Browsing Posts tagged Bob Coppedge

Bob here.  I’ve had several discussions with companies about how Microsoft is looking to use Lync, along with Skype, to muscle into the telephony world, actually replacing old phone systems (ie, PBX’s and the like).

This is a good (somewhat techie) article discussing that very process.  However, most of the discussion is centered on the on site Lync implementations.  I think we’re going to see additional movement in late 2015-2016 timeframe where smaller organizations (

This article excerpt, by Kevin Kieller, originally appeared here: http://ubm.io/1AZQH5S


Microsoft Lync has had a good year in 2014, with a reported 5 million Lync voice seats now deployed and an ecosystem expanding around the tool. This isn’t to say there aren’t challenges ahead, though, especially as Microsoft moves ahead on its Skype for Business rebranding initiative. Let’s take a closer look at this year’s highlights and next year’s intentions.

As noted, Microsoft has reported deployment of some 5 million Lync voice seats in 2014. Other voice-related Lync highlights include:

  • Lync ranks third among IP PBX vendors in North America in organizations with more than 100 extensions, as noted by Peter Hale, an enterprise consultant with UK-based telecom and IT analyst firm MZA, at Enterprise Connect 2014 in March.
  • In October, for the first time ever, Gartner placed Microsoft in the Leaders section of the Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony.
  • As part of its report, Gartner rated Microsoft as the seventh-largest global corporate telephony vendor with significant annual growth––of 106%––in 2013.

Along with these rating and deployment successes, the Lync software, hardware and services ecosystem continued to grow:

  • An increasing number of IP phone set device vendors, including Polycom, Aastra, HP, snom, AudioCodes, Logitech and Spectralink, now support Lync.
  • A growing variety of USB audio and video devices support Lync: 34 wired headsets, 34 wireless headsets, 14 webcams and 11 USB speakerphones.
  • 55 SIP trunking service providers are qualified to connect with Lync 2013 (and 57 qualified with Lync 2010).
  • The number of Lync-compatible choices for gateways, survivable branch appliances and session border controllers is growing.
  • Lync Room Systems are now available from Crestron, Polycom and Smart.
  • Microsoft now has 81 certified Lync support partners, including 16 global support partners.
  • Lync functionality is expanding via a growing catalog of add-in applications for contact center, reporting, attendant console, recording, knowledge reinforcement and more (see the Office TechCenter for the most up-to-date list of qualified Lync infrastructure components).

And yet with all of the success in 2014, many enterprise communications managers still aren’t convinced that Lync alone can act as a PBX replacement. Consider these results from an attendee quick poll taken during my keynote for the recent Enterprise Connect/No Jitter virtual event, “Microsoft Lync: What Is the Impact for Your Enterprise?” (available on demand). When asked, “What do you think about Lync as a PBX replacement?,” respondents said:

  • Lync can be a PBX replacement: 38%
  • I would combine Lync and a traditional PBX: 40%
  • I would never trust Lync as my PBX: 7%
  • I am using Lync as my PBX: 15%

In 2014 the challenges associated with implementing Lync successfully remain much the same as over the past several years. These are:

  • Convincing naysayers that Lync absolutely can serve as a PBX replacement.
  • Realizing that implementing quality of service/class of service to prioritize real-time traffic on the network is a must.
  • Assembling a team with network, telecom, application and change management skills.
  • Recognizing that after you build your Lync environment you need the tools and skills to manage it (ongoing support often requires very different skills than design and implementation).
  • Committing to monitoring and driving quality, usage and adoption.

Looking Ahead


On Nov. 11, Microsoft announced that the next version of Lync will be called Skype for Business and is expected for release during the first half of 2015.

While much of the focus has been on the new name for Lync, the transition to Skype for Business is much more than a simple rebranding.

The next version of Lync brings together the development teams and technologies associated with Lync and Skype and in doing so provides unique business-to-consumer opportunities as Lync plugs into the massive scale that Skype has achieved: more than 60 million concurrent users, more than 550 million registered users, and 2 billion minutes of communications per day.

Specifically, Skype for Business will let corporate users directly connect to external parties using their Skype ID … no more complex and confusing process whereby Skype users need to sign in with a Microsoft ID in order to connect. Already we are seeing improved video interoperability between Lync for Windows desktop and Skype.

Skype for Business will provide an improved and streamlined user interface. Blind and consultative transfers will take fewer clicks, a small item but one that has been a top user requested feature. Interestingly, the new Skype for Business client will include both the classic Lync interface and the new Skype UI. IT shops will be able to flip the UI for specific user groups through a central policy. This is one of the ways that Microsoft is trying to help smooth the transition to Skype for Business. The promised in-place server upgrades is a second feature designed to accelerate adoption.

Moving Forward


Looking to another poll from the Dec. 10 Lync virtual event, we see that organizations are at many different points in their UC journeys:

  • We are piloting/deploying UC from our incumbent PBX vendor: 22%
  • We are trying to decide which vendor’s UC platform to select: 15%
  • We have not begun piloting/deploying, and don’t expect to in 2015: 10%
  • We have not begun piloting/deploying, but plan to in 2015: 16%
  • We are piloting/deploying UC from a vendor other than our incumbent PBX vendor: 37%

I suspect that most of the 37% who responded that they are piloting a solution not from their incumbent PBX vendor may be piloting Lync. If you are in the process of piloting or upgrading to Lync 2013, then I would recommend that you move ahead. Being on the Lync 2013 platform will make transitioning to Skype for Business easier when you decide to do this.

