standards with numerous partners, including Nortel, Avaya, Audiocodes, and Mitel.

I hold a graduate degree in Telecommunications from Southern Methodist University.

My published credits are:

You can contact me at:

John Johnson

I have been at Quest Software since 1999 managing the Network/Telecommunications team.  The team’s main focuses are on WAN/LAN technologies, network security, and telecommunications within the Quest global arena.

You can contact me at:

John Weber

Currently I am a Senior Consultant at CDW LLC and have worked on IT projects since 1998. Since 2000 I have focused my efforts on communications—I have planned and delivered projects centered on Live Communications Server, Micrsoft Office Communications Server, and Lync Server 2010 along with all sizes of Exchange Server.

In my current role as a member of the CDW Microsoft UC team, I assist customers on all aspects of envisioning, planning, and delivering Microsoft Unified Communications – Lync, Exchange, and the supporting infrastructure.

Contact information:

Justin Morris

I have worked with Microsoft UC since the Live Communications Server 2005 era, designing and deploying environments for customers of up to 20,000 seats globally. My experience ranges from voice integration and troubleshooting media exchange issues to determining business cases for UC and user profiling exercises.

My current role focuses heavily on Lync Server 2010 design and deployment focus for our customers in the UK. I work in both an advisory and hands-on capacity. I also write and publish online technical documentation through my Lync blog and am the co-founder of the Microsoft UC User Group in London.

My published work includes:

Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 and Cisco Integration Options Whitepaper

Contact Information

Keith Hanna

I work for Microsoft as a senior consultant in Microsoft Consulting Services, where I focus exclusively on Lync and Microsoft Office Communications Server. I have been at Microsoft for almost four years. Before joining Microsoft Consulting Services, I spent about two years in Premier Field Engineering. I focused on Microsoft Exchange, specifically Unified Messaging. Before I joined Microsoft, I worked in IT for seven years in various support organizations—from small-scale through to running global support teams.

I’m a Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. I currently split my time amongst customer design and deployment work for released products, prerelease customer work through the TAP programs, and developing internal and external readiness training.

My published credits are:

You can contact me at:

Kent Tilger

I’ve been working in the computer industry as a Support Engineer since 1989. I joined Microsoft PSS in 1995 and have supported Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Exchange Transport before transitioning to Microsoft Unified Communications in 2007. In my current role, I have the opportunity to work with global partners and customers headquartered in the United States Central Region with a primary focus on Exchange Unified Messaging, Microsoft Office Communications Server, and Microsoft Lync Server 2010.

Kevin Peters

I have been working with UC since Office Communications Server 2007 was launched. Prior to that release, I was an IT generalist working with Microsoft and Cisco infrastructure solutions.  My Lync and OCS deployments range from IM and presence deployments, integrations with existing PBX systems/video conferencing systems, all the way to full PBX replacement.

Currently, I work with the US Consulting team at Unify Square.  I specialize in architecture and implementation of Lync as a complete unified communications solution for global enterprises.

Contact Information

Kurt De Ding

I’m a senior programming writer on the Microsoft Communications Server User Assistance team.

My published credits include:

  • Programming Enhanced Presence Schemas
  • PowerShell Scripting Communicator Automation API and Lync Server SDK
  • Retrieving Lync-Archived Conversation History with Exchange Web Services
  • Subscribing to MWI or Using EWS to Determine if a User has Voice Mail
  • Unified Communications Enhanced Presence Schemas for Lync Server 2010 Documentation
  • Programming for Unified Communications with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2

You can contact me at:

Laurie Pottmeyer

I am part of Microsoft’s Adoption, Readiness, and Transition team within Lync Customer Engineering working to set up some of our largest Enterprise customers for successful adoption of Lync. I’m also working with high-usage Live Meeting Service customers to transition to Lync.

Before my role as PM, I worked as a Live Meeting Event Producer managing hosted events and conferences for LMS internal and external customers. I also spent time working to increase usage of the LMS through different Readiness & Adoption programs with the Live Meeting team.

I am currently working with customers to transition users from LMS to Lync as well as with net-new Lync customers on their rollout. With both programs, change management is a significant focus area and much time is spent working with customers to consider the end-user experience.

The Lync Pilot Success Kit is a project stemming from the experience and learnings through these customer programs. By creating and managing a successful pilot, customers set their organization up for long-term success and on-going Lync adoption.

You can contact me at:

Michael Adkins

I work for Microsoft on the Unified Communications team as a Knowledge Engineer.

I have worked for Microsoft at its Los Colinas site for the last 10 years. I was introduced to Microsoft Unified Communications in 2007 when I accepted a position on the Office Communications Server 2007 (Beta) team. Since then, I have worked avidly to help support Microsoft Unified Communications customers.

My published credits include:

Michael Greenlee

I work for Clarity Consulting, Inc. as a Product Manager on the Clarity Connect team.

I have six years of software development experience, of which three have been focused on the .NET platform. During the past year, I specialized in custom development with Microsoft’s Unified Communications technologies.

Currently, I am helping to develop communication solutions for clients based on Clarity’s presence-powered real-time expert finder, Clarity Connect. Clarity Connect is built on top of an Office Communications Server infrastructure and can streamline a variety of different operations, including call centers, help desks, sales force support networks, and customer-facing web chat applications.

You can contact me at:

Michele Martin

Michele Martin is a Senior Technical Writer with the Unified Communications team. Michele has worked in the technical communications field since 1992, developing and managing documentation within the computer software, web development, and medical device industries. She joined Microsoft in 2000 with the Exchange team, where she created documentation and tools for Microsoft Exchange 2000 planning and deployment. For the past six years, Michele has worked with Lync Server and Office Communications Server client documentation for end users and IT administrators.

Mitch Duncan

I work with the Microsoft Office Communications Server User Assistance team, as a Senior Technical Writer.

I began my career at Microsoft in 1989 as an intern. 20 years later I’ve had the pleasure of working on various operating system releases (OS/2, Windows NT), server products (Exchange, Systems Management Server), and development tools (Visual Studio). I spent 7 years in the field working directly with Microsoft customers as a Technical Account Manager, providing onsite technical support.

I am currently a Senior Technical Writer on the Office Communications Server User Assistance team. I write technical content for the Resource Kit, server product, and online communities.

My published credits include:

You can contact me at:

Nick Smith

I am a Senior Program Manager on the Lync Deployment Engineeering team. The Deployment Engineering team is part of the Lync Customer Engineering Team within the Lync product group. Our primary focus is to work with Microsoft customers and partners on complex Enterprise Voice deployments.

Prior to this role, I spent four years as a member of Microsoft Consulting Services focusing on the largest and most complex voice deployments. While at Microsoft I have worked with Live Communications Server 2005, Office Communications Server, Lync Server 2010. and Lync Server 2013 Preview.

Okan Gurer

I work for Microsoft on the Microsoft Enterprise Communications team in the role of Senior Support Engineer, supporting Office Communications Server and Exchange Unified Messaging.

I have worked at Microsoft for the past five years. My roles ranged from supporting Microsoft server products with the platforms networking/domain/core specialty, and finally unified communications with Office Communications Server. I am currently assisting enterprise customers deploying our unified communications products as well as assisting with deployment planning.

You can contact me at:

Patricia Anderson

I work with the Microsoft Office Communications Server User Assistance team, as a Senior Content Publishing Manager. Our team publishes the technical library content and created the Office Communications Server 2007 and 2007 R2 Planning Tool.

I’ve worked at Microsoft for 7 years in various aspects of user assistance and with Office Communication Server for 5 years. Prior to Microsoft, I worked in the IT department as a support engineer, programmer, and writer.

I look forward to hearing from all of you about how we can get you the information you need, when you need it, and in the format that works best for you.

Paul Adams

I have 15+ years of corporate IT experience in various industries. In 2001, I emigrated from England to Vancouver, Canada and spent 8 years as an IT Manager for a heavy-duty truck dealership as part of Daimler Chrysler. During which time I helped to develop a patented piece of software. I became interested in VoIP, which eventually led to a full PBX replacement using Office Communications Server 2007 R2 with Asterisk 1.6. Someone liked what I was doing, as I was one of five finalists for the 2008 Canadian Technet Innovation Award (Individual Category).

At the beginning of 2010, I made the move to being self-employed. I currently enjoy a continuing focus in the heavy-duty truck industry with a healthy interest in anything related to VoIP and Communications Server. Visit my website to see some my own applications and utilities.

You can contact me at:

Peter Bertolis

I have been working with the Microsoft suite of products since 1998. I have consulted for various Microsoft Gold Certified Partners over the past 11 years before moving to Microsoft in South Africa. I have extensive experience in the Microsoft messaging and collaboration arena starting with the Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 and Office Communications Server.

Currently my role at Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) for 2 years is as a senior consultant in the Unified Communications space focusing on Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Lync Server, consulting to local customers within South Africa and overseas. I have worked with various customers in South Africa, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

You can contact me at:

Peter Seidel

I have over ten years of experience working for Microsoft Deutschland GmbH as a member of the Microsoft Services Customer Delievery Team. The focus of my work as Senior Consultant is on the architecture and delivery of Unified Communications (UC) solutions in projects (plan, build, test, and pilot phases) for our customers and partners.

My career at Microsoft started as Premier Support Engineer for Microsoft Exchange Server in 1999.

    Awards and certifications:
  • Microsoft Lync/German UC Office Communications Server Community Lead (Microsoft)
  • Voice Ignite Trainer Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Master

You can contact me at:

Randy Wintle

Randy is a Senior Unified Communications Consultant at Unify2, specializing in planning, architecture, and implementation of enterprise unified communications solutions.

Randy brings years of experience in helping large organizations successfully deploy Microsoft Unified Communications solutions, as well as providing Windows infrastructure and services consulting to organizations around the world. Randy is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Lync Server 2010. He frequently participates in Microsoft technical events. Randy has helped developed the Microsoft Training and Certification programs for Office Communications Server and Lync Server 2010.

See more of Randy's work at:



Rick Kingslan

UC Consultant


My previous work experience includes Senior Technical Writer for Lync Server, Senior Consultant, Microsoft Consulting Services, Senior Systems Administrator and Senior Consultant. 


My published credits include:

Rick Varvel

I work with the Microsoft Consulting Services team, as a Principle Consultant.

I’ve been working with computers for 25 years, the last 14 of which have been with Microsoft. Primary product focus at Microsoft has been SMS, MIIS, Active Directory, Exchange, and currently Office Communications Server.

I am currently working with the Technical Adoption Program team on Office Communications Server projects.

My published credits include:

  • OCS 2007 R1/R2 Remote Access Configuration Guide 
  • Configuring R2 A/V Edge Services for NAT 
  • Content Development for OCS Masters, Voice Ignite R1/R2, and OCS R2 Ignite Training   
  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit
  • Building Enterprise Active Directory Services

You can contact me at:

Rob Pittfield

I'm currently a Dedicated Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. I work with enterprise customers, helping them get Microsoft Lync 2010 and Office Communications Server running smoothly and to their expectations.

I was the Beta Support Lead for Lync Server from April 2009 through May 2010. I’ve done beta support for Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Between those projects, I spent 9 months working on support for a project to integrate Office Communications Server 2007 with Nortel public branch exchanges (PBXs), as part of the Innovative Communications Alliance (ICA). Before that, I supported Live Communications Server 2005 and various other Microsoft Windows networking technologies. I joined Microsoft in the summer of 2004. I managed a technical support team at a mortgage software company for several years prior to my work at Microsoft.

My published credits include:

You can contact me at:

Robert Burnett

I currently work as Chief Technology Officer for Workspace Communication leading a team that is focused on building the infrastructure to offer Microsoft Unified Communications as a service integrated with SIP trunks to provide voice service for small to medium organizations.

