An Introduction to Active Communications Server


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  • Slide Objective:Engage the audience in a discussion about the current communications and collaboration experience. Set the stage for the whole session by connecting with the audience on our understanding of thechallenges organizations face in the context of communications and collaboration. Address the perspective of both IT and business (end) users.Talking Points:We know from talking to many customers and analysts that collaboration is a top priority for them.Here’s why: the increasingly mobile nature of the workforce, the infusion of new solutions into the market, and the mission-critical nature of people working together.Plus, the next generation of the workersexpects to have access to the tools they use in the consumer space today.Even with all the investments and advancements over the last decade, communications and collaboration continue to be a sub-optimal experience for organizations.Microsoft asked end users at customer organizationshow they would describe their current communications and collaboration experience:100 one-on-one observations and interviews with Microsoft MicrosoftLync end users, with more than 1,000 hours of observationWeekly exercises and surveys that cover all signature Microsoft MicrosoftLync scenariosIn this study, Microsoft found that, in general, people thought they were productive:People reported that new tools are helping them to be more responsive and prepared.However, across the board, MS also found that people talked about feeling overwhelmed and frustrated:Unified Communications (UC): According to a poll by Harris Interactive, the average information work (IW) gets more than 51 messages in up to 7 different locations.At Microsoft, each employee receives, on average, more than 150 e-mails per day.Clearly, there is room for innovative solutions. So now, let’s discuss the ideal communications and collaboration experience.
  • Slide Objective:Now talk about the ideal communications and collaboration experience. Discuss and share how people described their ideal communications and collaboration experience,from the perspectives of bothIT and business (end) users.Talking Points:When asked about the ideal communications experience, users described it in various ways:Some of the themes that emerged were how people felt the need to be valued,capable,and connected in their daily work and communications.Users talked about creating connections with people, as opposed to just communicatingor delivering a message.Users wanted to be connected to what is going on, even when working remotely, across the hall or across the globe.Users wanted to be connected from within what they are working on—instead of having to “application hop” just to find the information they need.These word maps were helpful for us in defining the focus of our solution. We knew this solution had to be seamless and integrated and a natural part of the work that users do, instead of an assortment of technologies acquired from different places and “duct taped” together. So, what are the barriers to having this connected experience at work? Lets discuss them.
  • Slide Objective:Discuss the various barriers that reduce end-user productivity and efficiency due to slow communications or a disconnected experience.Tip: Validate the barrierswith customers—make the challenges belowabout specific customer situations, rather than generic statements. Keep it short.Talking Points:Here are some of the reasons that continue to create barriers to a more connected experience: First, needs are changing.Teams are more distributed and people are on the go, working from just about anywhere. It’s difficult to connect fully when people are not physically together. According to the Forrester, Inc., 2009 Workforce TechnoGraphics survey, 41 percent of IWs demonstrated a high need for mobility.90 percent of employees work in locations other than headquarters, and40 to 70 percent of employees work in different locations from their supervisors.The number of virtual workers (people who work in offices geographically separated from their supervisors) has increased by 800 percent since 2000 (Nemertes Research, 2005).The technologies are not integrated. This can lead to problems withmultiple identities, overlapping investments, and an overall sub-optimal experience.Businesses average more than six communications devices and almost five communications applications per employee (Sage Research for Cisco, September 2005). It is costly for any organization to support a complex web of non-integrated systems. The result is often high costs for the organization and low adoption and usage by employees.Still, there has not been much innovation in the most entrenched areas, like telephony. The phone as a device has not changed a lot since it came into common use,and people have rapidly switched to other forms of communications. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, one of every six households has given up the phone line. Likewise, a Nielsen Mobile research study indicates that U.S. mobile users are sending 1.7 times more text messages than making phone calls. We know that communications needs a fresh approach that puts people in the center. We must design solutions for today’s needs, asusers demand more flexibility in how and where they choose to work.Let’s see in the next slide how we can help to remove obstacles and provide a connected communications experience.