Lync continued its upward trajectory in 2014 and so far 2015 is looking good for the Skype for Business nee Lync team.

Like every year before, 2015 promises to bring continued evolution in the world of information technology. Of course, some segments will gain in popularity while others will diminish or even disappear altogether. Who will be the ultimate winners and losers? How will the inevitable changes impact the decisions you will be called upon to make in your professional role?

Join Simplex-IT for our first free Lunchinar of 2015 as Bob Coppedge peers into his crystal ball to suggest what technologies you should be following in the New Year to help your business prosper. Will it be the Cloud, Social Media, Project Management…or something else? Join us and find out!

Where: Stow Hampton Inn, 4331 Lakepointe Corporate Dr. off Route 8 at Steels Corners Rd.
When: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 11:30am-1:00pm

 As a bonus, we will be awarding door prizes of Windows 8 and Office 2012 to two lucky attendees. Free food AND free software – how awesome is that!

We remind you, though, seating is limited. To reserve yours,go to https://simplex-lunchinar-0115.eventbrite.com, email Michelle@Simplex-IT.com or call 234.380.1277. Come join the fun!

Like every year before, 2015 promises to bring continued evolution in the world of information technology. Of course, some segments will gain in popularity while others will diminish or even disappear altogether. Who will be the ultimate winners and losers? How will the inevitable changes impact the decisions you will be called upon to make in your professional role?

 

Join Simplex-IT for our first free Lunchinar of 2015 as Bob Coppedge peers into his crystal ball to suggest what technologies you should be following in the New Year to help your business prosper. Will it be the Cloud, Social Media, Project Management…or something else? Join us and find out!

 

Where: Stow Hampton Inn, 4331 Lakepointe Corporate Dr. off Route 8 at Steels Corners Rd.

When: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 11:30am-1:00pm

 

As a bonus, we will be awarding door prizes of Windows 8 and Office 2012 to two lucky attendees. Free food AND free software – how awesome is that!

 

We remind you, though, seating is limited. To reserve yours, email John@Simplex-IT.com or call 234.380.1277. Come join the fun!

Join Simplex-IT at our next free Lunchinar where we will discuss the benefits of moving your Servers to the Cloud, or what is becoming known as Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS!

The jury is in and there’s no doubt about the verdict. The Cloud is changing how the world does business! Why incur the expense and inefficiency of building and owning your IT infrastructure when you can now pay for the service you need and only when you need it!

During this complimentary Lunchinar, Simplex-IT’s Bob Coppedge will discuss the Pros and Cons of moving your network servers to the cloud. Can it really save you money? Are you exposing your business to compromised performance or security? You won’t want to miss this entertaining and illuminating presentation!

When: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 11:30am-1:00pm

Where: Stow Hampton Inn, 4331 Lakepointe Corporate Dr. (off Rt. 8 at Steels Corners Road)

As an extra bonus, we will be awarding a door prize of Microsoft software valued at $500. Free food AND free software. How awesome is that!

We remind you, though, seating is limited. To reserve yours, go to http://cloudservers.eventbrite.com, email John@Simplex-IT.com or call 234.380.1277. Come join the fun!

You’re invited to join Simplex-IT for our May Lunchinar and learn some of the main concepts of IT security that are critical to your organization. We’ll also reveal what kind of high level IT security decisions should NOT be abdicated to the IT folks. Note: this will be a BUSINESS discussion – we promise not to descend into the depths of GeekSpeak!

The security of your IT resources is vital to your continued success, but the terms can get confusing. So relax. Enjoy lunch on us as we reveal:

  • what the “Principle of Least Privilege” is and why it’s critical
  • what’s the difference between malware and a virus
  • what difference does the cloud make
  • and more!

This is an important discussion you won’t want to miss!

When: May 21, 2014, 11:30am-1:00pm
Where: Stow Hampton Inn, 4331 Lakepointe Corporate Dr. (off Rt. 8 at Steels Corners Road)

As an extra bonus, we will be awarding a door prize of Microsoft software. Free food AND free software. How awesome is that!

We remind you, though, seating is limited. To reserve yours, go to http://bit.ly/1idbjPN, email John@Simplex-IT.com or call 234.380.1277. Come join the fun!

Bob Coppedge  Bob here.  I’ll be speaking May 14th at the Youngstown CPE Day sponsored by The Ohio Society of CPAs.  The topic?  “IT Trends for Small to Medium Business.”

The talk will be similar to the one given back in January (see below), but updated to include recent issues such as the HeartBleed security issue, the aftermath of the withdrawal of support for Windows XP, and some thoughts as to the impact of Microsoft’s new CEO, Sayta Nadella.  Office for your iPad?  You betcha.  More to come?  You betcha by golly!

Also on the list will be next years less sexy retirement.  Say goodbye to Windows Server 2003.

