Brent Kelly
Brent Kelly is president and principal analyst at KelCor, Inc., where he provides strategy and counsel to key client types...
Read Full Bio >>

Brent Kelly | February 18, 2014 |


Linking up with Lync at Lync Conference 2014

Linking up with Lync at Lync Conference 2014 Lync Voice is starting to draw some bigger deployments--with some user preferences that may surprise you.

Lync Voice is starting to draw some bigger deployments--with some user preferences that may surprise you.

Lync Conference 2014 started off today with a bang. At a private all-afternoon event, AudioCodes invited a stellar group of customers to share their experiences deploying both Lync Enterprise Voice and Lync Conferencing. One of the common denominators was that each had deployed an AudioCodes SBC as part of their solution.

What really intrigued me was the size of the companies involved. It's easy to find case studies of smaller organizations deploying Lync Voice, but to see so many companies of such significant stature deploying Lync Voice was impressive. Before the event, I was given a list of the companies who were attending, and just for kicks, I looked up how many employees each had. The largest had over 140,000 employees while the average of all of them was just under 30,000.

In fairness, Lync Voice or Lync Conferencing was not deployed ubiquitously. For example, the largest company had deployed "only" 70,000 seats of Lync Conferencing (on-prem), while the largest Lync Voice deployment was approaching 10,000 and growing.

Most of these companies had deployed AudioCodes Mediant 1000 session border controllers, many with remote Lync survivability. AudioCodes has just released a new version of its Mediant 9000 SBC, which will support from 2,000 up to 12,000 Lync media sessions. Given the direction these deployments are going, it will not be long before we see enterprises deploying these larger-sized SBCs in significant numbers.

One issue that came up over and over was the problem users were having with headsets. I thought this was no longer an issue. I personally use Office 365 with Lync Online with a Plantronics DECT wireless headset optimized for Lync, and I never have a problem. The challenge is that most of the users have inexpensive headsets which are not Lync optimized. One speaker said that the most cost-effective solution for her company that worked was to use cheap USB wired headsets. I was quite surprised at the number of difficulties people were having.

A second issue that surfaced was the aversion people have to a softphone-only deployment. Over and over again these companies reported that users have a preference for hard phones, even if they are only USB-based. In addition, many of the users prefer a hard phone that is always on. One company reported that its users have a number of people who go from meeting to meeting, so when they step into their offices, they need a hard phone that is ready to work.

In addition to end users reporting their experiences, Bern Elliot of Gartner presented a thought-provoking discussion of Lync's appeal to 70% of users, but raised five key issues including what to do about the 30% of users for whom the Lync profile is not quite right. In addition, Aamer Kaleem, CTO of Microsoft Lync Enterprise Voice, told of his conversion from "Mr. Cisco" at his previous employment to a believer in Lync.

I also had the good fortune of addressing this deluxe crowd, sharing some TCO analysis that compared Microsoft Lync to a leading IP-PBX provider. This was an unbiased evaluation that included hardware, licenses, software and hardware maintenance, installation, and operating costs over a five year period. Lync didn't always come out less expensive than the alternative IP-PBX, but there were some licensing suggestions that could possibly turn the tables by converting CAPEX-based Microsoft Enterprise Software licensing into an OPEX-based Enterprise Agreement Subscription. I'll be discussing this topic at the Microsoft vs. Cisco session at Enterprise Connect next month.

The first day of the conference has already been a great learning experience from the people on the front lines deploying and using Lync. The next two days in which Microsoft and a number of consultants and analysts present on a variety of Lync-related topics should prove entertaining and educational!


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 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.