transformation with Microsoft Lync: six steps to deployment success

Transitioning to a full enterprise Lync voice service is a significant undertaking for large businesses. The platform is a capable PBX replacement and according to the Gartner Magic Quadrant, Microsoft is “the overall leader for completeness of vision”. At a global scale this transformation can be a complex task and requires careful long-term planning, deployment and management.

In fact according to a survey from No Jitter, just 27% of respondents had chosen to deploy full enterprise voice via Microsoft Lync. Amongst those respondents 13% of done a full PBX replacement, while another 39% reported that they had replaced around half of their PBX capacity.

We believe that there are six steps that enterprises need to make for a seamless switch to Microsoft Lync. Some of these steps will overlap and in some cases can be omitted, but they are a blueprint for success in this complex undertaking. We have summarized the steps below. To read them in full, please download our Lync series’ final how-to guide on transition.

1. prepare your infrastructure

Before embarking on any unified communications project, it’s essential to ensure that your infrastructure is ready for the additional demands of Microsoft Lync. This helps preserve the quality of user experience as more applications and services are added to Microsoft Lync during the full deployment. At the end of this step you will understand what infrastructure changes or upgrades are required.

2. deploy foundational services and conferencing

To ease user adoption of Microsoft Lync and to meet user requirements for modern collaboration tools, we recommend deploying foundational services first. These include presence and instant messaging, person-to-person calling and desktop sharing. After this, look to migrate conferencing services over to Microsoft Lync. This is a key element in achieving the business case, as it allows you to eliminate the spending you currently make on audio conferencing services.

3. design full Lync enterprise voice solution

The next phase is to design and test a technological model for full Lync enterprise voice deployment. This is the standard process for a PBX replacement project and includes designing the corporate dial plan and working out voice traffic routing to avoid high call costs. The solution design also needs to cover security requirements and policy. 

4. pilot solution with active users

Users need to be involved from the outset to ensure that their needs are being met with the solution. A pilot is a great opportunity to give users hands-on experience of Lync and collect their feedback to refine and improve the solution. Therefore the pilot must include a full cross-section of users, including managers, office workers, remote works and others, in addition to those in IT. 

5. use an industrialized transition model

Once the solution has been finalized and fully tested with the pilot, it’s essential to deploy the solution as quickly as possible throughout the organization. If you don’t do this then you will end up with a disparate user base, which puts support under strain, damages user experience and fails to realize the business case. The key to condensing the transition is to create an industrialized transition model that is repeatable worldwide.

6. ongoing operation and expansion

Once the solution is deployed, the final phase is to deal with its ongoing operation. Crucially this includes dealing with new releases and the enhancement of the service. Any new releases will need to be reviewed in terms of how they may impact on your infrastructure and business case. This requires a coordinated change management processes between you, the service provider and the technology vendor.

Read the how-to guide for transition in full here.

Orange can help you at any step in this transformation. We have worked with 40 customers on their successful transition to Microsoft Lync. This equates to 700,000 seats deployed, including 350,000 voice ports in 180 countries.

For more information on making the business case, choosing the technology and deciding on a sourcing model, please visit our Microsoft Lync online home.

Stephane Minana
Stephane Minana

Stephane is a Unified Communications Solution Director covering solution positioning, business development and go-to-market strategies for the European theater. He has extensive knowledge of many facets of the IT industry through his experience working for consulting firms, vendors and IT and telecom service providers.

Stephane has been with Orange Business in Amsterdam since 2008 and has engaged in several service incubation and business development programs for security, consulting, enterprise application management, and in the last three years, unified communications.