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An Ounce of Planning Saves Pounds of Pain with Microsoft Lync Conferencing and Enterprise Voice

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Getting started with Microsoft Lync is easy. As a matter of fact, it is too easy. You simply install a Lync Server and your business can take advantage of productivity gains with instant messaging and presence (IM/P). To the IT team, Lync Server looks similar to an Exchange Server—so similar IT policies and procedures are applied making everyone happy.

Management is so impressed with the increase of productivity and the ease of implementation, they want more and they want it fast. For many companies the next step is to realize significant monetary savings by deploying Lync Conferencing. Some even go on to pilot Enterprise Voice at the same time. As the new capabilities are added, Lync runs smoothly. But as the users start to adopt the new technologies, the rafters begin to shake and the walls tremble.

Once a company steps into the conferencing and/or enterprise voice space, unforeseen challenges in the infrastructure can arise if early planning fell short of supporting real-time workloads. Lync can be the “canary in the coal mine” because it exposes issues in other services. Organizations start to see that call connectivity, voice quality and dial-in issues are very different from running instant messaging, thus requiring more planning. Moving real-time media across the wire successfully involves a wide variety of people, skills and third party providers to come together for the single purpose of unified communications.

Our advice this week is to proactively plan for your Lync success early in the deployment lifecycle. Use a combination of free resources and bring in experts that can show you how to avoid the common pitfalls and design a path that will lead you to success.

Microsoft has provided a Rollout Adoption and Success Kit for Lync 2013 that is a starting place for the do-it-yourselfer including several templates and workbooks. The information can help lead you down the right path, but the full risk of the deployment remains squarely on your team.

For Enterprises that prefer a faster path to success, Unify Square offers a Lync Strategy session taking two days onsite with your team and a few more to formalize the deliverables. The result of the structured session is a transfer of knowledge from some of the best Lync experts in the world. These are the guys who have been called in time and time again to fix deployments for companies with 5,000 to 170,000+ end users. After the session, you’ll get a big picture view on how to approach your Lync transformation, a roadmap that is customized to your situation and a detailed task level project plan to achieve the first phase.

For more information, visit our website to learn about the Unify Square services offerings.

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