02 January 2012

Building a standalone Lync server, or, how to write UCMA applications on a plane

Written by Chris Bardon, Posted in Microsoft, Lync

Microsoft Lync standalone

One of the difficult things about writing applications using UCMA is the fact that you need to connect to Lync in order to run or debug any of your code.  In fact, since you can’t connect UCMA applications through the edge server, you need direct access to the front end, which probably means VPN connectivity for any remote work.  On top of that, if you want to be able to provision and debug things on the server side, you’ll need administrative access to the Lync server, so it’s likely that there’ll be a separate development lab environment set up apart from your company’s everyday Lync deployment.  In the ideal case, each developer would have access to their own personal Lync sandbox, since then they could write and test whatever they needed to without impacting anyone else.

Over the past few years, I’ve run into a few people that have built monster laptops that ran Hyper-V and a full Lync stack, but I’d never tried putting one together myself.  Last week though, I finally got the chance, and while it does work, there are a few pitfalls that I found while trying to get everything going.

First, the hardware...

14 December 2011

Microsoft Lync Mobile client for Windows Phone

Written by Chris Bardon, Posted in Microsoft, Lync

Microsoft Lync 2010 Mobile Windows Phone

Yesterday, the Microsoft Lync Mobile client for Windows Phone finally got released, just making it out in the “Q4 2011” that was promised earlier this year. After making the server side changes a couple of days ahead of time, I got a chance to try the client out yesterday, and see what it can do.

First, when you log in, the client asks about setting up a single number reach, which is really just setting up Simultaneous Ring for your mobile number. This feature has been there since day one, but if nothing else, having it front and centre like this will expose it to people that have never used it before.

05 December 2011

Troubleshooting UCMA applications - Microsoft Lync, DNS entries, and failed calls

Written by Chris Bardon, Posted in Microsoft, Lync, Troubleshooting

UCMA application troubleshooting

One of the most frustrating things that you can run into when working with UCMA is starting your application, placing a call to it, and having that call fail.  As far as your code is concerned, everything is great.  Calls worked yesterday, calls work for other developers, but for some reason, your call is failing.  At this point, the only real way to track down what’s going on is to go on the server and run OCSLogger.exe and trace the call.

28 October 2011

ComputerTalk Technology a Unified Communications Innovation Partner of the Year Finalist in the 2011 Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Microsoft, ComputerTalk

ComputerTalk finalist in 2011 Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards

Microsoft Canada Inc recognizes achievements of leading Canadian technology partners’.

ComputerTalk would like to announce that it has been selected as a finalist in the Unified Communications Innovation Partner of the Year category for the 2011 Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards. The ninth annual IMPACT Awards recognize excellence within the Microsoft technology partner community in Canada.

“Technology partners are at the core of Microsoft’s business.” said Neil Tanner, Vice-President, Small Business, Midmarket Solutions & Partners, Microsoft Canada Inc. “We are honoured to celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievements of industry leaders like ComputerTalk through the Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards. We are proud to work with them as they deliver innovative solutions to mutual customers. ”

ComputerTalk was chosen as a finalist in Unified Communications Innovation Partner of the Year for their ice product. Ice is a powerful, all-in-one Contact Center platform which focuses on adoption of Microsoft Lync Voice, SharePoint, and Dynamics CRM. Building upon its contact center and self-service roots, ice combined with Microsoft’s UC capabilities results in a powerhouse of ROI-generating applications

ComputerTalk along with other technology partner winners and finalists in each of the award categories, will be honored at an award ceremony in Toronto on November 30, 2011.

About the Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards

In 2003, Microsoft Canada Inc. launched the IMPACT Awards, a program to recognize the numerous achievements within it’s technology Partner community. This year’s awards program is bigger than ever with over 35 award categories designed to recognize excellence across Microsoft Partner Network competencies, emerging technologies, community involvement as well as sales, marketing and partnering excellence.

The IMPACT Awards are open to Active Canadian members of the Microsoft Partner Network.

For a list of all 2011 finalists, and more information on the Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards, please visit http://www.microsoft.ca/awards.

21 October 2011

Microsoft Lync Simultaneous Ring

Written by Chris Bardon, Posted in Microsoft, Lync

One phone number for every location

Phone numbers are dumb.  There’s really no way around it-if I want to talk to someone, I need to know (or look up) an arbitrary number that’s 4 or more digits long and dial it.  This was bad enough when most people had only one number, but now I’m sure most people have at minimum two or three places where they could reasonably be expected to be reached (home, office, mobile, cottage, private jet etc).

19 October 2011

Why Presence Matters - Microsoft Lync

Written by Chris Bardon, Posted in Microsoft, Lync

Why presence matters

One of the biggest changes that bringing a system like Microsoft Lync into the enterprise does is introduce the concept of presence.  Now presence is nothing new-public IM systems and gaming platforms have had it for years, and even many offices had “analogue presence” with an in/out board or other mechanism to know who was where and when.  It’s reasonably easy to dismiss presence as a gimmick until you live with it for a week. Then you’ll wonder how you got on without it.  Here’s a couple of examples of why presence matters: