Today I was reading this article on www.voipplanet.com The title of the article was "Nearly a Third Will Update to Lync 2010: Survey"
This article had a bunch of different very informative information in it. It was interesting to me that 23% of people that have already deployed a VOIP solution would consinder moving to Lync 2010.
It is amazing how much interest Lync 2010 has gotten since the name change from Office Communication Server. Here is a Link to the white paper and survey.
Is your company planning on going to VOIP? Video conferencing? What are your plans to replace your existing PBX?
Have you thought about Lync 2010 and how the cloud platform my merge your Voice and Data networks?
Again I suggest going and reading this article or if you have more time go read the whole white paper. Let me know your thoughts. I would love to have your feedback on this or anything related to Lync 2010, My email is email@example.com
Today I was reading an article by J. Peter Bruzzese at Infoworld. The title of his article: Microsoft Lync 2010:Finally, a commnications server worth the effort. Here is a link to the article http://infoworld.com/d/windows/microsoft-lync-2010-finally-communications-server-worth-the-effort-515
In this Peter talks about his first IM experience with Exchange 2000. And how it was pulled out in Exchange 2003. He also comments that in Microsoft Tradition, the third time is the charm(I have to agree, go back to Windows 3.11, it was really better than 286 or Windows 3).
It is a great article about what it takes to setup Lync, that is now in Beta. Have you downloaded the Beta of Lync 2010? Why not? When is your company planning on replacing your PBX? Come on, you know you are at some point, you want to get rid of it. Lync 2010 with E-911 and location information is the first real software solution to replace you PBX.
We recently announced pricing for Lync Server 2010 which is the new name for our next Office Communication Server.
You can find all the details at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/pricing-licensing.aspx
Lync Server 2010 follows the Server/Client Access License (CAL) model. Under this model, a Lync Server 2010 license is required for each operating system environment running Lync Server 2010. A CAL is required for each user or device accessing the Lync Server. You can acquire Lync Server 2010 CAL as standalone servers and Client Access licenses (CAL) or you can purchase the CALs as part of the Microsoft Enterprise CAL (ECAL) Suite. Lync 2010 is the client software used to interact with the Lync Server 2010 Server and is licensed separately as a standalone license, or available via Office 2007 Pro Plus and Office 2007 Enterprise.
Standard Edition requires that primary server components, as well as the database for storing user and conference information, be configured on a single computer. Standard Edition is recommended for organizations that do not require higher availability through load balancing.
Enterprise Edition enables separation of server functionality and data storage to achieve higher capacity and availability. Enterprise Edition is recommended for organizations that require higher availability through load balancing.
The tables below illustrate the additional new and improved features contained within the Lync Server 2010 CAL offerings:
The Lync Server 2010 Standard CAL is a prerequisite to both the Lync Server 2010 Enterprise CAL and Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL. Any versions of the CALs may run on either the Standard or Enterprise version of the server. Additionally, both Lync Server 2010 Standard and Enterprise CALs are components of the Microsoft Enterprise CAL Suite – the Plus CAL can only be acquired standalone.
Lync 2010 is the client software used to interact with the Lync Server. Lync 2010 is available as both a stand-alone product and is also included in Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010.
Public IM Connectivity (PIC) remains a separate license, unchanged from the current Office Communications Server 2007 R2 offerings.
The following additional software components are associated with the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Server license (either the Enterprise Edition or the Standard Edition):
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 as deployed in:
Archiving and Monitoring Server Role
Audio/Video Conferencing Server Role
Central Management Server Role
Lync Web Application Server Role
Edge Server Role
Group Chat Server Role
Mediation Server Role
Reach Application Sharing Server Role
Survivable Branch Appliance Role
Unified Communications Application Server Role
Web Conferencing Server Role
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Control Panel
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Web App Plug-In
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Group Chat Administration Tool
Microsoft Lync 2010 in UISuppressionMode
Microsoft PowerShell Snap-In
Qualified Office Communications Server 2007 R2 with Software Assurance customers will have the following license migration rights to the corresponding Lync Server 2010 offerings as described by the following table:
NOTE: If you are outside of the United States and Canada, you can get pricing information from your local Microsoft office. Find contact information for your local Microsoft office on the Microsoft Worldwide Information site. All prices reflect pricing for purchases within the United States and are in U.S. dollars. The prices listed are estimates; reseller pricing can vary.
I have been wanting to write this post for sometime. Internally we have been playing around with the features of Office Communications Server 14 for sometime, and I haven't been able to show you the new features.
