Microsoft Lync is continuing to make inroads in enterprises looking to take advantage of its rich unified communications functionality. But how do you ensure that your Microsoft Lync deployment is a success? There are a number of issues to which you need to pay attention, particularly for global organizations. From our own experience in deploying Microsoft Lync, we have identified five key lessons learned. We have summarized these points below and covered them in detail in our ebook, which you can download for free here.
1. build a business case focused on unified communications
In this age of tightly-controlled IT budgets, building a solid business case based on tangible cost savings is essential for any type of technology deployment – and Lync is no exception. To build a convincing business case and properly calculate any potential savings, you need to understand and measure what Lync is replacing. Your analysis needs to extend beyond just voice to incorporate all unified communications services, people and management. In addition, make sure that the business case is based on hard cost savings, rather than softer benefits such as increased productivity.
2. explore what is possible with Microsoft Lync
Consumer use of video is putting visual communication at the front of many enterprise plans for Lync. However to make video in Lync a success, IT departments have to break out of their traditional network-based mindset around videoconferencing and provide services, that meet user demand and help transform working practices. Lync has a wide ecosystem of value-added applications and services that help you extend its functionality. In addition, look to the potential Lync has in communications-rich environments such as the contact center.
3. ensure that you have the voice skills required for Lync deployment
As a fully-fledged unified communications (UC) platform, Lync poses a new type of challenge to IT departments looking to take full advantage of its voice functionality. Despite the advance of converged communications, voice skills are still in short supply in many enterprises. They are seen as old-fashioned by many IT departments, but are essential in helping size networks, configure gateways and set up codecs. Lync has evolved its capacity management capability significantly with the inclusion of Call Admission Control (CAC) functionality that allows engineers to protect voice traffic from other calls. For best performance, you will need to make some important choices at the outset, and these need to involve voice engineers.
4. pay close attention to staff training and change management
The success of any technology project will ultimately be judged on how many people actually use the technology. The business case for adoption will never be made if users are resistant to change. If they don’t like what they have been given, they will even go out of their way to use an alternative method for communication. To keep users onside involve them from the start of the project and get their input in what you want to achieve with Lync. This will allow you to deploy the core functionality first. In addition, ensure that the service quality is guaranteed before providing tools to end-users, and put a comprehensive communications plan in place to train them in their use.
5. look for local knowledge to expedite local deployment
The challenges posed by Lync deployment are exacerbated when looking to deploy the solution worldwide. Broadly you have the choice to either take a do-it-yourself approach, which will typically involve working with a number of local providers, or working with a global provider such as Orange Business Services. We have identified four separate issues that can create issues for global deployments. They include understanding local regulation particularly around encryption and VoIP; and complications around import rules and taxation.
Download the full ebook to find out more here.
After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.