Lync Server 2013 – Brief Overview #lync2013

Below is the list of server roles available to your Lync 2013 on-premises environment;

  • Back-End Server
  • Front-End Server
  • Standard Edition Server
  • Director
  • Mediation Server
  • Edge Server
  • Persistent Chat Compliance Back End Server
  • Persistent Chat Server
  • Persistent Chat Back End Server

Lync 2013 Clients;

  • Lync 2013
  • Lync 2013 Basic
  • Lync 2013 Web App
  • Lync Win Store App
  • Lync 2013 Mobile
  • Lync 2013 Phone Edition (being phased out)

Administrative tools and enhancements to Lync Server 2013;

  • Lync Server Deployment Wizard
  • Lync Server Control Panel
  • Lync Server Management Shell
  • Lync Server Topology Builder
  • Central management database
  • Role-Based access control
  • DNS load balancing
  • Lync Centralized Logging Service

Lync Server – Hybrid Coexistence

Lync Hybrid diagram

Lync Hybrid

Microsoft Office 365 for Small Business <25 Users (P-Plan)

Following on from the Product Comparison post I have decided to delve a little deeper into the individual offerings and offer some advice as to what would best suit your customer.

The Small Business offering is designed for companies with less than 25 users, although you may be restricted by user licenses, you are by no means restricted with the product.

The Small Business package has the following capabilities/benefits for the customer;

Email –

  • 25GB Mailbox and attachments up to 25MB
  • Shared Calendars
  • Works on Windows Phone, iPhone, Blackberry (BIS Only), and Android.

Websites –

  • Easy to build public facing website.
  • 10GB Site storage + a further 500MB per user (25x500MB = 12.5GB potentially extra)

Anywhere Access* – (an asterix is included here to highlight the fact it is an online service, so a internet connection to your chosen device is required and not a part of the agreement)

  • Share and collaborate on documents
  • Join online meetings and present from anywhere
  • Office Web Apps for light document editing

Security and Reliability –

  • Microsoft’s powerful security features help protect your data
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Password protected team sites
  • Antivirus, anti-spam.

P-Plan

In order to receive the above benefits you will have the following as part of your P1-Plan

  • Exchange Email, Calendar, Contacts & Personal Archive
  • 25 GB Mailbox
  • ActiveSync Mobile Support
  • SharePoint Team Sites (One Site Collection, authenticated external user access enabled for up to 50 unique users/month.)
  • Office Web Apps
  • Simple Public Website (Includes ready-to-use templates, option to add custom domain.)
  • Online Access Databases
  • Lync Rich Client
  • Online Meetings (Limited to 50 participants)
  • Desktop Sharing
  • Multiparty IM & PC-to-PC Calling
  • Self-Help and Community Support.

For most small businesses this solution would be a great solution, however for a growing organisation you need to choose your plan carefully as the P-Plans do not have an upgrade path to move to an E-Plan (at the time of writing – remember it is a service and can change!). The service is still stored on the same datacentres as the E-Plan customers but you just have a few limitations as mentioned below;

  • Phone/Ticketed Support Not Included
  • Capacity Limited to 50 users (no movement above this limit)
  • Unable to Upgrade from P1 to E Plan
  • One SharePoint Site Collection
  • Cannot purchase additional SharePoint Storage
  • Directory Syncronisation is not allowed
  • Federation (Single Sign On) is not supported
  • Custom Domain Validation requires Microsoft Name Servers (A technical aspect on a plan designed to be ‘non technical’?)

Introducing Office 365 – Product Comparison

When we talk about Office 365, we are looking at the following items;

  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus
  • Exchange Online
  • SharePoint Online
  • Lync Online

The scale of Office 365 is designed from a single home user to an enterprise environment and all the flavours of business and user in between.

Windows Live provides Office 365 for individuals and consumers, it is designed for personal use and is often free or very low cost.

Office 365 for small businesses is designed for small business and professionals, in an organisational environment whom uses an IT Consultant or has very little onsite support. The pricing is designed for small business with a low monthly/annual subscription to the service. It’s designed to be simple but perhaps shift small business into a more professional way of working using online services such as Lync and SharePoint. Support is provided through community forums which is a fantastic approach to keep the costs down for these companies.

Office 365 for enterprise is designed for any size organisation but gives a little more to the end user with regards to features. It is designed for customers who have Internal IT or an IT partner (such as Comms Group UK Ltd). Fully featured subscription with scripting and customisation available, the range of products is highly configurable to what your enterprise requires. Support is provided through 24×7 telephone support.

Below I have included screenshots of the plans from the Office 365 website, you can view these in more detail here

Hosted Email Plans

Hosted Email Plans

Compare SMB Plans

Compare SMB Plans

Enterprise Plans - Part1

Enterprise Plans – Part1

Enterprise Plans - Part 2

Enterprise Plans – Part 2

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