In the past, I have worked for Microsoft Consulting Services Global Voice Practice. Prior to that, I worked for nearly 10 years at Nortel focused on VoIP in various size network deployments. My experience at Nortel was in sales as a Senior Systems Engineer and as a Principal Architect in professional services.

My published credits are:

  • The lab and presentation material for the Dual Forking RCC module of Microsoft Voice Ignite 1.2
  • NextHop Blog article "E9-1-1 Support in Lync Server 2010"

You can contact me at:

Roy Kuntz

Roy Kuntz is a Senior Program Manager on the Office Communications Server team. He has been working in the telecommunications industry for 20 years with particular emphasis on enterprise call centers and PBXs. Roy joined Microsoft in 1999 with the IT team doing voice planning and architecture. He has worked on feature planning and manageability aspects of voice and is currently working on Exchange UM integration, E9-1-1, and routing.

Ryan Gates

I’ve been working with BT as a Senior Consultant focused on Microsoft messaging and real-time communications technologies for the past 3 years.  Before becoming a consultant, I worked as a Microsoft Systems Administrator designing and managing the messaging environment for a Midwest based manufacturing company.

As a consultant for BT I’ve specialized in deploying Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 and Lync Server 2010 voice technologies for a wide range of customers from the very small to large global customers.  I am based out of the North Central district and am based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sasa Juratovic

I joined Microsoft in May 2001. I'm a Senior Program Manager in the UC Deployment Readiness Team. I currently work with a number of global customers, making sure that they have the best possible experience while they deploy UC technologies.

Before I joined my current team here at Microsoft, I was a consultant with Microsoft Services Organization in the United Kingdom. I worked with number of Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office Live Communications Server customers, helping them with design, planning, and deployment. I graduated from the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Prior to joining Microsoft, I worked as a Microsoft and Cisco technical consultant/trainer for number of both Microsoft and Cisco partner companies.

My published credits include:

You can contact me at:

Scott Oseychik

I work with the Microsoft Unified Communications Escalation team, as a Senior Escalation Engineer.

My previous work experience includes Program Manager, Exchange Product Group; Escalation Engineer, Exchange Escalation Team; Technical Lead, Exchange Customer Support; Beta Engineer, Exchange Customer Support; and Front-line Support Engineer, Exchange Customer Support.

As a Senior Escalation Engineer, my current role affords ample opportunities to learn new skills & share knowledge with my peers and customers. I am currently debugging the “hardest of the hard” UC customer issues, driving supportability improvements into future releases of our UC offerings, and collaborating with our Microsoft Online (aka: “BPOS”) Team on high-impact/high-visibility escalations.

My published credits include:

  • Windows IT Pro: Two Exchange Server Tools You Should Know About
  • Exchange 2000 Internals Whitepaper  

You can contact me at:

Scott Stubberfield

I work for Microsoft Canada on the Microsoft Consulting Services team as a Senior Consultant.

As a Senior Consultant, I work with large enterprise customers who are located in Canada. For the past three years, I have been working primarily with Microsoft Office Communications Server. I also work with Microsoft Lync Server 2010. I am currently a Microsoft Certified Master for Office Communications Server. I'm in the process of upgrading that certification to Lync Server 2010.

My published credit is:

You can contact me at:

Ståle Hansen

I am a Solution Architect at Atea, based in Oslo, Norway. Since 2006 my primary focus has been Microsoft Unified Communicatons.

As a leading architect for Atea, I spend most of my time designing and implementing solutions based on Communications Server 2007, Lync Server 2010 and Exchange 2010. As a member of Microsoft Speakers Community, I do a lot of presenting and presale activities nationwide.

Within Unified Communications most of my deployments involve Enterprise Voice and integration with different PBX systems, operators, and third-party products like Competella and Evangelyze.

You can contact me at

Steven van Houttum

I have an extensive background in telephony and have been an independent consultant and trainer for 12 years. I was a technical reviewer for the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Resource Kit, Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Ignite training, and a contributing writer for the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit.

