SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dave Michels
Dave Michels is a Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. His unique perspective on unified communications comes from a career involving telecommunications...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Dave Michels | December 21, 2011 |

 
   

Lync Licensing: Effective Confusion

Lync Licensing: Effective Confusion An in-depth look at the ins and outs of Lync licensing, how it fits into Microsoft's strategy, and how it fit into your enterprise's existing infrastructure.

An in-depth look at the ins and outs of Lync licensing, how it fits into Microsoft's strategy, and how it fit into your enterprise's existing infrastructure.

Microsoft Lync shook up the unified communications market in numerous ways. Simply put, the product approaches communications from a different perspective; and that includes licensing. Some accuse Microsoft of purposely making it overly complex and difficult, but in their defense they are licensing Lync the same as their other enterprise offerings.

The major difference in approach relates to dedicated versus shared infrastructure. For example, a typical UC VoIP quote covers licensing, dedicated servers, required hardware, and related applications such as unified messaging or presence. It is common for quotes not to include LAN switches, power considerations, or HVAC, as those items are typically already in place. With Lync, the assumptions of what's in place are broader, particularly around Microsoft products and components (Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, Office) and Microsoft doesn't provide the hardware--thus Lync quotes tend to be Lync-specific licensing only. Even worse, the software, or major components of it, may already be in place through a volume licensing program. This can reduce the quotes to only design, implementation, and add-on components.

Microsoft publishes two critical guides to understanding Lync licensing: Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Licensing Guide and Microsoft Volume Licensing Reference Guide. These documents address the basic structure of the programs, but assume a familiarity with Microsoft licensing. These documents address most, but not all questions.

Lync licensing is conceptually easy, but there is no shortage of rabbit holes. Starting with the server, there are three types of Lync server 2010 licenses:

1. Server
2. Client Access Licenses (CALs)
3. External Connectors

The next level down: there are two kinds of servers (Standard and Enterprise), three kinds of CALs (Standard, Enterprise, and Plus), and various connectors that are charged either one time only, or monthly. The number of servers and the roles associated with each server vary by implementation requirements and can be complex. In addition to Lync Server, there is also a Lync client for the desktop. IP phones can be licensed to users or as devices. Desktops are generally part of a Windows infrastructure with Active Directory. Most implementations will also (optionally) integrate with Exchange and SharePoint, but neither integrations are required--thus they are not considered part of "Lync licensing."

As Lync is targeted to larger organizations, the first step in evaluating licensing is for you to research whether your organization already has a Microsoft volume licensing arrangement in place. There are numerous such programs and they vary tremendously. The programs may or may not include software assurance and support, may or may not include actual licenses (perpetual) as opposed to a rental (subscription). Terms are typically two or three years. Additionally, there are different programs for non-profits, government, education, and multi-national organizations.

Once the volume licensing is sorted out, then comes the engineering. The server type (Standard and Enterprise) has nothing to do with the Standard and Enterprise CAL types. The key difference between Standard and Enterprise servers originally pertained to high availability, but now with HA for the Standard server option, the primary difference involves capacity. Client Access Licenses and licenses for the clients themselves are two different things--totally separate from each other--and should not be confused with one another.

The different CAL types--enterprise and standard--enable different features. Not entire feature areas such as video or collaboration, but levels of features within those areas. The Standard CAL is a base CAL, and both Enterprise and Plus CALs are optional and additive on top of the Standard. It is the Plus CAL that delivers enterprise voice capabilities. Many OCS users got temporary access to Plus CALs via a grandfathering policy.

Microsoft's model of licensing is not new, but it represents a radically different approach for telecommunications. Quotes from competing vendors typically start with voice, and use add-on licenses to enable entirely new feature areas such as collaboration or presence. Lync starts with collaboration and presence, and then offers voice as the add-on. Microsoft's unique approach offers both benefits and disadvantages.

NEXT PAGE: Advantages and disadvantages





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

December 13, 2017

The two major vendors in the Unified Communications space, Cisco and Microsoft, are both strongly promoting their cloud UC deployments. If cloud UC is on your enterprises roadmap, but you dont want

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.