  • Slide Objective:Discuss the critical voice features in Lync and the converged experience for voice functionality.Talking Points:Previous releases (Office Communications Server 2007) have been adopted quicklyand haveshown the power of bringing communication experiences together. However, until now, the Microsoft solution primarilyworked along side an organization’s existing infrastructure.Lync delivers on key communications features to provide a rich conferencing solution that is also a stand-alone voice offering.There are several ways to save money with Microsoft Lync, including:Travel: Because it’s easier for people to connect virtually, travel can be reduced. Microsoft has reduced tens of millions of dollars in travel budgetsover the last year.Reservation-less audio conferencing: Microsoft does over 45 million minutes a month ofreservation-less audio conferencing on its Lync Server infrastructure, saving more than $1 million per month.Rationalizing telephony investments: With the delivery of Microsoft Lync, organizations can rationalize their investments in a PBX infrastructure.Lync delivers: Single client experience for audio, video, and Web conferencingEnhanced 911 functionalitySurvivable branch appliances to maximizeuser productivity in branch officesMore cost-effective options on devices:IP phones and common area phones from Aastra and PolycomCall admission control for better bandwidth managementMore features, such as call park and malicious call traceAdditional options for data center survivability, including branch office survivability through partner appliances such as Audiocodecs, Dialogic, Ferrari, HP, and NETWith these investments, Lync provides a complete offering in voice for customers looking to replace their PBX.
  • Slide Objective:In response to the present communications barriers, discuss the positioning statements of MicrosoftLync.Talking Points:So, at its center, Microsoft Lync is about helping people connect, even when they are not physically present together.It’s about connecting people in new ways—anywhere, anytime.Lync ushers in a new, connected experience that can help to transform every communication into an interaction—one that is collaborative, engaging, and accessible from almost anywhere. A single interface unites voice; instant messaging (IM); and audio, video, and Webconferencing into a richer, more contextual offering. Plus, a single identity makes it easier and faster for users to find contacts, check their availability, and connect with them. Lync Server 2010 works consistently with Microsoft Office, enriching the experience of familiar applications like Microsoft Outlook®, Microsoft Word, Microsoft SharePoint®, and more.Value Propositions:Drive adoption through ease of use and Microsoft Office:Microsoftlyncprovides a consistent communications experience across all platforms. Features such as the Contact Card; click to communicate from MicrosoftWord, Excel®, and PowerPoint®; and presence in SharePoint can help to link communications—no matter what applications are being used.Reduce costs through converged communications:Rolling an organization’s communication devices into one platform can reduce costs. With this approach, the communication workloads can be integrated with desktop applications, and audio, video, and Web conferencing can decrease third-party carrier spending.Simplify deployment and migration through interoperability: Broad interoperability through standards and documented protocols can smooth deployment for customers. IM, voice, conferencing, and SIP trunking services are combined into one system to connect customers with Lync sooner.Let’s look at these benefitsin more detail.
  • Objective: Explain/repeat the EASE of use for a person to work with the Lync client
  • Objective: Briefly describe basic architecture of Lync and where edge servers are located. Emphasize the difficult deployment model (an easy to use Lync client, compared with a difficult deployment)
  • Objective: ACS consolidates all server roles and provides an out-of-the-box running Lync deployment.
  • An Introduction to Active Communications Server

    1. 1. Unify your communications
    2. 2. Active CommunicationsActive Communications is a software developer with astrong focus on solutions that make the communicationsbetween organisations, employee’s suppliers andcustomers easier. Our solutions have a direct impact on theoperational expenses and have a quick return oninvestment.
    3. 3. Active Communications• Over 20 years of experience• Unified Messaging and Communication Experts• Microsoft Silver Partner Unified Communications• Offices in Netherlands, Spain, Hong Kong, and Australia• Internal development team• Partner network across EMEA
    4. 4. Business ContinuityThe Gradual Approach 90’s nowTraditional Unified Unified UnifiedVoice Mail Messaging Messaging Comms Capable
    5. 5. Customers say…About current Communication and CollaborationExperience Source: Ideal Communications and Collaboration Research by Microsoft, 2009
    6. 6. Customers want… Ideal Communications and Collaboration ExperienceCommunication is more than just transmission and receipt of amessage; it is also about creating a connection with someone.
