Skype for Business BLOG
Every once in a while, you run across a jewel of knowledge - small but precious and worth saving. During Microsoft Ignite in Chicago this spring I was fortunate to attend a jewel of a presentation by Anthony Caragol, one of a hand-full of Lync/Skype for Business MVPs when he shared his "Top 10" list with a group of administrators and managers.
Anthony's Top 10 List:
- If you decide to go virtual, do so with great caution
- Got QoS? You had better plan on it from end-to-end of your network.
- Not all back-ups are created equal.
- Plan your E911 strategy (while you still can)
- Session Border Controller - your key to security and future flexibility
- Understand what you are replacing
- Don't overlook User Adoption - a lot of hard work may go to waste
- Management Shell Scripts - the window to hidden features
- Monitor everything - or risk being surprised
- Devices - Qualified or Optimized only, please
What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts with Anthony on Twitter @CanthonyCaragol
By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Marketing at AudioCodes
As a manager of Unified Communications, you have many concerns, from security, to survivability and operational costs. You’ve probably been inundated with materials, whitepapers and reports from the vendors and analysts on the topic of cloud-based UC solutions. They promise greater security, scaling, simplified implementation, better reliability through geographic diversity and the opportunity to “pay-as-you-go”.
by Alan D. Percy, Senior Director of Marketing, AudioCodes
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to talk with Matt Jones, Manager of Infrastructure Services at Quaero, a data management and analytics company with offices in Charlotte and Boston, and a third office Bangalore, India.
During our discussion, Matt explained “…that Quaero had gone through a couple different ownership changes, and as a result, were looking for an affordable way to move from Cisco to Lync 2013”. As part of the project, Quaero executives expected to use Lync to tie together their Charlotte and Boston offices, using a paired pool architecture for improved resilience.
by Keven Yorio, CCG Telecom Principle
CCG Telecom has had the opportunity to deploy the newest “Home Run” communications solution from AudioCodes; One Box 365. AudioCodes One Box 365 is a complete Lync Enterprise Voice solution for Office 365 customers with E4 licenses. The features, cost savings and ease of transition have all contributed to a significant enhancement to our business communication. Users have been very pleased with its ease of use and CCG has never doubted the decision to go with One Box 365.
When it comes time to choose a deployment model for Office 365 and Lync voice, the "Easy Button" gets a lot of attention. Through continued refinement and teamwork, partner alliances continue to form with the goal of reducing the complexity for end-customers to migrate to Lync voice, leveraging all the collaboration and communications capabilities included in Office 365.
This week CCG Telecom and G12 announced an exclusive partnership with the intent of continuing the trend toward simplification. This new alliance is based on CCG's experiences learned while buidling their own internal Lync voice deployment.
As noted by Kevin Yorio, Principal of CCG Telecom "This is a game changer...Up to this point, for a small-to-medium enterprises to fully benefit from the promise of Unified Communications, they were looking at multiple vendors, significant capital investment, and bringing on full time staff to manage and support the solution.
By Alan D. Percy, Senior Director of Marketing at AudioCodes
This last week while participating in the Strategic Products and Services (SPS) Sales Summit in Houston, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Quentin Kramer, Director of UC Consulting and Architecture, one of the UC industry technical experts. Having spent a number of years as a UC consultant, Quentin has been engaged on some of the early OCS and Lync deployments. Quentin joined SPS in June of 2013.
by Alan D. Percy
Moving to a SIP-based IP-PBX, Contact Center or Unified Communications system often involves retiring an old and expensive PBX, replacing the desktop legacy phones with new IP Phones. Deploying new IP Phones often results in chaos at the desktop - an opportunity for partners.
Let’s face it, provisioning and installing hundreds of IP Phones can be a tedious process – most IP-based systems offer some form of automatic provisioning system, loading the correct firmware and configuration data into each device as it is installed and activated. “Self-provisioning”, where the end-user is handed a device and asked to do the physical installation and some minimal activation procedure, is a great way to reduce the labor involved with large deployments.
Lync voice and Unified Communications are becoming increasingly popular. In this environment, it is natural that innovative solutions for specific requirements within the ever expanding Lync ecosystem are being introduced to the marketplace all the time.
Enterprise Voice for Lync can be accessed through Microsoft’s “Plus” Client Access License (CAL) offering, which in turn can be achieved by either deploying on-Premises Lync devices, or through the cloud-based Office 365 suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote, Exchange, Sharepoint, Yammer and OneDrive). Microsoft’s Office 365 E3 plan, which costs $20 per user per month, provides UC functionality such as presence, IM, mobile clients, peer-to peer video and voice, voice and video conferencing, screen sharing and editing.
By Alan D. Percy, Senior Director of Marketing at AudioCodes
A few days ago I had the pleasure to visit Houston and Michael Cassady, VP of Sales and Marketing for The Via Group. The Via Group has been one of our leading partners and almost always on the leading edge of trends in communications.
During our discussions, Michael and I were comparing notes about the adoption of Lync in the typical Small and Medium Business (SMB).
by Jeremy Puent, Product Manager at Clarity Consulting
The term, “Unified Communications” is a buzz word that’s thrown around a lot nowadays. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Unified Communications is taking the industry by storm. As the UC market continues to grow, and the legacy systems try and catch the shooting star, the term is now being applied to products that, while on the surface seem unified, are really just a mix of independent products and infrastructure tied with a front-end bow to look like a single product. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to build a snazzy UI than it is to rebuild your communications products as a single piece of software.