Friday, December 9, 2011

Lync Mobile devices support

The greatly anticipated support for mobile devices has arrived (bits and deployment guide) and… I sense great disturbance in the force already. “Voice and video over Wi-Fi Microsoft did not provide?!? How embarrassing… how embarrassing”. I did too fall to the dark side for about… 30 seconds.

We are professionals. We travel all over the country. We spend time on airports, in hotel rooms, and other places where Wi-Fi access is provided. Let me ask as professional – How satisfied are you with the quality of service? How often you had to turn off the wireless capabilities on your phone to get your email over 3G or 4G? What business value an application that “works over Wi-Fi”, but actually prevents you from doing business has? Who would be to blame for that missed call i.e. missed business opportunity?

Fortunately, we have an awesome feature called “Call via Work”. The way it works is - our mobile application instructs Lync server to dial the destination number, then dials our device (could be mobile number or a landline) and bridges the call. The number presented to the called party is our Tel-Uri i.e. Business phone. Why is this important? First - I don’t want to reveal my cellphone number to everyone I call. Second - because the Caller ID shown to the called party will be my office phone number, returned calls will terminate in my office. From my employer’s prospective, if I (an employee) leave the company, my former number will be assigned to my successor and calls for me (my position, that is) will be answered from the new person.

And, of course, there is something else we do not talk about, but must be taken in to consideration. If you are reading this post – you are Lync Administrator or an user the least. You or your organization has selected Lync as Unified Communications platform because of the business value and the quality of system as a whole. Now, if adding “perks” were to require rewriting of parts or entire modules of such complex system, are you willing to take the risk of jeopardize  your business operations? There must be a reason why voice and video over Wi-Fi was omitted in this release and the sooner Microsoft come forward and explain those reasons, the less any “disturbance in the force” will keep us away from what we should do in first place – stop bitching, grab the manual and make sure we understand the new functionality of Lync Mobile Support as it is now.


Francois D said...

Drago, my friend, your points are excellent and help restore the force.

You said it, there is a big difference between a geeky consumer solution that users will be happy with if it kind of works while saving them an occasional buck, and an Enterprise Grade voice solution.

Failed calls and poor voice quality are just completely unacceptable in the Enterprise. They generate business issues as well as costly support calls.

VoIP on mobiles is still in a nascent state - but even more importantly, so is the wifi infrastructure of enterprises as it pertains to supporting BYOD or media. VoIP on mobile cannot be relied upon to provide an enterprise grade solution in such a context.

Call via Work is the solution that provides that and is the foundation for mobile voice. VoIP will in the future be an interesting add-on to provide occasional flexibility and cost savings, but will not the core solution for a long time.

Thank you sir,

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