Editor’s Note: Trainer Chris Ward is studying for Microsoft Lync Server certification. This is the eighth in a series of posts during which he’ll share his experiences and advice.
“This product will bend time and space, allow you to marry the supermodel of your dreams while making billions of dollars, and you can ride your own unicorn.”
Anybody else get that line before from a software company or hardware vendor rep?
OK, I’m being a bit hard on sales here, but I want to tell you something about Lync 2013: It is all that and more than what I was told.
Yes, it’s like any product, in that there might be some issues that you have to work around, but typically that’s due to the nature of network communication and not a “new hidden feature” (aka bug). Lync 2013 truly is an outside-of-the-box unified communications system that’s easy to use, easy to maintain, and plays nice with quite a few other systems such as Skype and Google® Talk.
Here’s an example of one it’s powerful features — Lync Federation effectively sets up the ability to IM with other corporations outside of boundaries and enables both sides to selectively share “Presence” information. It’s great for business partners!
Lync 2013 has a lot of other features that I saw in the futuristic-themed movies that I loved as a kid. Pictures in your address book instead of phone numbers, video conferencing, touch screen integration, real-time collaboration on documents and projects, and something our next generation seems to thrive on: instant messaging to the extreme.
Don’t get me wrong, though, there needs to be a few things in place to make a smooth transition from your older communications models/modes.
- You need to have a good map of your network. Know where your WAN connections are iffy at best, and have your internal networks set up well.
- Make sure your IT people have your Active Directory environment running smoothly.
- Plan on educating your users.
That last point is actually one of the easier issues. Most people use Skype, or at least have used some sort of IM and web conferencing tools. Lync 2013, in my opinion, is streamlined and less cluttered. It has a very intuitive interface (my 13-year-old daughter figured out presence and persistent chat rooms in 20 seconds).
So get ready! My first CBT Nuggets course on Lync Server 2013 is now underway. Viewers will learn Lync 2013 and its core competencies first, with a focus on the Microsoft 70-336 exam. Then we’ll dive deeper into Lync 2013 with enterprise design in the following 70-337 course. What’s doubly awesome? There aren’t a lot of Lync-certified communications specialists out there, and the demand for them is growing!
Keep your head up and Nugget on my friends!