Well now I can. In the last week the OCS team released 5 new videos on edge.technet.com showing off OCS 14 here they are:
What’s new in OCS 14 Conferencing
What’s new in OCS 14 Enterprise Voice
What's new in OCS 14 Client Extensibility
What’s new in OCS 14 High Definition
What’s new in OCS 14 IM and Presence
Most of the demos are only 10 minute or less. So in an hour you can have a great exposure to a bunch of the new features in OCS.
After you watch these I would love to hear what you think of OCS 14, what you think of the videos? How else can we show you what is possible with OCS?
On August 9, 2010, Stuart Johnston wrote a nice article for Enterprise Networking Planet about the multi-year deal between Microsoft and Polycom.
There are quite a few customers who have been using Polycom technologies and solutions for many years for video and teleconferencing needs. I have had many customers who asked about integrating those existing solutions with Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Some integrate well and others not so well. With the capabilities and price point of the Microsoft Roundtable, customers were starting to utilize this new device for video conferences. The demand was so high for these devices that we decided to partner with Polycom to manufacture and distribute the Roundtable (CX5000).
This recent deal is just the next step in the partnership to continue to provide our customers with awesome end to end Unified Communications solutions that are top notch and affordable. I, for one, am very excited to hear this and am looking forward to the solutions that will come to market with Polycom and Communications Server “14” (next release of Office Communications Server).
Polycom doesn’t only work with us on the Roundtable device, but they also manufacture other devices that integrate with Office Communications Server 2007 R2 today. These devices are:
Needless to say, I happen to have all four of these devices and use all but the CX200 on a regular basis. I’m also looking forward to testing out the CX500, CX600 and CX3000 due out later this year – these are devices that are optimized for Communications Server “14”.
With the enhanced capabilities in CS “14”, I can only speculate on what kind of devices are in the works as part of this agreement.
When you think about how the traditional phone system (PSTN) or public switched telephone network really relied upon hardware to work, and now you think about merging the Internet and Phone networks, things get interesting. Major parts of the Internet are software based, think about Virtualization, how much now or 5 years from now of things we use on the Internet will be vituralized or in the Cloud. I think it's higher than you think and will continue to rise.
Well then take into consideration Unified Communications. The Microsoft Solution for Voice is mainly software. Since it is software, a good case can be made to Virtualize this software. Or could this be put in the Cloud in the Future?
I was reading this article on sys-con.com about this exact subject. The article goes on to talk about time stamping things like inbound faxes that could be a real plus to courts and other places that have to time stamp every inbound object like a fax. The article also points to some reference materials about cost savings of doing this in the cloud verse specialized on-site solutions. The article is a good read, it discussing issues about bandwidth for voice quality and stablization issue you need to think about before virtualizing something like UC. But as the world move closer to cloud computing, it really makes you think about software that support voice applications and how they might work in the cloud in the future.
What are your thoughts about this issue? Are you planning to deploy OCS or UC Vituralized, or possibly in the Cloud?
I was reading this interesting article
today on CIO.com about Dow Chemical and their move from Exchange 2003 to
Exchange Online or BPOS (Business Productivity On-Line Suite). The
perception has been that Exchange Online is just for small and medium sized
companies. This article explains the considerations that Dow made before
making the decision to convert to Exchange Online. Dow is rolling out
Windows 7 company-wide to their clients. According to the article they
have had a 3rd party run their Exchange Servers that sit in Dow's data centers
for sometime. So the transition to a cloud offering will not be that huge
of a move.
BPOS offers Exchange 2007 today, but before the end of
the year this will be upgraded to Exchange 2010 (and Sharepoint 2010).
This is one of the reasons Dow looked at the online solution. Jumping from 2003
to 2010 was a large step to take internally. They wanted the features of 2010,
but didn't want a huge impact on their end users. I love the quote in the
article about one of the reasons Dow picked Microsoft as their partner for this
solution after looking at many vendors:
"Nobody can run Exchange like Microsoft,"
he says. "From a security perspective, I can't afford to spend as much on
securing an Exchange environment as Microsoft can."
Think about the Data Centers that Microsoft
has today. Who else can build a data center of that scale, with multiple sites
of the same scale? BPOS offers 25 Gig mailboxes with 24/7 access,
and a service level agreement at 99.99% uptime. What would it cost you to build
an infrastructure to give that level of service to your end users?
They open Outlook and expect mail. It's like the lights coming on, or dial
tone, we just expect it, and when it's down, you know it. BPOS is a
different way of thinking about software. It's a monthly charge, not an upfront capital cost.
Are you on an older version of Exchange?
Thinking about upgrading? Look into BPOS it might be the best solution for your
company like Dow did.
And if you go read that article
on CIO.com, let me know what your thought of it.
I was reading this article today on WindowsITPro site by B.K. Winstead. He talks about people that claim to be doing Unified Communications are most just piloting it, and most of the deployments are only using a very small percentage of the features of Unifed Communications(UC). His organization is using the Voice Mail part of UC in Exchange 2007, but he knows there is much more that can be done. He mentions how presence is the key to UC. Presence is understanding how people want to communication, what tools do they have like email, voicemail, IM, Chat, Video or other things like Desktop sharing. Presence makes leaving messages a thing of the past.
Then I got to thinking about all the features of UC, and what will be available in next few years in UC. I agree very few companies are using a majority of features available today. Will it be just voice mail? or VOIP or merging of email, voice, text, IM all into one tool? Who knows. I know the average person today has information overload. We have to consolidate, make communcation easy, simple to use and way more efficient.
Is your company trying UC? Are you in a pilot or do you have some pieces of UC deployed? When do you think your organization will have most of the UC features available deployed system wide?
I suggest you go read B.K. Winstead's article or comment here or my main blog over on blogs.technet.com/b/jweston
About a month or so
ago, I saw the following post on Information Week: http://www.informationweek.com/news/telecom/unified_communications/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=225700490.
I found the article
to be enlightening and thought I would post my thoughts regarding some of the
items brought out by the article.
First, I find that
companies really have to understand what their Unified Communications (UC)
goals are since the term UC means different things to different people.
When I talk to people about UC, I look at the entire communications
"stack" and how the experiences for the end user can be streamlined.
This includes IM, email, voicemail, web and video conferencing and Voice over
IP (VoIP). I find that too many people look at only one or two components
initially (like IM and web conferencing) and don't architect or plan for future
expansion. IM and basic web conferencing does not require much network
bandwidth nor server horsepower. However, if video conferencing and VoIP
is utilized, the bandwidth consumption is higher and latency becomes a more
important factor. The architecture for IM and web conferencing will be
much different than if VoIP and video conferencing come into play.
Another big issue
that was brought up in the article is training for the end user. I find
too many companies do indeed roll out technology without providing proper
guidance or training for the end user. When this happens, the technology
either does not get used or the full potential is not realized. To be
successful, companies must include training as part of the equation. I
would argue that the training must come before the solution is deployed.
This way, the users know what is coming and will be able to immediately take
advantage of the new solution the moment it becomes available.
Companies need to
do the proper research to figure out what UC components will provide the most
benefits. No two companies are the same so don't make the assumption that
just because your buddy's company deployed solution XYZ, that your company should
do the exact same thing. Sometimes more is less and less is more, but you
must make the choice based on your own needs. Working for a great
technology like Microsoft, I am spoiled in that I get access to all of our UC
technologies (solution). I can't imagine what I would do without Outlook
2010 for my email, Communicator 14 (or is it 2010) for my IM, presence, VoIP,
web / audio / video conferencing. I love that voicemails show up in my
inbox which in turn synchronizes to my Windows Mobile 6.5 phone (HTC HD2).
Being a mobile employee, all of these components is an absolute necessity for
me and helps me to be productive no matter where I am at (home, plane, hotel,
In conclusion, UC
solutions can definitely provide cost savings as well as productivity boosts,
but it is not just the technology that must be considered, but the end users.
Proper planning / architecture combined with end user preparation will give
companies the most bang for the buck.
Sorry for the very long delay, finally, the last part (Part 5 of 5) was to provide knowledge on the http://www.GOTUC.net website and how it can help you get started with Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Unified Communications, please check out:http://gotuc.net/blogs/gotuc/archive/2009/03/26/office-communications-server-2007-r2-vhd-now-available.aspx
GOTUC.net is a group of Microsoft Office Communications Server developers working together through a web-community to promote Office Communications Server development, to increase our skills and assist others. The founders of this site are firm believers in the potential of OCS and are committed to doing our part to make this community grow.
On this site you will find many Microsoft MVPs for OCS who are willing to share their expertise with others. They are big evangelists for OCS and seek every available opportunity to speak out about it.
I want to send a special thanks to Keith Kabza for all of his knowledge sharing around OCS in this series.
PS, I'll be contributing to the System Center pages soon, so look for me there!