Episode 232 – PowerScripting Podcast – Thomas Kisner on Lync and PowerShell

Thomas Kisner:

I haven’t posted in a while, but I thought I would share my interview about Lync on the PowerScripting podcast:

Originally posted on PowerScripting Podcast:

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Tonight on the PowerScripting Podcast, we talk to Tom Kisner about Lync!

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Contact / Call Centers Available for Lync

Lync based Contact Center

Lync based Contact Center

Last week, as part of the DFW Unified Communications User Group series on “Lync as a PBX”, I presented an update on where we stand with Microsoft Lync 2010 in the Contact Center.  I thought I would summarise that presentation in a post.

Lync has some “hunt group” capability called Response Groups built in that has some similar small scale contact center capability, however, at this point there is no official contact center from Microsoft for Lync.  While some see this as a weekness, Microsoft has committed it’s resources to improving the overall platform and left the call / contact certer functionality as a 3rd party partner add on.  This isn’t unusual, some legacy TDM PBXs vendors merely OEMed other 3rd party contact centers to provide a “all in one” solution – (this is the case in many segments of the PBX world, including phones and headsets, many vendors don’t supply everything but partner with other vendors to OEM products).  For Lync, Microsoft has made it clear believes in the ecosystem model and doesn’t desire to put the Microsoft label on products that are not part of the core offering.

However, this ins’t entirely true – if you have the dedication to make a completly custom solution, or want to jump into the Lync Contact Center segment with a brand new product, Microsoft has provided a functional contact center as example code free with the Lync 2010 SDK.  (Unless I’m mistaken, I know of no other vendor that does this).

Broadly, one can break down Lync Contact Centers into 3 catagories –

1.  Native Lync based on the UCMA development platform – the advantage here is that the calls never leave Lync, so troubleshooting and architecture is simplified.  Examples include Clarity Connect and prairieFyre .

2. SIP trunked with UCMA Integration for Presence integration and Automation – Calls are passed to another SIP based PBX.  It’s essentually like being Federated to a 3rd party solution, although some use Lync Voice to present the call to the Agent or for when the Agent makes a call that is not tied to the contact center. The advantage here is that mature products that have been in the Contact Center space for a long time can be leveraged with Lync.  Examples include Aspect Unified IP, Altigen, Zeacom, and in a couple of months Genesys .

3. “Work with Anyone” solutions that have no integration with Lync at all that are merely trunked to Lync – It’s own island, only useful if you want to isolate the contact center from Business Users alltogether.

I’ve found a couple of links that have lists of Contact Centers with Lync.

This list is from a blogger on TechNet:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/cs2010/archive/2012/02/24/attendant-and-contact-center-applications-for-lync-ocs.aspx

This site has applications in numerious catagories, including Contact Center:

http://www.ucoffice.com/Pages/default.aspx

Each has product has it’s advantages and disadvantages, is targeted to certain size contact center, and has varing capabilities – and cost - per agent.  As usual, you need to evaluate your business needs to make a decision.

Thanks,

Tom

My thoughts on Enterprise Connect 2012

 

Microsoft's Kirk Koenigsbauer at Enterprise Connect 2012

Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer at Enterprise Connect 2012

First, it was a great honor to be on the “Living with Lync” panel at Enterprise Connect 2012.  The session was packed, and it really could have kept going for much longer.  My thanks to Kevin Kieller for leading the session and all the folks at Enterprise Connect.  I hope to be able to do it again sometime.

This year Lync was most certainly a hot topic.  The Microsoft Keynote by Kirk Koenigsbauer

had pretty cool demos, including giant touchsceen monitor with Windows 8 and Lync, and featured a few important annoucements / statements:

1. While no date was given, it was confirmed that the Lync and Skype teams were working hard on Federation as the first step in integration.  Kirk announced that there would be a full roadmap soon. 

2. It was annouced that Lync Online (Office 365) was adding Enterprise Voice via Jajah (this is coming at the end of July).

3. While Wave 15 wasn’t demoed, Kirk mentioned that it had made it to Beta milestone for Technical Preview customers.

Lync was very much the buzz of the show, with just about every session I attended mentioning it, and it dominated the last “Locknote” session, when the topic of SIP trunking replacing the PSTN came up a customer mentioning voice calls via Federation was quickly replacing PSTN calling.  The panel noted that perhaps a direcory of federated companies was needed, I wanted to tell them about this .

