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Disclaimer: the new version of Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business (SfB) Server 2015, has been released a few weeks ago. Licensing model is the same you had for Lync Server, with companies paying only Front End servers (i.e. the ones hosting user accounts and the core services for your infrastructure). SfB contains some new features, including support for Back End availability based on AlwaysOn groups. I will write a dedicated post asap.
The costs related to Microsoft
Lync are something that I have talked about more than once but this is the
first time I try to summarize information in a single document. I will limit my
reflections to on-premises
organizations, because as I am writing, Lync
Online has no serious support for Enterprise
Voice (i.e. VOIP) and this...
The ease of deployment, scalability/flexibility of it running on Windows. The biggest aspect that I really like about this product is the flexibility of it being on Windows. That means whatever you need to script, automate, backup, or... more»
It has allowed for more flexibility and easier deployment/operation for more of our technicians, who might not otherwise have specialized in voice training. It is quite an intuitive system to deploy. It can be as simple as you need, as well... more»
Support. They have global offices and it would really make a huge difference if they were 24/7. Just as much as it is also a benefit that you don’t have to rely on a ‘black box’ solution and have the flexibility of different products to mix... more»
Disclaimer - Time flies, and I received a message from IT Central Station to update my past reviews, including the one I wrote some months ago about Lync Server 2013. Honestly, it would have been easy to just update a few lines here and there and keeping the contents (that were still good) online. However, I have tried to use wisely the aforementioned period of time and my knowledge of Lync and of his potential is now deeper. So, I decided to throw away the previous review (including a good number of views it had) and to write a completely new post.
What is Lync Server 2013
Lync is a
Unified Communications (U.C.) product. It means that in a single product you have a native integration between many different communication tools (IM, conferencing,...
High availability is something that companies do not take for granted, they take it as given (especially when we talk about telephony). While Lync 2010 did a good work on this critical aspect there were still some weak points on the architecture when there was the need for a really continuous service. For example the mechanism behind the “backup registrar” implementation was really a limit and, for the Enterprise Front End deployments, the need for a clustered SQL server Back End was a restriction and did not match with the requirements related (also) to some kind of disaster recovery plan.
Front End Pairing and new rules on licensing
Lync 2013 makes a step forward, building on what was valid in the previous logics and using whole new solutions were they are necessary. The...
The most valuable features found are the Immersive Telepresence, Video Conference, VoIP Phone with video, Corporate Collaboration tools and UC services for mobile devices. They all help to improve the communication time within the company. This product makes my life much easier by shortening the distance between my boss and the rest of my team. More than half of... more»
We now have the possibility to be hands-free by communicating with other people in the company. It has integration with LDAP and I do not have to pick up the phone to call someone. I can access my directory list to choose a person and make a direct phone call from my personal computer which can also be done by video. It also enables me to join meetings without... more»
Major changes between versions cause features to move in the tree. The major releases come before any significant minor releases, causing you to upgrade and relearn. They went from version 12 to 15 so quickly that if you do not upgrade, you... more»
My company has been dealing with 3CX phone system resale and installation for the last two years. 3CX has assisted us with Remote Extension functionality, and with CRM integration; we have it programmed to be integrated with the rest of our... more»
One example would be when technicians are out to a service call and a customer calls in asking for them. The receptionist can transfer the call to his remote extension. Another example is the integration. An incoming call to the tech... more»
We have asked for various improvements to complete some of our customers' requirements, like a robo-dialer, and the integration of a Voice Application Designer within the professional editions of 3CX. We have been informed that they are being... more»
RDS, Conferencing, VoIP and IM are the most valuable features. The Remote Desktop Sharing, our users can now call other Lync users in other organizations. Our system is equipped with PSTN calling, which has allowed the users to make calls to... more»
Conferencing and interoperability need to be improved. The biggest challenge has been seen in terms of interoperability with the other vendors. Microsoft chose standards which are freely available to minimize their costs. This decision means... more»
* It has made accountability easier due to reporting. * It has made conferencing and video conferencing simple. * It has made my life as the VoIP Division Manager easier. Just an all round fabulous product.
Bring back the multi tenant ability in version 15 and above. I would like to see a secondary Session Border Controller option at this time, the SBC is a single point of failure. I would like them to bring back the system Extension View option... more»
3CX is enriched with features, but mainly VOIP providers, as it allows you to establish a call from a different region with low cost rates, Digital Receptionist since you can modify the welcome message as desired and more importantly the... more»
Whenever we have a new joiner, we just need to install 3CX software which is part of the deployment template or purchase a wired phone, depending on the user needs and it’s basically plug ‘n’ play, since it takes only few minutes to create an... more»
To be able to deploy 3CX from current on-premise configuration to the Azure cloud together with the whole set up, i.e., a virtual gateway to manage ISDN lines, not just the software itself but all the necessary requirements to make it work.