 

Today, as more employees bring their own mobile devices into the workplace, there is a corresponding increase in risk and headache to the organization. First, mobile devices represent a threat to the corporate IT network as well as its data security.  Often, they do not benefit from the same security and data protection guidelines as other devices, such as desktop computers. Finally, when users bring their own devices they often give greater weight to their own rights on the device than to their employer’s need to protect its proprietary data.

How does an organization balance the increased productivity of BYOD with the additional risk? In this free Lunchinar presentation, Simplex-IT’s Bob Coppedge will discuss the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of BYOD. He’ll weigh the pros and cons, discuss best practices and suggest policy positions that, when implemented, will help limit your risk.

You won’t want to miss this!

Where:                Hampton Inn, 4331 Lakepointe Corporate Dr, Stow (off Rt. 8 at Steels Corners Road)
When:                 Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 11:30am-1:00pm

As an extra bonus, we will be awarding a door prize of Microsoft software. Free food AND free software – how awesome is that!

We remind you, though, seating is limited. To reserve yours, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/join-us-for-our-next-lunchinar-is-byod-leading-you-to-byob-tickets-10954985657, email John@Simplex-IT.com or call 234.380.1277. Come join the fun!

Unless you just crawled out from under a rock you are undoubtedly familiar with Social Media. Chances are you are already engaged with at least some of the major ones – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, just to name a few. But are you maximizing your investment in Social Media by fully integrating it with your traditional marketing? Learn the answer at Simplex-IT’s next free Lunchinar!

In today’s fast paced, media-filled world it’s imperative that we take every opportunity to capture our clients’ attention and interact with them in ways that constantly reinforce our marketing message. No one knows this better than our co-presenter, Amanda Kleinhenz, Social Media Strategist with Akhia Public Relations and Marketing Communications. In business since 1996 with marketing campaigns whose responses regularly number in the millions, Akhia has their finger firmly on the pulse of both Social Media and traditional marketing. This will be an invaluable presentation for anyone wanting to maximize the effectiveness of their messaging!

As always, there will be plenty of time for questions.

Simplex-IT’s popular monthly Lunchinars are always free, open to all and focused on sharing information. And, as a bonus, we will be awarding a door prize of Microsoft Office 2013 and Windows 8 to two lucky attendees. Free food AND free software – how awesome is that?

Where:                Hattie’s Café, 164 N. Main Street, Hudson

When:                  July 17, 2013, from 11:30am-1:00pm

 

Seating is limited! To reserve yours, call 234.380.1277, email John@Simplex-IT.com, call 234.380.1277 or go to http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7230232821# . Come join the fun!­­­

Extra! Extra! Extra!

We will once again be webcasting this LIVE event using Microsoft Lync. It’s free and it’s easy. If you can’t make the lunchinar in person but would like to listen in from the comfort and convenience of your office, contact us at the above numbers and we’ll send the details on how you can connect.

In his quest to bring IT awareness to every corner of the globe, Simplex-IT CEO Bob Coppedge recently shared his expertise with the Ohio Society of CPAs at their recent 2013 Akron CPE Day held at the Akron-Fairlawn Hilton.

Bob presented two sessions: “IT Trends for Small-Medium Businesses in 2013″ and “iPads, Droids and Windows…Tablets for Everybody!”  Both topics were updates of sessions Simplex-IT presented earlier in the year at our regular monthly Lunchinars and, as such, were recorded and appear for your viewing pleasure on our YouTube channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/SimplexITBob?feature=watch

If you would be interested in having Bob make a presentation to your group and help him realize his noble mission, let us hear from you! You can contact us at 234.380.1277 or by emailing Bob@Simplex-IT.com. Enjoy!

Bob addresses the Ohio Society of CPAs

In case you weren’t able to attend Simplex-IT’s March Lunchinar on Microsoft’s New Office 2013 and Office 365 offerings, all is not lost. The presentation is now available for viewing at your convenience on our YouTube channel. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the thumbnail below, click, kick your feet up and enjoy!

In this presentation Bob Coppedge guides you through the new and varied assortment of plans in which Microsoft’s New Office is being made available. Focusing on a new approach for the software giant are the subscription offerings which bring several advantages to the consumer – affordable pricing as low as $99.95/year, always updated software, generous cloud storage, and integration between devices, just to name a few.

The Ohio Society of CPAs has announced they will be hosting our own Bob Coppedge at their upcoming Akron CPE Day: Spring Conference on June 6, 2013. The conference is designed for CPAs, Managers and Controllers employed by private companies and explores diverse topics important to CPAs and other professional in the corporate arena, such as A&A, Tax, Management and Business trends.

Bob will be presenting two separate presentations which should be of general interest to everyone attending the event. They are TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Tablets, Windows 8 and More!  and IT Trends in 2013. As is Bob’s typical style, both presentations will be geared to a general, non-technical audience and are designed to inform in a non-intimidating, entertaining and interactive manner.

If you would like more information on the Akron CPE Day: Spring Conference you can go to the Ohio Society of CPAs website www.ohioscpa.com. For more information on Simplex-IT, of course, go to www.Simplex-IT.com.