MarkC on UC Microsoft Skype for Business, Lync, Exchange & Everything Else

22-04-2013 Weekly Tech Update

Technical round-up to Monday 22 April 2013.

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General
Firstly, FunnyorDie have finally released iSteve - you can see it online here. I haven’t watched it as yet…..

Quarter end brings all the financial news out of the woodwork - and there’s some interesting stuff out there in the big player’s reports. Microsoft’s figures for Q3 (their year end is June) make for interesting reading:

Microsoft posts Q3 2013 earnings, generates $6.06 billion in profit as its CFO steps down

I think it’s quite an exciting time to be in to Microsoft technologies. Yes,
even considering Windows 8. The 2013 platform (SharePoint, Lync and Exchange) provide an incredibly compelling usage story for most organisations, more so in my opinion than the 2010 wave anyway. I was recently in a workshop with a large insurer for example, and after demonstrating Lync & SharePoint, their CFO’s reaction was pretty much ‘can’t we throw out all this disjointed crap we have and move everything to this’. Quite interesting to hear, but seemed to induce a look of terror in some of the others in the room.

I have particular affinity for Microsoft Lync of course, and revenue for that is increasing rapidly. The 2010 platform really started to accelerate the take up of the product set, and I suspect 2013 will only accelerate that acceleration. So to speak. The recent earnings call with Microsoft for example reports a 30% increase in Lync revenues over the previous quarter; 5 million Enterprise Voice seats deployed, and 90% of the Fortune 100 companies up and running on Lync. It’s an incredibly powerful product, and one that is likely to rapidly increase in adoption rates over the next few years.

Apple conversely is having a bit of a bumpy ride currently, certainly if their share price is anything to go by:

After Apple’s Rise, a Bruising Fall

Not so long ago I wrote about how I thought Apple was starting to
lose its innovative mojo. While that’s mostly around their technology, it would appear people are in general agreement around their overall offering too - their shares have dropped some 44% apparently since October last year. Of course Apple are still incredibly profitable, but I’d like to hope that we’ll see some more real innovative stuff in their 2013 line-ups. IOS on the iPhone is looking tired now for example, and who really needs a thinner iMac? Seriously? I don’t look at my 27” iMac at home and think “oh my, if only it were thinner!”. That’s not innovation, that’s stupid.

It’s good to see them creeping up the PC Shipping tables though:

idc-pc-q1-2013-2

Overall shipments are down, but their market share is up. Of course a lot of this is probably down to Apple cannibalising it’s own laptop/desktop line with it’s iPad, and I’m sure that must have had some affect on the other vendors too.

Blog Stuff
I’ve had a terribly busy week (please, put the violins away) so have been quiet on the blogging front. I did find time to moan about death by powerpoint however:

PowerPoint of Doom

I’ve also been having numerous conversations around Twitter the last couple of weeks. People either love it, or just ‘don’t get it’. I guess that the hardest part of Twitter is probably your first 2/3 weeks - getting started. Finding people to follow, getting people interested in what you have to say etc. I’m on Twitter - you can
follow me here. It’s mostly technology type stuff I bang on about (I know, surprised right?).

UC Goodies
As always, lots of good-stuff out there about UC, and in particular around Lync. Some of the things that have jumped out at me this week include:

If you didn’t get a chance to go to the Lync conference in the US earlier this year, you can download the sessions from here:
Lync Conference Sessions

Also, check this out:

Introducing the Lync 2013 Rollout and Adoption Success Kit (RASK)

Looks good doesn’t it!

We are excited to announce the release of the Lync 2013 Rollout and Adoption Success Kit (RASK). RASK is a comprehensive guide based on a flexible, repeatable methodology and can be used for initial Lync rollouts, as new workloads are being deployed, or between version upgrades.

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Unleashed has now been released, in e-Book form anyway. It’s been writing by some very impressive guys all very active in the Microsoft UC Community, including Alex Lewis, David Ross, Randy Wintle, Tom Pacyk and Tom Arbuthnot. If you’re interested in the technical layout of Lync, this is your starting point.

"Lync cannot verify that the server is trusted for your sign-in address" There’s now a support article addressing this issue - it comes up a lot.

LCS 2005 to Lync 2013 Cut over migration - This is interesting. It talks about a cut-over LCS to Lync deployment. Obviously co-existence type deployments from LCS to Lync 2013 are not supported, but it is possible to shift people in a big bang approach. Some thoughts on what you may need to think about.

There’s an update for
Lync for Mac too! This one addresses an infuriating issue that sees your ability to join meetings degrade. I ended up hating it so much I always joined meetings inside a Windows session on Parallels…no more! You have to get this fix from Microsoft as it’s not been through regression testing….Or you can download it here, remembering it’s not been through regression testing and it’s not my fault if you break something:

Microsoft Lync for Mac 2011 14.0.4 Hotfix 1

As a side note, I find it ironic that non-regression tested Mac hot fixes are sent out as a compressed EXE file. It assumes you must have Windows to be able to access the hot fix doesn’t it?

Jason Sloan has written a great article here about myths on inter-op - well worth a read: Lync Server 2013 Interop – Debunking the Myths

Good article here on
TroubleShooting the Mobile clients.

Lync Phone Edition Cumulative Update April 2013 is now available.
Justin Morris has helpfully listed them all on his blog.

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