Mobile Client, Soft Phone and call recordings. I like these features because my extension is now wherever I am. Be it on my tablet, mobile phone or laptop, I can always be reached on my extension and all the features of the 3CX system are at... more»
Call flow has been massively streamlined. With the live Wallboard feature and being able to jump in and out of call queues, it makes for a much more satisfactory experience for our customers. Waiting times are negligible.
Feature/Functionality matches up to any competitive solution.The fact that you have "Standard" or "Professional" as your purchasing options makes the decision simple. And, when you choose one or the other, there are no other "Ala Carte"... more»
The WebRTC, web conferencing, and the mobile apps have been a great asset to our company. We have multiple branches countrywide and we all connect to one seamless system for all our communication needs. Having our directors overseas, we are... more»
We are able to communicate seamlessly regardless of where any staff are at any time. With video, voice, and mobile apps keeping us always connected and is a great cost saving tool for ourselves and clients.
Built natively for and runs great on Windows 7/10/Server 2008/Server 2012. Utilize SIP trunks for ISP failover scenarios - we have one customer that has a backup wireless link that fails over seamlessly. Very powerful queuing and call control options. Windows and Mobile softphone apps work great.
We would like to see continued improvements in the 3CX phone mobile apps, such as allowing for deletion of multiple voicemails, shared parking control, and disabling softphone mode. We would also like to see voicemail deletions sync between Exchange mailboxes and 3CX. Lastly, I'd like to see voicemail to text transcription.
Mobility: Our employees can connect from any part of the world to the office local network. Communication is completely encrypted. Also, the contact center folks love its ease of use, plus it gives us the ability to script additional... more»
The groupware module is the most valuable feature.
• Improvements to My Organization
It makes sharing of information between working teams of different projects very easy and fast, whether they are local or abroad.
• Room for Improvement
Although the documentation is extensive and in depth, you must familiarize yourself with it before taking full advantage of the product.
• Use of Solution
I have used it for almost eight years.
• Deployment Issues
The deployment, and the version updates / upgrades, are straightforward and with no issue. Even the initial conversion from 602LAN SUITE happened overnight.
• Stability Issues
Stability is excellent.
• Scalability Issues
We are currently investigating its scalability.
• Customer Service and...
It is a very reliable server with powerful features, and the administration tools are straightforward. The email storage on the server is based on individual files corresponding to each email; that facilitates the tasks of backup and restore... more»
The database query for creating new database and querying about activities are too simplistic. Built-in help inside the administration interface about converting from "file system" to "database", and about creation of database options, is... more»
I have a few things on my wish list however you have to keep in mind they are all advanced features. The biggest one is the Hosted version. The current solution requires different ports for each instance and is not allowing for SIP trunk sharing between them. This is an area of the PBX that is very important to us who use it to provide hosted VoIP. Another area... more»
IceWarp offers very extended cross-platform communication solutions. For us as a hosting provider, that makes it the perfect platform to use. We can help any customer that contacts us with any question.
There are some feature improvements possible the way we use it as a hosting provider, but for most we currently have workarounds. As with any communication suite, it's important that IceWarp keeps making the right choices and maybe... more»
Fully equipped soft PABX without hidden extras. Not one option missing. Free software for client's computer and smartphone. Infinitely upgradeable and easy to migrate to other hardware or host.
• Improvements to My Organization
Work from everywhere and still be able to be unavailable. Video conference and share screen is a breeze and free.
• Room for Improvement
There's always some room for improvement, but with at least one new version per year and regular service packs, issues are fixed quite fast and new possibilities are added for free.
• Use of Solution
At least seven years.
• Deployment Issues
None worth mentioning. Of course one needs to know his stuff.
• Stability Issues
Stability is no issue. If you run it on Windows, a regular...
Information Technology professional with years of experience from previous appointments; but now an Open Source Advocate. Over 8 year’s full life cycle, ICT project experience (problem solving, design scoping, planning, and development upgrades, networks and infrastructure changes and critical PC... more>>
We just finished a technology assessment for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in Northern VA. Our task was to assess the current technology in use, and make recommendations for current technology improvements and make recommendations regarding future technology for this law enforcement agency... more>>
Mission accomplished with target ahead is my best philosophy. I believe in dynamic business and continuous progress. Now I am studying MBA project management to sharpen my knowledge and open new opportunities.