Friday, February 21, 2014

Lync Conference News

As I write this, Microsoft is running their annual Lync conference in Las Vegas. I would have liked to attend, but such is life. Up to about now, the news has been dribbling out, but UClarity a Swedish firm has summarised the first day’s news. You can read it here: but the content is in Swedish. Users of Chrome get offered a translation automatically, but if not, try going here:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lync now A Billion Dollar Business

Lync joins other Microsoft products in the billion dollar club! With the release of the Q4 earnings, Microsoft has disclosed that  is now taking in over one billion US$ and revenue grew 30% This is fantastic news to those of us watching in the Lync space.

As part of the earnings call, Microsoft also divulged that Skype delivered 162 billion call minutes this quarter. My wife calls her dad every day and they chat for an hour – so I know where a few hundred of those minutes come from – but 162 billion is a lot of call time. I suspect many telcos would love to have that call volume (well that volume in PAID calls anyway!).

Tom Arbuthnot has a few more comments about this over on his blog. It makes interesting reading. Tags:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

News from the Lync Conference–Lync/Skype Video Chat interop Coming

It’s been a quiet week for Lync News as all the interesting stuff is happening at the Lync Conference in Las Vegas. One very interesting tit-bit is the news that Microsoft is aiming to deliver Lync/Skype video chat interoperability by the middle of this year. At long last!

Paul Thurrot has more information over on his WinSuperSite, including some good background to this announcement. You can read it here:

In that article, Paul also discloses that there will be a Lync application for Android tablets, although he did not name the date.


I am looking forward to hearing more of the news from Las Vegas and the Lync conference. I was hoping we’d also hear a bit more about the next version of Lync – but so far not much news. Tags:

Friday, February 07, 2014

Lync and How It Integrates with other MS Apps

One of the big changes with Lync has been Microsoft’s approach of investing in a particular product for a particular function/feature and then have other products leverage that investment. This really makes sense on two levels. First, product groups are not each re-inventing the same wheel. Second, it really makes the ‘better together’ argument more real and less hype.

For example, with Lync 2013, all contact information is in a single Unified Contact Store which is maintained by Exchange 2013. The architecture for that looks like this:


Microsoft has just published an awesome set of posters that illustrate all the current sets of feature integration along with loads of links and more information. I find this a fantastic Lync resource (if only the Microsoft Learning courses were as well described!

You can download these posters (it’s a 9 page PDF) from Tags: ,,

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Weekly round up of Lync and UC news - Lync Server 2013 Weekly

I have setup a Paper.Li weekly newsletter of news on UC and in particular Lync. You can see it: here. You can also subscribe (free) and get an abbreviated version in your mail box every Monday Morning. The mail can be clicked to get to the full content. The language is set to English, with coverage from around the globe. Tags:

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Lync PreCall Diagnostics Tool

In Lync, and indeed with almost any VOIP product, call quality can vary. This variation can be caused by a number of factors, including network delay, jitter, packet loss, and under powered PCs. Diagnosing the causes is difficult if you don’t have all the facts.

Microsoft has issues a pair of new tools< PreCall Diagnostics Tool, that run on Win 7 (desktop) and Win 8 (as a metro/modern app). You can get the Desktop application here, and the modern app here.

To understand more about the tool(s) and what the out means, take a look at an excellent blog article by Byron Spurlock. Tags:

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

A Conference Call in Real Life

Thanks to Jamie Stark, there’s a very funny video looking at how Conference Calls work. It’s amusing but reminds me all too much of the conference calls I am on of late!

See the video on YouTube at:


A conference call in real life Tags:

Monday, February 03, 2014

IPv6 Essentials Webinar–Tue Feb 4 and Web Feb 5 2014

Tomorrow (Feb 5th 2014), GoGo6, an IPv6 company, is running a fee webinar with Alvaro Vives: IP v6 Essentials. You can go to their web site and sign up for the webinar which begins at 19:00 CET/18:00 GMT and 13:00 EST. It’s also being repeated later in the day on Feb 5 (you can sign up for both at the same place!

Why bother, you may be asking yourself? Great question and hopefully Arlindo will nail that answer as he looks at why IPv6 is a must, and how to address the issues that arise if you want to deploy IPv6.

While IPv4 is how most users deploy tools such as Lync Server, you can use IPv6. And at some time, I believe, IT pros will look back and wonder why anyone would want to use IPv4.

See you there!

Testing out Emergency Calling with Lync

Microsoft’s Lync server has a great feature called E911 – Emergency calling mainly for the UK and Canada. I teach Lync and find this topic to be of only minor interest in the UK and Europe mainly because we do not have E911 service over here (yet, anyway!).

Gary Williams has just published a great blog article entitled Is it OK to Place a Test Call to Emergency Services. His answer is Yes and he goes about telling how to do it. I have to say, I’ve always been quite nervous about testing out calls to 999 – and have only twice every had to call it for real.

But Gary’s article makes it clear that yes you can do this and also makes the good point that not testing it can be life threatening if it doesn’t work. He sets out how to do it in the article and it’s pretty simple. Gary also notes another potential gotcha – Lync will add a leading “+” to the number (e.g. if you dial 999, Lync ‘dials’ +999). Thus it’s vital that you have your routes are set up expecting this.

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