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...
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Sheila McGee-Smith | February 20, 2013 |


Microsoft Lync Conference 2013

Microsoft Lync Conference 2013 It is without a doubt the largest gathering of people interested in or dedicated to the success of Microsoft Lync.

It is without a doubt the largest gathering of people interested in or dedicated to the success of Microsoft Lync.

It's the second day of the Lync Conference being held in San Diego at the famous Hotel del Coronado and enough has happened to pause and report on the content and mood of the event. To begin, this is the very first Lync user conference. Microsoft had high, but not overly ambitious, hopes for attendance that were blown away. Planning for a total of 500 attendees, Microsoft instead found themselves cutting off registration at 900. The final tally, as described by the president of the Skype Division (former Cisco SVP) Tony Bates, was:

* 350 customers
* 300 partners
* 43 sponsors

* 45 MVPs (Microsoft Lync Server Most Valuable Professional)
* 27 analysts and press
* A significant number of Microsoft people--described as 1 for every 5 attendees.

While 900 attendees sounds like a lot, only a third of those were actually users at this so-called user event. That said, it is without a doubt the largest gathering of people interested in or dedicated to the success of Microsoft Lync.

The keynote addresses by Tony Bates and Derek Burney (Corporate VP, Skype Division) delivered the high-level messages and demos that people wanted to see. First up: Lync with full video working on not only the Surface tablet, but on the iPhone, Android phone and iPad as well. While vendors that have delivered all three will say ho-hum, others that are only slowly working toward that full set of functionality undoubtedly were chagrined to see the progress that Microsoft has made on popular mobile platforms.

The second important question at this conference had to do with Lync-Skype interoperability. Burney did what he said was the first public Lync call to a Skype user.

Many of the Microsoft workshop sessions that followed on Tuesday and today have given additional color to the two topics introduced by Bates and Burney. For example, a well-attended session called "Lync & Skype: Combining Consumer Reach with Enterprise Controls," offered the information shown in the graphic below about what Skype users can do with Lync contacts and vice versa. What you don't see here is video integration--that will come, but likely not until the end of 2013 at best.

Most of the contact center vendors that work with Lync, e.g., Aspect, Clarity Connect, Genesys, Interactive Intelligence, prairieFyre and Zeacom are here in San Diego. I've been meeting with several of them and in my next piece I'll update the Microsoft Lync contact center story.


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