    7. 7. Barriers to a more connected experience Distributed teams, partners, and customers High cost of Lack of integration communications
    8. 8. Microsoft Lync Product history Microsoft Lync 2010 • Integrated conferencing experience • Enhanced 911 for NA Microsoft Office • Survivable branch appliances Communications • Call admission control Server 2007 R2 • More options for devices (including lower cost) • Desktop sharing • Call park and malicious call trace • Dial-in audio conferencing • Additional data center survivability Microsoft • Higher resolution video options Communications • Single number reach Server 2007 • Attendant console • Response groups • “Anywhere access” • SIP trunking • IM and rich presence • Desktop integration • Voice features for mobile Microsoft Live workers Communications • Unified messaging with Microsoft Exchange 2007 Server 2003-2005 • Audio and video • “Anywhere access” conferencing • Instant Messaging • Web conferencing • Audio & Video (Microsoft Office Live Meeting client)
    9. 9. Microsoft Lync Drive adoption through ease of use and Microsoft Office Instant Messaging and Presence  Consistent experience across Office  Consistent experience across devices Reduce costs through converged communications Audio, Video, and Web Conferencing  Truly converged user experience  Converged voice functionality Simplify deployment and migration through interoperability Enterprise Voice and Telephony  Interoperable and extensible platform  IT resources maximized with the cloud  Choice through interoperability
    10. 10. The UC Challenges
    11. 11. Enterprise Market Dynamics• Smarter phones with higher bandwidth• “The iPhone Effect” and consumerisation of IT• Work and personal life convergence• Mobility at the heart of unified communications• Unified Communications as an enabler of business process transformation
    12. 12. Communications Complexity is Drivingthe Need for Change Fixed Voice Mobile Voice & Data Remote Workers IM/Presence Video Conference Smartphone Productivity
    13. 13. Microsoft Lync Experience Single client experience for IM, Voice, Video, Data Sharing Incoming call Conversation WindowCommunicator IM & Video Meeting/Application Sharing/Whiteboarding “New Connected Experience”
    14. 14. Microsoft Lync 2010 server architecture
    15. 15. What is ACS?
    16. 16. SimplicityACS is an all-in-one UC platform, that simplifies installationand maintenance by unifying multiple servers into oneappliance, one admin interface for daily maintenance and aconnector to the Active Directory. = 110% Lync Unified Communications
    17. 17. ACS Concept• Appliance based: virtualised on Hyper-V • Out-of-the-box running LYNC deployment• One system administrator interface • Setting up configuration for customer • Adds, moves and changes • ACS Management Suite• Active Directory controller • No impact on customer’s Active Directory• ACS = 110% Lync • Centralised Call Forwarding • Status Based Routing
    18. 18. ACS “Light” Proposition• ACS “Light” • Presence & Chat only • Easy upgrade to “Enterprise” model • Max 750 usersContains:• ACS Server software v 3.0• Lync Front-End Server 2010• Lync Edge Server 2010• AD connector• ACS 100 user license package
    19. 19. ACS “Enterprise” Proposition• ACS “Enterprise” • Full featured: Presence & chat, Voice & Video and Collaboration • Max 2500 users per server (multiple servers can be used to scale) • Standalone and High availability configurations availableContains:• ACS Server software v 3.0• Lync Front-End Server 2010• Lync Mediation Server 2010• Lync Edge Server 2010• AD connector• ACS 100 user license package
    20. 20. ACS Advantages for Customers• TCO • Single Footprint • Single Point of administration• ICT • No implications for Enterprise Forest • Easy administration• Easy deployment • Short installation • Controlled roll out within organisation • Additional features
    21. 21. ACS Advantages for Partners• Immediate access to “Microsoft UC Competency”• Extended portfolio – „voice & video communication‟• Extend your customer lifecycle• Be the UC expert for your customers• Additional Revenue!
    22. 22. Thank youFor more information