At Kevin Kieller’s session on Skype, Kevin did the math on the numbers of users people could contact for free using Lync Federation once Skype was added to the current mix - a staggering 1.4 billion.

There were two things in common with most vendors on the show floor – they were giving away an iPad, and thier product was (or was about to be) integrated to Lync.

It was great to see so many old friends and meet people in person that I have intereacted with online.  I hope to be able to attend again next year.

DFW Alliance of Technology and Women – Lync 2010 Presentation

I’m very honored to be presenting to the DFW Alliance of Technology and Women tonight.

It’s going to be a lot of fun, I’m bringing my Commodore 64 , my Lync Christmas Tree , and my Lync Cube Presence Indicator plus I’ll have lot more cool demos.

I thought I’d post my presentation in advance, you can download it here .

See you there!

The NET UX1000 Gateway for Lync

A a couple a weeks ago, I did a quick video on the UX1000 hardware (that is now been released):

I’m working on a second video on how to program it for Lync and setup the SBA, and when it’s complete I will update this post.  (You can subscribe to this post to be notified when it’s updated).

A few days ago Tom Arbuthnot posted a blog with pictures of the hardware (that provide a better look than my video), if your interested in the UX1000 you should definitely check it out.

I had one other picture I wanted to share – a Size comparison between the UX2000 and the UX1000:

UX1000 vs UX2000

The UX1000 is sitting on top of the UX2000.  They are both 1U high units, but the UX1000 is half the length, perfect for remote site telecom closets and racks that are not full length “datacenter” type racks that mount with just a couple of ears on the side.

Thanks,

Tom

Official Microsoft Lync Clients for WP7, Android, iPhone and iPad are here!

Image

As of today, all of the official Microsoft Lync Mobile clients are now available.  Now what?  Well, unfortunately unless you are running Lync on Office 365 you can not just load them and login.  First, you need to install the latest update for Lync Server, Cumulative Update 4 (CU4), which you can download here.

Second, you need to install and configure the mobility and autodiscover service, which will also entail getting a new SAN for your Lync public certificate and external DNS changes for outside access.  Jeff Schertz has a very comprehensive and easy to follow installation guide here.

After that is complete, you are ready to get the clients:

Windows Phone 7: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/apps/9ce93e51-5b35-e011-854c-00237de2db9e

Android : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.microsoft.office.lync

iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/dk/app/microsoft-lync-2010-for-iphone/id484293461?mt=8

iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/dk/app/microsoft-lync-2010-for-ipad/id484222449?mt=8

At the next Dallas / Fort Worth Unified Communications User Group meeting in January, we will discuss the mobility service installation and have all versions of the new mobile client available to play with.  I hope to see you there.  

Thanks, Tom

Publishing a recording from another PC in Lync Recording Manager

Occasionally, someone else may record a Lync Meeting for you, or you may need to move meetings from one PC to another and you later want to publish the file as .WMV file (and don’t have the original one that was made automatically) or you need to change the options in what is included in the .WMV.

However, just moving the file to the “Lync Recordings” folder on your PC doesn’t cause it to automatically show up in Lync Recording Manager, and there is no intuitive way to “import” it into your recordings.

Fortunately, there is a way to get it to show up.  For this to work:

  1. Lync Recording Manager *must* be closed
  2. You must copy the recording folder to your “Lync Recordings” folder (if doesn’t work if the folder is in any other location)

Now do the following:

  1. Browse in Explorer to your recording the Lync Recordings folder ( in Windows 7 “x:\Users\userID\Lync Recordings\RecordingName”, in Windows XP “x:\Documents and Setttings\userID\Lync Recordings\RecordingName” )
  2. Doubleclick “RecordingData.frd”
  3. Windows won’t have an application associated with .frd extension and won’t know how to open it.  Pick  “Select the program from a list” ,  and then browse for “x:\Program Files\Microsoft Lync\ocpubmgr.exe”
  4. Lync Recording Manager will open.  Click on the “Lync Recordings” Tab and your recording will now be in the list.

You can now publish the recording (and change the options for publishing).

Thanks,

Tom

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