Sheila McGee-Smith
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the...
Read Full Bio >>

Sheila McGee-Smith | October 01, 2012 |


prairieFyre Contact Center for Microsoft Lync Update

prairieFyre Contact Center for Microsoft Lync Update Contact center remains a solution area Microsoft continues to believe is best served by partners.

Contact center remains a solution area Microsoft continues to believe is best served by partners.

A little over two years ago, I wrote a piece for No Jitter on prairieFyre's first release of its Contact Center for Microsoft Lync solution. At the time it was one of just five or so contact center applications available for the soon to be released Lync 2010. As true today as it was in 2010, contact center remains a solution area Microsoft continues to believe is best served by partners.

As the world waits for the next Wave (15) of Lync, many partners are busy updating their applications. Microsoft has not announced an official launch date for Lync 2013, though those who watch it more closely than I (i.e., the Redmond Channel Partner) reported in an article last week that the anticipated release date is Q4 2012 or Q1 2013--very specific.

Why would a partner announce ahead of the Lync 2013 launch? prairieFyre's VP of Business Development Todd Simons said that Lync 2013 is largely irrelevant in terms of contact center, that Microsoft "didn't put a lot of goodies" in for contact center application providers. prairieFyre is a member of Microsoft's Technology Adoption Program (TAP), which helps Microsoft test and identify issues during the development phase, so they should know.

Simons went on to say that the only thing specific to Lync 2013 they will announce is compatibility, within 60 days of release. That said, work has been done, like updating the way the application works with the updated UCMA (Unified Communications Managed API), and backward compatibility for the installed base.

So what is new in the release? Screen pop from ANI and DNIS to a CRM application. Even Simons admitted that this might not seem "earth-shaking," but reported that the Dynamics CRM people were excited by it. The new version, 5.10.1, also introduces a queue resiliency option that automatically routes calls to alternative endpoints in the event of a network failure or outage. The alternatives are defined in the native Lync queuing application, Response Groups. This makes it similar to a server-based contact center application that can "fall-back" to PBX-based routing, e.g., Siemens Enterprise Communications OpenScape Contact Center using Flex Routing in case of server failure.

More interesting than the new features is the update Simons provided on prarieFyre's success in the market. While last year prairieFyre was reporting proof-of-concepts and trials, this year the company has tens of customers. Many of those have 20 or so agents deployed, but he reports some also have over 100 agents. One reference customer, L'Occitane, reports having installed prairieFyre and Lync to replace a Genesys implementation. No surprise then that Genesys is one of the most recent contact center solution providers to certify Microsoft Lync interoperability.


August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

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 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.