Implementing Microsoft Unified Communication (2010)

Scope

Well where would you start your Lync 2010 project?, since I found no single place to look for Lync Server 2010 related information and guidance – I decided to create this “guide” in which I will try and give some pointers, guidance and warn you about the many pitfalls. I will also try to not only give technical insight but also non-technical insight into processes and how to make a Lync Server 2010 implementation a real success.

This multi part series will cover all phases of a Microsoft “UC” 2010 implementation, including[1]:

  • Envisioning – think about what needs to be accomplished and identify constraints
  • Planning – plan and design a solution to meet the needs and expectations within those constraints
  • Building – build the solution
  • Stabilizing – validate that the solution meets the needs and expectations… “synch and stabilize”
  • Deploying – deploy the solution

As mentioned earlier this document will be partly technical, not limited to Microsoft Lync Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2010, and partly non-technical, to help the reader implement the best possible Microsoft “UC” 2010 environment.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Solutions_Framework#MSF_4.0

Envision

When envisioning a Microsoft “UC” environment you might have to forget that it is Lync 2010 or Exchange 2010, be open to the way your business is operating and the many needs from all users.

Start by gathering information about the current environment, then move on to gather feature demands and whishes from the organization.  This information is mapped to the future Microsoft “UC” project, helping

Gathering information about the present environment

Step 1 will always be to gather information about the present environment, in this case it is at least:

  • Current phones system (PBX)
    • Users
      • Numbers
      • Extensions
  • Locations
  • PBX (all)
    • Possible SIP trunk configuration (in regards to integration)
    • Integration to other systems
      • Like directory services, switchboard software and so on
    • Service contracts
      • Example: It is still active, and prepaid for the next 3 years
  • Physical Phones
    • Phone type
    • Age
    • Connectivity
      • Ethernet, analog or?
    • Economy
      • Are the phones brand new, or old?
        • This might affect the possibility or getting new phones or headsets
  • Dialing rules
    • Document them!
  • Hunting groups
    • Document them!
  • Lines (all ISDN, analog, SIP trunk)
    • Document them!
  • Possible value of the current phone system (in full or in parts)
    • If you want to sell it to a broker afterwards
    • Current mail system
      • If Exchange, what version
      • If not Exchange, decide if a migration to Exchange is part of the “UC” project
      • Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging deployed already? (voice mails)
      • End user systems
        • Operating system
          • Version
          • Service pack level
  • Software deployment
    • How is software distributed to end user workstations
    • Physical network
      • How is the network structured?
        • Placement of current servers/PBXs in relation to clients
  • Bandwidth
  • QoS
  • Video conference solution
    • If a current video conferencing solution is deployed
      • Model
      • Configuration

Known issues with the current phone environment

In most organizations a number of known issues are partly documented in email, on support sites and inside the heads of the IT department.

These issues should be documented, and prioritized according to severity, number of users affected and so on.

 

Gathering feature demands and whishes from the organization

As part of any new system or technology, it is important to gather possible demands and wishes from just about anybody in the organization. Be careful not to color your questions/discussions, because it might limit the possible scenarios.

The gathering of information can be done in several ways.

Meetings

Have meetings with each business unit, and ask anybody to think “out of the box”, prepare the meeting by adding a detailed agenda to the meeting request.

Make sure to document the input, I prefer to use Microsoft OneNote.

I created a Microsoft SharePoint site, where everyone could follow the gathering of information, and comment.

Questionnaire

When gathering information from many users, a questionnaire can be helpful. I used the Survey feature in Microsoft SharePoint; it helps present questions in a good way, and analyze the gathered answers afterwards, in MS Excel.

Workshops

It might be a good idea to have workshops for key employees, the difference from a meeting is to give the key employees a better idea of what might come, and what to expect – still trying not to limit the feedback from the employees. And to create a forum for discussions.

Planning

Writing in progress – please wait

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: