Kevin Kieller
Kevin Kieller is a partner with enableUC, a company that helps measure, monitor and improve UC and collaboration usage and...
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Kevin Kieller | April 23, 2014 |


Living with Lync: Relationship Advice

Living with Lync: Relationship Advice A well-planned and well-executed implementation of Lync should both allow you to take calls and video and conferences while on the beach, and also make you feel like you are in a tropical oasis every day.

A well-planned and well-executed implementation of Lync should both allow you to take calls and video and conferences while on the beach, and also make you feel like you are in a tropical oasis every day.

Relationships are tricky things. We have all heard both touching and tragic stories, stories of love and of loss, stories of commitment and betrayal. Likewise, I have heard both wonderful and painful stories of organizations that have deployed Microsoft Lync. And so, this year at my "Living with Lync" Enterprise Connect Orlando 2014 session, I decided to talk about relationships and specifically how you can have a great experience with Lync.


Life is a beach. Or rather, a well-planned and well-executed implementation of Lync should both allow you to take calls and video and conferences while on the beach, and also make you feel like you are in a tropical oasis every day.

Obtaining this feeling is possible, but it takes hard work. Good relationships take hard work.

We all bring "baggage" to our relationships and any writer or speaker brings biases to their presentations. I think it is important to understand my biases so you can better interpret my recommendations.


Like I recently wrote in my article "The Proof is in the Pudding," because of my background as a software developer, I understand the complexity of most UC implementations, and I am skeptical about vendor claims unless I have had a chance to experience the solution myself.

And as it turns out, in the past 18 months I have had the opportunity to lead a team that migrated over 60 offices to complete Lync voice and UC. We removed thousands of legacy phones and left people with only Lync for all voice features.


Given my biases and my experience, I know for a fact that you can have a great relationship with Lync. However, even relationships that are doomed to fail often start off great.

Many organizations choose Lync, and during the "honeymoon stage" of IM and presence, everything is cute and cuddly.


Clearly, more people are falling in love, or in lust, with Lync all the time. I suspect competitors would say, more organizations are being "seduced" by Lync. Adoption of Lync for IM and presence is very strong, and adoption of Lync as a voice platform is rapidly growing.


The adoption of Lync is definitely growing as a voice solution, moving beyond the initial strong inroads Lync made as an IM and presence solution. At an Enterprise Connect 2014 session led by Jerry Caron of Current Analysis and Peter Hale of MZA, these two analysts presented statistics indicating that in 2013, 13% of North American organizations with more than 100 extensions chose Lync as their voice solution. This is noteworthy, as Lync has moved from zero to become the third most popular voice solution in less than three years. Lync is now only behind Cisco (the leader with 44%) and Avaya (with 20%).

More organizations are choosing Lync for voice; often this is being driven from strength in the IT department as opposed to from the tradition telecom group, which in many organizations has been merged into IT and as a result has a diminished say in the selected UC and voice infrastructure.


Not surprisingly, many organizations choosing Lync for voice are those who are already familiar and comfortable with other Microsoft tools such as Windows Server, Active Directory, Exchange (which is the email platform of choice for a majority of business customers) and SharePoint.

But as Dr. Seuss says so well "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish"--there are plenty of fish in the sea, and multiple UC choices for an organization. And with respect to relationships, technology and otherwise, you have many choices. (While my focus is technology, for non-technical relationship choices see Plenty of Fish.)

How do you figure out if Lync is right for you, or more simply, whether you should even go on a first date with Lync?


Lync may be the right choice for many organizations; however, the most important question is whether Lync is right for your organization. To figure out the correct answer, you will need to do some work. I outlined a series of steps in my article, "The Goldilocks Approach: 7 Steps to 'Just Right,'" and then talked about how to communicate your results in the article "Goldilocks Rocks".

Next Page: More Choices, Building to Lync Voice, What Users Love About Lync and Maintaining the Relationship...


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