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Why should you replace your old PBX solution with Lync Server 2013?

Lync_2013

Introduction:

While companies are busy updating their IT infrastructure, it is wise to relook at your old PBX solution.  When a company first decides to move to a new unified communication platform, there has to be reasons behind the decision to deploy Lync Server 2013. Business drivers are the reasoning behind this decision, which may include:

  • The company would like an online or hybrid deployment.
  • The organization would like to use conferencing capabilities and invite internal and external users.
  • Remote, work-from-home, or traveling users need full communication capabilities as if they were in the office.
  • High availability and disaster recovery are now required per company policies.
  • Desktop sharing capabilities will be a new tool used for the helpdesk to troubleshoot issues.

Business drivers may also come in the form of questions. It is important to ask the correct questions as they should help you arrive at justifiable solution statements that will determine the type of solution and its features you would like to implement and, above all, why. For example:

Problem: Travel costs are getting out of control. Excess travel spending is decreasing our bottom line.

Q: “How can we cut costs of travel and still have business meetings with our clients on a regular basis?”

A: “Lync Server 2013 can deliver multiple types of audio and video conferencing and data collaboration methods for sales presentations to external clients without having the sales team travel to multiple locations, thereby cutting travel costs.”

Utilize All the Tools Available for Infrastructure Planning

Business drivers should come from all parts of the company; from upper management, to secretaries and mailroom staff, and to the IT staff. Everyone uses the production systems in different ways. Getting as much input as possible will give a better scope of the desired capabilities of a solution that you are looking to implement.

After the business drivers have been determined, make sure that all stakeholders involved support the new solution. If even one person does not believe that the solution is not what is truly desired, then the implementation’s success may be minimized.

How can we eliminate these issues proactively? The key is utilizing tools that we sometimes take for granted. There are a number of free tools from Microsoft that help us estimate the computations for bandwidth and hardware capacity needed for Microsoft Lync Server 2013 to operate efficiently. Some of these tools include:

  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Planning Tool:

This tool will ask you specific questions about the roles and features you would like to deploy in your environment. Not only will this tool help you plan for the necessary number of servers for each Lync site, but will give you reports and Visio diagrams for firewalls, certificates, and DNS entries. These reports will save a lot of time for IT staff to compile and implement the necessary changes in your current environment.

  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Hardware Capacity Calculator

This is designed to assist you in determining server requirements based on numbers of users and communication features that are enabled at your organization. You enter your organization’s profile, and the calculator provides recommendations that help you plan your topology.

You can benefit most from the calculator if you have accurate, detailed information about your specific user profile. For example, the percentage of voice-enabled users, average calls per user per hour, call duration, and the percentage of concurrent users in conferences can make a huge difference in server requirements.

  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Bandwidth Calculator

With the Lync Server 2013 Bandwidth Calculator, you can enter information about your users and the Lync features that you want to deploy, and the calculator will determine bandwidth requirements for the WAN that connects sites in your deployment.

Without these calculations, any branch offices with a WAN connection can run low on bandwidth thereby preventing calls, conferences, or other Lync functionality. Also, third-party applications requiring use of the WAN may experience difficulty or connection loss.

  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Rollout Adoption and Success Kit

These tools do add more overhead time to a project during the planning phase, but they can save you a lot of time later because we have taken a proactive stance on our production environment requirements for Lync. Let’s go through these tools one at a time to clarify how we can benefit.

Lync Server 2013 is supported for both Microsoft and Mac Operating systems. Make sure if you are deploying to both platforms, you can support issues on either OS. The first thing to recognize is which operating systems are supported with Lync Server 2013. It is important to remember that Windows XP and Windows Vista are no longer supported with Lync Server 2013 clients.

Conclusion:

One of the keys to implementing a successful Lync Server 2013 solution is planning the necessary infrastructure to support the features and specifications that meet your logical design. Without doing the necessary mathematical computations for bandwidth, server capacity, budgeting, and project rollout deadlines, a Lync Server 2013 solution will not implement successfully. The after effects will linger throughout your organization causing more problems in the future, thereby making your job and possibly the jobs of others much more difficult.

IT organizations that manage high levels of complexity in their IT infrastructures require a sophisticated set of capabilities to diagnose and prevent application slowdowns caused by the infrastructure, especially during consolidation or migration. At easySERVICE Data Solutions, we focus on building and designing the most appropriate infrastructure to meet the unique needs and characteristics of your individual business, without a big price tag.

If you’d like to discuss any of the above best practices or lessons learned with us or to learn more about how we are partnering with companies just like yours to ensure the availability of mission-critical applications, please contact us at (855) US STELLAR.

 

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One comment on “Why should you replace your old PBX solution with Lync Server 2013?

  1. StellarPhoenixS
    April 14, 2014

    Reblogged this on Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

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