Nov 15

Tech-Ed Europe 2010; A great experience

Berlin… A great city with a lot of historical background and German ‘Gründlichkeit’ offer a great foundation for 5 days of Techie content…

I’ll just share my thoughts as being part of the ‘Ask the Expert’ team for the Lync boot.

Pre-Conference

I got at the Messe on Monday around 15:00 (picture of the entrance hall below), checked-in was a few minutes, and up to the Exhibition hall for a Lync set-up briefing. The team was very well presented and having a lot of areas covered; Product Group Managers, Senior Product Group Managers, MVP’s and one MCM…

At 16:00 hours, the key note with a whole lot of excellent roadmap topics covered. A great demo of Office365 was showed including setting up a Sharepoint site for external collaboration, impressive! Bit of a downside was that there was nothing mentioned regarding Lync… Maybe because of the worldwide launch on the 17th of November, who knows…

Event

My first time helping out at the Lync boot so I didn’t know what to expect… by the end of the day, I’ve summarized/categorized the questions into the following topics:

Introduction

People weren’t aware of the new version of OCS with a new name. They already knew OCS and most of them are using it. So it was basically showing them the new features from an end-user view. For short, Pictures, Skill search, single Lync client (instead of Communicator and LiveMeeting), ease of switching between audio devices and new IP phones…

Migration

These persons were already aware of the new version and wanted to know how to migrate towards Lync. They were well informed but just did not understood some part of presentations that they wanted to clarify. Topics they wanted to cover were in-place upgrade or side-by-side, Topology builder, how to start without having OCS (Planning tool).

High availability

Lync has improvements on the High Availability part. The user services and the registrar part are separated, next to this, users can have a primary and secondary registrar. This means that users will always connect to the primary registrar and will failover to the secondary part when appropriate. This will result in some limited functionality but still allows in and outbound PSTN calls. New in Lync is the Survivable Branch Appliance. This device will deliver PSTN connectivity for Branch offices. Microsoft advises to use an SBA up to 1000 users. After that, you can deploy a Standard Edition, perhaps with a separate Mediation Server.

Support

Virtualization is now supported, except the Survivable Branch Appliance role. But that SBA is a physical appliance so that is no issue. I will cover Virtualization more in-depth in the coming weeks.

PBX functionality/replacement

A lot of questions regarding the question if Lync can replace a PBX… Well… Yes, but there are some scenario’s that require a (IP)-PBX. Will cover the PBX functionalities in the next weeks as well. Terms as Call Admission Control, Response groups, IP-Phones, Call Centers were all covered in the questions phase.

Country drink

The Dutch country drink was an excellent party held in “the Home”. Great music, great Kinect device experience, great opportunity to Connect.

Conclusion

Must say that I found it a great personal experience and will share several blogs to share these questions and answers.

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