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Articles tagged with: Microsoft Lync

Skype for Business Server Release

Microsoft released the Skype for Business Server software on the 1st May, Work has been started to bring our platform upto date with customers able to use the platform from the 1st June.

All clients will be contacted to arrange for their accounts to be moved to the Skype for Business platform. Customers wishing to remain on Lync 2013 can stay on the existing platform for the next 6 months.

However we encourage all clients to upgrade as there is no loss of service or interuption to the client or associated integration services.

If you wish to register to have your account(s) moved please contact the Service Desk through the normal channels.

Enterprise Voice for Office 365

Are you looking to add Enterprise Voice to Microsoft Office 365?

Microsoft’s Office 365 service does not provide Enterprise Voice services and is not expected to provide PBX replacement services for the foreseeable future. But, Microsoft does provide an Office 365 subscription plan (E4) to allow customers to deploy Enterprise Voice and enjoy an integrated Unified Communications solution and PBX replacement with the rest of their Office 365 applications.
 
Server Centre have been helping organisations deploy Enterprise Voice utilising their existing Office 365 E4 plans. This enables Microsoft Lync to be deployed on-premise or in a data centre with full Enterprise Voice capabilities.
 
You also have the option of using Server Centre's Multi-tenant Microsoft Lync platform.  

Summary

Summary of options for using Microsoft Lync with Enterprice Voice as a PBX replacement with Office 365.
  • To deploy Enterprise Voice for Office 365, the Lync services move out of O365’s data centers and into yours. Server Centre can provide Managed Colocation facilities or provision the servers on our Enterprise VM Cloud.
  • You can host the Lync services on our Multi-tenant Microsoft Lync Enterprise Platform which speeds up the deployment allowing you to get up and running in hours.
  • To enable your deployment wheather on-premise or within our facilities you will need SIP trunking services that have been certified for Microsoft Lync or standard UDP channels with a Session Border Controller (SBC) to terminate the trunks. Server Centre can provide Microsoft Certified SIP trunks and associated services. Including but not limited to Number porting, Conference Numbers, SIP Trunking, Call recording and Contact Centre solutions.
  • Pricing - the E4 subscription provides the required Enterprice Voice (User CAL) licensing. The Lync Voice licensing components of E4 are comparable to the traditional Lync Std, Ent and Plus CALs.
  • Exchange integration - In Microsoft UC solution, Microsoft Lync provides IM/Presence, Conferencing & Voice/Video, Microsoft Exchange provides Voicemail, Calendar and Directory. In an E4 scenario, Exchange stays on O365 and you can leverage Exchange Online’s Unified Messaging service for voicemail (Auto Attendant and/or Directory) services. The integration model is simular whether Microsoft Lync is on-premise or partner hosted.
  • Single Sign On - If you use the O365 ADFS/SSO sync service you can still tie in Microsoft Lync to privide a seamless SSO experience.
Server Centre has the experience to help you at all stages of your deployment including post deployment support or healthchecks. We can offer fully managed services or experienced consultants to assist with the design.
 
Whatever your requirement, however large or small we are here to help contact us to get the ball rolling.

Hosted Microsoft Lync Enterprise as a PBX Replacement

What is “Hosted Microsoft Lync Enterprise?”

Hosted Microsoft Lync with Enterprise Voice is simply a cloud based Unified Communications solution complete with the full array of Microsoft Lync Enterprise Voice features such as Instant Messaging (IM), Presence, Audio/Video/Web Conferencing, Desktop Sharing and Reponse Groups which includes IVR's and Hunt groups. This solution can be deployed as a standalone PBX replacement or as part of an Office 365 deployment for companies of all sizes.
 
Some of the features and options available with Server Centre's Hosted Microsoft Lync;
  • Microsoft Lync with Enterprise Voice
  • Contact Centre for Lync
  • Call Recording
  • Screen Pop CRM records based on CLI
  • Multi-Party Video
When you deploy Microsoft Lync our customers have realised cost savings, which includes;
  • ISDN rental
  • PBX maintainence
  • Conferencing
  • Travel Expenses to meetings

Server Centre offer a free Microsoft Lync trial including Enterprise Voice and can guide you through every step of the way. Give us a call on +44(0)115 9699950 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3 Things that may surprise new Microsoft Lync Users

1. The Lync client window is incredibly handy – you will rely on it for everything

Sitting quietly on the desktop, the Lync client is the window connecting you to colleagues, clients & partners.  Its bright colours helpfully indicate the availability and activities of the people you work with every day.  The Lync clients becomes an integral part of your day-to-day activity and signing into Lync is like plugging yourself into your workplace.  Lync makes your whole team feel connected especially fir those working remotely or in different office locations.

2. You will grow very accustomed to receiving information instantly

When you start using Instant Messaging for the first time, it doesn’t take long to get used to having instant responses and solving problems quickly.  Features such as status tag (notification when contacts are available), desktop sharing and the facility to contact colleagues from within shared documents will empower you to work efficiently and collaboratively and this is likely to become the norm across your organisation.

3. You’ll wonder why you’ve not discovered headsets earlier

Headsets are usually associated with pilots and call centres, but once you start using them you won’t go back.  Headsets allow you to accept or reject audio or video calls seamlessly, not to mention the improved HD voice quality when using devices from the Jabra and Plantronics ranges. Not only will your hands and your head be more comfortable while on a call, you can IM or draw doodle diagrams till your hearts content!
 
If you would like to try Microsoft Lync you can request accounts here.

10 Lync Keyboard Shortcuts

10 Keyboard Shortcuts everyone should know

Microsoft have published a guide on Microsoft Lync keyboard shortcuts titled Lync 2013 Keyboard Shortcuts. It's a short PDF listing out all the keyboard shortcuts you can use to get around Lync. We have listed the 10 shortcuts we use the most;

Conversations Shortcuts

Accept a conversation invite (use anywhere) – Windows Logo Key + A
Decline an invite (use anywhere) – Windows Logo Key + Esc
Accept an invite (while in Conversation window) – Alt + C
Engage Privacy Mode – Alt + I
Change between conversation windows – Ctrl + Tab
Save an IM log in Conversation History – Ctrl + S

Phone Calls Shortcuts

Accept a call* – Alt + C
Mute your audio – Windows Logo Key + F4
Place a call on Hold – Ctrl + Shift + H

Meetings/Presentations Shortcuts

Start a “Meet Now” meeting – Alt + M
If Presenting: start/stop sharing, fullscreen/come out of fullscreen, close the sharing stage, switch views gallery/speaker

End of Life for Lync Hosting Pack v2

Microsoft has announced the end-of-life for it's Lync Hosting Pack v2, Because Microsoft Lync is one of Server Centre's OnDemand services we thought we’d explain what this end-of-life means for all hosted Lync customers—whether you’re with Server Centre or another hosting provider.

First, the good news: If you’re a Lync customer with Server Centre, the discontinuation of Hosting Pack v2 doesn’t affect you at all because we never liked Lync Hosting Pack or used it (more about that later).

What is Lync Hosting Pack?

Microsoft’s Lync Hosting Pack is essentially a cut down version of Lync tailored for hosting providers because it allows for an easier deployment of a multitenant solution. However, this easier route for the hosting provider comes at the expense of serveral key features for the customer. For example Response Groups can't be used with the Lync Hosting Pack.

Despite the lack of these key features, Lync Hosting Pack is widely adopted by hosting providers because it is offered by Microsoft for multi-tenant environments making the providers job easier.

But that wasn’t good enough for us. With business customers around the world, including many large corporations, our team has always believed that it is more important to ensure customers have access to as many features as possible rather than to take the easy route. Fortunately, our team has the experience and ingenuity to implement the full-featured Microsoft Lync product in a multi-tenant solution. Not all hosting providers do.

Implementing a multi-tenant solution with Microsoft’s full featured base product is no easy task. Tenant segregation must be implemented from the ground-up using Lync and Active Directory permissions and properties. This is presented to our customers and Service Desk through our CloudCentre management and provisioning portal. Hiding all the complexities of provisioning and ensuring all steps are completed.

Server Centre customers are in good hands

We made the decision a long ago to use the full-fledged version of Microsoft products and tackle the complexities of a multi-tenant deployment head-on. This recent announcement from Microsoft proves once again that our team is committed to doing all the heavy IT lifting so that our customers can work smarter in the cloud. Server Centre customers can rest assured that the end-of-life of Lync Hosting Pack v2 will have no impact whatsoever on their services.

A similar deployment option was also available on Exchange 2010 by using a hosting switch at setup. Server Centre chose the more complex deployment despite the extra effort it entailed for our team. Our foresight paid off in the long run as Microsoft later dropped this option in SP1, leaving many hosting providers and their customers between a rock and a hard place.

If you would like to discuss anything to do with our Hosted Lync service please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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