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The second annual Lync Conference is now behind us, this year held in the Aria Convention Center in Las Vegas and again a sell-out. Themed “Coming Together”, the event was attended by some 1,800 end-customers, partners and Microsoft staffers. Mecca for the Lync faithful, the Lync Conference is the place to be for Lync education, networking and a peek at coming attractions.
This year saw an increasing number of enterprise users, many sharing their experiences in moving beyond their early pilots to full implementations. During AudioCodes’ private “Circle of Excellence” pre-conference event, we heard from a number of Lync network administrators about their successes and challenges in implementing Lync voice and conferencing across their enterprises. Cargill, Amgen, Bally Entertainment and a number of other large enterprises all shared their Lync migration stories in great detail. You can read a summary of the event by Brent Kelly, Consultant at KelCor.
We also took the opportunity to demonstrate our new 430HD and 440HD IP Phones along with our Better Together over IP functionality for Microsoft Lync. Shown here, Ran Inbar, CTO Unified Communication for AudioCodes demonstrates the Better Together functionality to Matt Landis, a widely read blogger on the topic of Lync.
On the main keynote stage, Microsoft announced some key milestones for Lync with Derek Burney demonstrating the increasingly integrated Skype/Lync experience, the newly updated Lync client for Android tablets and a pre-release look at voice-driven “zero click” Lync client features.
Following Derek, Gurdeep Singh Pall returned to the stage, announcing the end of the era of Unified Communications and the start of Universal Communications, bringing a consistent user experience across media types and devices. Gurdeep also demonstrated a web-based Jscript application, showing a somewhat un-realistic medical consultation experience, where a patient could hold a video call with a doctor. (While the technology is very much realistic, in my experience, actually getting a doctor on a video call is highly un-realistic – they seem to be pretty techno-phobic.)
AudioCodes had the opportunity to share our experiences on a panel discussion on the Lync Ecosystem, sharing the stage with AT&T, Jabra, Unify2 and HP. Challenging the “one throat to choke” argument, the panel dissected the benefits of the well established relationships between the large systems integrators, partners and enterprise buyers.
And finally, in an over-the-top spectacle, Microsoft’s exhibit featured a “product launch” cage where visitors could use a large slingshot to launch legacy telecom devices into a wall, aiming for a target with a gong in the center. The occasional direct hit would fill the hall with the crashing sound, followed by cheers from the crowd.
Even if you missed the event, you can still participate in the conversation on http://mylync.lyncconf.com – Alan can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AlanDPercy