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90 posts

Master Geek


# 143562 18-Apr-2014 20:46
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Microsoft's Lync Server is now seeing some major traction in New Zealand. This year already at Lexel we have seen a much greater interest in Lync, with more and more RFP's requesting a feature set over and above what the traditional solution can offer. For those familiar, Lync its a no brainer that has nearly 10 years of maturely behind it, and has proven itself as robust and reliable solution. With free services like Skype becoming the norm, its only a matter of time before the traditional PABX is dead.

What are your experiences with Lync? Does it live up to the hype? How is Office 365 changing the way people think about hosted services?

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  # 1027567 18-Apr-2014 20:52
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Lync is not a PBX and can't offer anything other than basic PBX capabilities and lacks all the advanced capabilities of a TDM or VoIP PBX. It's a great solution and something I'm passionate about but the traditional PBX is far from dead.

Is Lync great? Yes it is. Is it a replacement for a TDM or VoIP PBX? That really depends on your requirements and feature set.








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Master Geek


  # 1027577 18-Apr-2014 21:20
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I totally agree with your comments, but I do think that in time, the PBX is going to be replaced by software based solutions like Lync.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1027578 18-Apr-2014 21:21
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Well
Lync has short comings.

For example if you want to have 2 phones on the same extension, you can't, it has to be faked using "simultaneous ring and pick up", however each extension has its own phone number.

Also it does not allow for "extension pick up" , the PABX would allow me to dial *41 and it would pick up a programmed extension, now its walk over to the extension to pick it up.

Oh yeah the system crashes.... a LOT, have to unplug the phone once a week to reset it, some times its daily and/or a forced reset and log back into the phone.



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  # 1027582 18-Apr-2014 21:28
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amorpeth: I totally agree with your comments, but I do think that in time, the PBX is going to be replaced by software based solutions like Lync.


Lync and every other software based VoIP solution out there.

Lync is a great product and delivers a fantastic end user experience if you're a Microsoft shop. It however is not a drop in replacement for a traditional PBX for the past majority of PBX deployments in the world. Maybe in the future it could be, but this sector of the market is already competitive when you're dealing with open source products such as Asterisk which are vastly superior at the core PBX functionality role, support pretty much every SIP based end point and gateway in existence, and can be delivered for a fraction of the cost of a Lync deployment.

If your only solution to pitch as a PBX solution as Lync you're very much limiting yourself and your customers. If you want a great collaboration platform for users and full integration with MS products then nothing comes close.. But that's a very small part of the market.






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  # 1027587 18-Apr-2014 21:49
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@sir1963 I would love to see multiple extensions being able to be assigned to a Lync user. Its a common pain point for me!

As you can probably tell I am a Lync fan boy! I cant disagree with both of you, Lync does lack features, but what it does have is pretty cool and very consumer/usability friendly. I think it will be a force to reckon with in the years to come.

 

P.S I am also a Windows Phone fan boy - I think I have a soft spot for come from behind stories ;)

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  # 1027607 18-Apr-2014 23:35
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For example if you want to have 2 phones on the same extension, you can't, it has to be faked using "simultaneous ring and pick up", however each extension has its own phone number.


That isn't Lync specific that is just SIP in general - unless you look at Asterisk 12 (or more specifically PJSIP) but that's another story.


I personally see Lync as some flash CTI software that works really well in Windows environments. But for an extremely functional and flexible PABX FreePBX is the way to go. You get some really cool features when taking advantage of their commercial modules. 

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  # 1027636 19-Apr-2014 07:46
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chevrolux:
For example if you want to have 2 phones on the same extension, you can't, it has to be faked using "simultaneous ring and pick up", however each extension has its own phone number.


That isn't Lync specific that is just SIP in general - unless you look at Asterisk 12 (or more specifically PJSIP) but that's another story.


I personally see Lync as some flash CTI software that works really well in Windows environments. But for an extremely functional and flexible PABX FreePBX is the way to go. You get some really cool features when taking advantage of their commercial modules. 


Or switching between device/user mode in any version of FreePBX that's come out in recent years - however I wouldn't recommend this for anybody who's not an Asterisk expert.



 
 
 
 


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  # 1027645 19-Apr-2014 08:48
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I have this at work, with a headset. The phone starts ringing sometimes 3 seconds before the "answer call" dialog shows, and then I have to untangle the cord and get it on my head. Sometimes Lync doesn't start, and you can't call support because it's your phone. Overall I don't like it. I think the only reason to have it over a standard phone is to save a company money.



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  # 1027649 19-Apr-2014 09:06
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I haven't got a heck of a lot of experience with Asterisk or FreePBX, but it is something I would like to explore a bit more. A colleague of mine has deployed Asterisk with Lync to get the best of both worlds, and I have seen a pretty impressive demo from these guys who have built an Asterisk back end around Lync - http://www.umojo.com/. 




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  # 1027650 19-Apr-2014 09:12
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timmmay: I have this at work, with a headset. The phone starts ringing sometimes 3 seconds before the "answer call" dialog shows, and then I have to untangle the cord and get it on my head. Sometimes Lync doesn't start, and you can't call support because it's your phone. Overall I don't like it. I think the only reason to have it over a standard phone is to save a company money.


Sounds like you have had a pretty bad experience with Lync so far, but I assure you that if it is deployed correctly it works really well. The fumbling for a headset can be a pain I agree, I've been in that boat for years now! I just recently replaced my wired USB headset for a wireless one on a cradle, and the problem is solved. You can also use IP phones with Lync.

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  # 1027681 19-Apr-2014 11:30
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How much is a wireless headset? Not that I'd probably bother for work, but I may be able to get my manager to approve one if I tell him I'm not answering the phone otherwise ;)



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Master Geek


  # 1027723 19-Apr-2014 14:39
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Ive got this one - http://www.jabra.com/Products/Wireless_Headsets/Jabra_PRO__9400_Series/Jabra_PRO_9460_Mono 

Its a good quality device, but I find its volume control slider is bit hard to use. Not sure on the price but think they are a few hundred.

There are heaps of options out there, but make sure you get one with a good cradle so its easier to get on and off.

http://catalog.lync.com/en-us/hardware/usb-audio-and-video-devices/index.aspx#/locale=en-us&categoryid=2&sortby=3&subcategoryid=2&filter=&manufacture=&version=&isQualified=&region=&language=&page=1&apptype=&tags=

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  # 1027746 19-Apr-2014 15:30
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Looking forward to having a simplified lync 2013 install at work over our current 2010 system. Then we just need to sort out why we are getting the delay while transferring calls and we will be sorted.




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