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Mitch Irsfeld

TechNet Flash, Volume 13, Issue 8 - April 20, 2011
TechNet Flash Editor's Note from Mitch Irsfeld

The Business Case for Lync Is Clear on All Fronts

This week's edition of TechNet ON covers the why and how of getting started with a move to unified communication using Lync Server 2010. Get a quick Introduction to Lync Server 2010 and check out William Van Winkle's TechNet Magazine article Complete Communication Anywhere for a look at companies that have put the benefits of unified communications to work. In addition to the cost and productivity improvements, customers are also finding some surprising voice and sound quality improvements with Lync-optimized and Microsoft-certified hardware. Also, get a rundown of the Voice Quality Improvements in Lync Server 2010.

Speaking of actual customers, Forrester Research interviewed 12 Lync Server 2010 customers to understand the financial impact of their investments in the technology. In its Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Forrester found that the key benefits of replacing PBX hardware, reducing teleconferencing and web conferencing costs, telephone engineering workload reductions, help desk call volume reductions, and enhanced productivity yielded a 337% three-year risk adjusted return on investment with a 12-month payback period.

Providing a unified communications solution to branch offices can be fraught with reliability, support, and cost concerns, but Lync Server 2010 removes those remote user issues with topology design enhancements and new technologies such as Call Administration Control and Survivable Branch Appliances. Alan Maddison describes these changes in his TechNet Magazine article Speak to Your Branch Offices.

You'll also want to understand how Lync boosts productivity, a key to user satisfaction and the success of a unified communications rollout. William Van Winkle penned another TechNet Magazine article highlighting the key collaboration features that enhance group projects. Lync Server 2010: Making the Lync with Microsoft Office explains how integration with Office applications, SharePoint, and Exchange, along with the power of presence, can make your information works more agile and effective.

As always, one of the best ways to discover the benefits is to evaluate Lync Server 2010 in your own environment. Microsoft offers a free 180-day trial. To assist in the evaluation, download the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit, a book that serves as a companion to the product documentation to help you learn how the product works under the hood.

Making the Lync

Planning for and deploying the unified communications platform is made easier with the wealth of documentation and tools available. Joshua Hoffman's Guide to Deploying Microsoft Lync Server 2010 in TechNet Magazine walks through the process of planning a Lync deployment within your organization and the tools available to help you get started. The Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Planning Guide also contains information for planning and deploying both server and clients.

A great at-a-glance resource to have on hand for your Lync Server deployment is the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Protocol Workloads Poster, displaying each workload, describing relationships, dependencies, flow of information, and certificate requirements. The Lync Server 2010 Edge Server Reference Architecture Diagrams are another visual resource with diagrams for the Single Consolidated Edge, Scaled Consolidated Edge (DNS Load Balanced), and Scaled Consolidated Edge (Hardware Load Balanced) topologies.

Resolving problems with your Lync deployment is made easier with the Best Practices Analyzer, which gathers configuration information from Lync Server 2010 components.

If you are looking to migrate to Lync Server 2010 from Office Communications Server, learn the steps required in these videos:

A decision to invest in unified communications needs to weigh several factors against the cost. The ROI from reduced telephony, travel, and conferencing costs becomes an obvious driver. Combining enterprise voice and collaboration capabilities with familiar application environments is another upside for Lync Server 2010, but translating that into increased user productivity is what creates the value and speeds up user adoption.

The Forrester study found that the collaboration and presence features alone were worth between 20 and 30 minutes per week in increased productivity per user on average. How important is that? As a representative from one of the study's interviewed organizations noted, "It's harder to create time, so it's more important than saving money. Lync allows you to take a new idea and bring to reality in half the time."

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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