Today wraps up Microsoft Tech 2012 in Orlando, the major education conference targeted at IT professionals using Microsoft products and related technologies. Microsoft Lync was featured in the Office Pavilion within Microsoft’s central area. In addition to the Microsoft stand, the usual collection of device and gateway vendors were exhibiting including AudioCodes, Polycom, Plantronics, Jabra, Juniper and others.
During this week, I made an extra effort to roughly half of the 12 educational sessions on Microsoft Lync. Here’s a summary of what I learned this week:
- The voice and video payload varies tremendously – from RTA-NB to full frame-rate HD video, network designers have to use policies to prevent Lync calls/collaboration from crushing their networks.
- There are a couple cool features that I’ll call “hunt group lite” to allow groups of people to answer incoming calls. While not a replacement for even the most basic contact center, I can envision the feature being handy.
- With virtualization, you can stuff the entire Lync server pool into one server (not recommended, but would come in handy for pilots and demos) Normally, Lync requires some serious silicon.
- You can even virtualize the desktop client, allowing the use of thin clients along with a USB-enabled IP Phone.
- I was also surprised how little the Lync Mobile Client was discussed – not sure if that was deliberate, but it did seem odd. While it has its limitations and quirky operation – it is handy.
In addition to the technical facets of Lync, I was also surprised by the number of attendees that already had started their pilots and/or done a full roll-out of Lync. This was great hunting ground for some future end-customer case studies.While not anywhere near the wide adoption as Exchange or SharePoint, it sure seemed that Lync has come out from the shadows and is gaining significant awareness by the IT professionals in attendance.