I am currently a consultant at Solfit specializing in Microsoft UC deployments and migrations, with a focus on the voice/telephony. As a trainer, I deliver Exchange and Lync Server training with a special focus on the Lync Server Ignite Workshops. I speak regularly at Microsoft events and at Dutch UC Usergroup ( events.

Microsoft MVP for Exchange 2006-2010.
Microsoft MVP for Lync 2011-present.

Tarek Radi

Tarek Radi is a Senior Program Manager in the Microsoft Office Lync Partner and Customer Engineering Group. He is a PMI-certified project management professional, with a Master's degree in Computer Science.

Tarek has published several papers in parallel and distributing computing and filed several patents in network service management. He is engaged with many Microsoft partners, with the primary goal of advancing Lync in the ecosystem. He is particularly involved in telepresence and telecommunication infrastructures, such as expanding Lync’s deployment possibilities in VDI configurations with different partners.

Tarek also helped accelerate the Microsoft UC Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP) by developing the Lync Interoperability Tool, which facilitates partner qualification for Lync 2010. This tool that is used extensively by Microsoft’s UC partners.

Published credits include:

You can contact Tarek at:

Terry Lyons

I’m a Senior Support Escalation Engineer on the Unified Communications Support team at Microsoft.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force for nine years, I joined Microsoft in September 1999 on the IIS Support Team in Charlotte, NC. From there, I moved to London, England, where I worked as a Systems Engineer in MSN International Operations. In 2005, I moved back to Charlotte, NC, where I joined the Exchange Support Team, supporting client/server integration technologies. In 2008, I joined the Unified Communications Team, supporting both client and server technologies.

My team supports Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 with SP1, and all clients for these releases, mostly in an escalation capacity. My team is currently ramping up on the next release of the product for both on-premise and cloud solutions. My personal mission is to help customers succeed with our software.

I blog mostly around Public IM Connectivity (PIC)-related issues from a support perspective. When I have interesting information that I’ve learned from my support cases, I try to share it on my blog. I hope that this will help other customers before they need to open a case with us.

You can contact me at:

Thomas Binder

I started working for Microsoft in 2007 as Consultant for OCS 2007. Since then, I have worked on large deployments and led classes on OCS 2007, OCS 2007 R2, and Lync 2010 (Ignite and Microsoft Certified Masters). I am a frequent speaker at events like TechReady or TechEd. In 2011 I joined the Voice Center of Excellence, a team inside of Microsoft that drives large voice deployments. I am a Microsoft Certified Master for OCS 2007 and Lync 2010.

You can contact me at:

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom is a consultant AT Modality Systems providing planning, design, and deployment of all aspects of Microsoft Unified Communications and integration with existing enterprise telephony environments.

Before joining Modality, tom worked for a leading Cisco Unified communications Partner where he gained a good understanding on the Cisco UIC proposition and a unique perspective on the relative benefits of the Microsoft offering.

Tom is a Microsoft Lync MVP and is actively involved in the global Unified Communications community through Twitter, Microsoft TechNet Forums, His own Lync’d Up blog and as a founding member of Microsoft UC User Group London, He holds a BSc degree in management from Loughborough University, as well as various technical certifications, including Cisco CCNA Voice and Lync 2010 MCITP.

Check out Tom’s Microsoft Certifications.

Tom Laciano

I work with the Microsoft Unified Communications Deployment and Readiness team, as a Senior Program Manager.

Previously, I provided support for LCS 2003 and LCS 2005 SP1, and was the beta support engineer for Communicator Web Access, Communicator Mobile, and shortly for Office Communications Server 2007 before joining the RTC Product Group on the Enterprise Engagement Team. I am yet another team member living the UC lifestyle while residing on the east coast.

I am currently assisting enterprise customers deploying our products during the pre-release phase as well as assisting a few select customers with deployment planning and support to ensure their successful deployment.

My published credits include:

  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit

You can contact me at:

Tommy Clarke

I’ve been a consultant for over 10 years, working with different Microsoft technologies. For the last 4 years, my specialty has shifted from Microsoft Exchange to mainly working with Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Voice integrations for both small and large enterprise customers.

I’m based in Sweden and work for UCAware, as a unified communications expert. I also deliver training on Lync Server 2010, Exchange Unified Messaging, and Microsoft Office 365 at I’ve been a speaker at several local events that have focused on unified communications.

I have a blog at about Microsoft Unified Communications.

You can contact me at:

Tonino Filipovic

I’m a Principal Consultant at Microsoft, based in Croatia and working as a member of the Croatian Services team. My primary focus for the last three and a half years has been on unified communications (UC), particularly Office Communications Server.

During this time, I’ve been part of the Communications Server SWAT team, UC Center of Excellence (COE), and OneTAP team, working mainly with customers and partners in the Communications Server Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and Rapid Deployment Program (RDP), but also as a content co-author and contributor for Communications Server 2007 R2 Ignite and Communications Server Voice Ignite trainings. Apart from that, I was also mentoring Communications Server consultants in a Communications Server internship program.

As for previous work experience: I spent roughly the first 10 years of my IT career on various UNIX flavors as well as Linux and Novell Netware. In the mid-90’s I started to change my focus to the Microsoft platform, so the last 10 years my focus has been divided between Active Directory directory service, Exchange Server, and Office Communications Server. While working heavily with Exchange, I acquired the Microsoft Certified Master and Microsoft Certified Architect certificates for Exchange Server 2003.

You can contact me at:

Vassili Kaplan

I joined Microsoft in May 2008. I've been a development lead for about three years on the Microsoft Lync Server Call Park Server team. I wrote the Call Parkometer Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit tool. I'm based in Switzerland and work at the Microsoft office in the Zurich Development Center.

I also implemented text-to-speech and recorded-name features for conferences for Microsoft Lync Conference Services.

I am also a developer for Windows Mobile; I'm currently working on the NanoGmail mobile client.

I was a developer for Response Group Service for Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Particularly, I implemented Import-Export and Response Group Service Language Packs in the Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit tools and some cumulative security updates.

Before joining Microsoft, I worked as a development lead for the UBS Investment Bank in IT Market Risk, calculating value at risk, and in IT Equities, calculating intraday strategies.

I received Masters in Applied Mathematics from Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana.

My published credits are:

You can contact me at:

Wajih Yahyaoui

I joined the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 team as a program manager in September of 2006. I moved to the partner team in September of 2008. I’ve done quite a few things here, including a role on the A/V Edge server team, and helped ship both Office Communication Server 2007 R2 and Office Communications Server 2007. I’ve been on many teams here at Microsoft, including several Microsoft Windows networking teams (Wireless, IAS, IPsec, and TCP/IP), Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Microsoft Windows XP.

I currently work with multiple partners to develop joint solutions that enhance the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 offering and expand our reach in the services space.

My published credits are:

You can contact me at:

Wayne Filin-Matthews

I have more than 19 years of experience in the IT industry. In 2007, I joined Microsoft on the Consulting Services team as a Solutions Architect. I have a strong background in delivering enterprise solutions across government, retail, banking, and automotive sectors. I specialize in collaboration, security, and compliancy-led solutions. Prior to joining Microsoft, I worked for HP, Fujitsu, Computer Associates, and IBM.

You can contact me at:

Zeya Oo

I have worked in the IT field for over 10 years and currently specialize in Windows Infrastructure. As a Senior Windows Administrator for a large global enterprise with offices and partners in every major city around the globe, I have experience with virtually anything and everything related to the Windows environment. This includes Windows technologies such as Active Directory, C Sharp, Exchange, Lync, Windows PowerShell, and SQL.

Recently I’ve been working with large enterprises to automate the user provisioning and de-provisioning process. Based on these experiences, I have written a user provisioning application for the Technet community named Z-Hire.

In my free time, I actively engage with the Technet community to better understand the challenges faced by other IT professionals. I particularly enjoy programming soultions that that makes work easier for administrators. When I am not writing code for the Technet community, I also enjoy snowboarding, camping, backpacking and fishing.