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Top 10 Mistakes Deploying and Upgrading Lync Server 2013

Feb. 25, 2014
Richard Luckett


Microsoft Lync Server 2013 requires a proactive approach during deployment. This white paper provides valuable recommendations as well as the technical links that help you avoid common mistakes during a Microsoft Lync Server 2013 deployment.



This white paper addresses the top problems when trying to deploy Microsoft Lync Server 2013 into a production environment and how to resolve the issues before they prevent product implementation or lower workplace productivity.

As a technician, it is a key responsibility to perform due diligence to ensure our company/client receives the product that they are expecting within the appropriate budgets we have been allotted. Being proactive can help eliminate these issues before they arise, whereby allowing us to deliver a fully supported and functioning Microsoft product to our organization.

1. Ask the correct questions to determine the business drivers for the deployment:

Why are we deploying Lync Server 2013? Is it for new features? To replace an old PBX solution? Make sure everyone is on the same page as to why the new solution is being implemented.

When a company first decides to move to a new unified communication platform, there has to be reasons behind the decision to deploy Lync Server 2013. Business drivers are the reasoning behind this decision, which may include:

 The company would like an online or hybrid deployment.
 The organization would like to use conferencing capabilities and invite internal and external users.
 Remote, work-from-home, or traveling users need full communication capabilities as if they were in the office.
 High availability and disaster recovery are now required per company policies.
 Desktop sharing capabilities will be a new tool used for the helpdesk to troubleshoot issues.

Business drivers may also come in the form of questions. It is important to ask the correct questions as they should help you arrive at justifiable solution statements that will determine the type of solution and its features you would like to implement and, above all, why. For example:

Problem: Travel costs are getting out of control. Excess travel spending is decreasing our bottom line.
Q: "How can we cut costs of travel and still have business meetings with our clients on a regular basis?"
A: "Lync Server 2013 can deliver multiple types of audio and video conferencing and data collaboration methods for sales presentations to external clients without having the sales team travel to multiple locations, thereby cutting travel costs."

Business drivers should come from all parts of the company; from upper management, to secretaries and mailroom staff, and to the IT staff. Everyone uses the production systems in different ways. Getting as much input as possible will give a better scope of the desired capabilities of a solution that you are looking to implement.

After the business drivers have been determined, make sure that all stakeholders involved support the new solution. If even one person does not believe that the solution is not what is truly desired, then the implementation's success may be minimized.

At this stage, business drivers can now be converted to technical requirements that affect design decisions. This is the point where we take the logical ideas behind why we want to do something and apply it to the Lync Server 2013 design using tools such as the Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Planning tool. At this point, you will take your business drivers and turn them into a logical design for your company.

2. Utilize all the tools available for infrastructure planning:

There are a large number of tools made available from Microsoft that are under-utilized by IT professionals. The Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Hardware Capacity planner, Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Bandwidth calculator, RASK are all free an available from Microsoft to assist you with a successful deployment.

One of the keys to implementing a successful Lync Server 2013 solution is planning the necessary infrastructure to support the features and specifications that meet your logical design. Without doing the necessary mathematical computations for bandwidth, server capacity, budgeting, and project rollout deadlines, a Lync Server 2013 solution will not implement successfully. The after effects will linger throughout your organization causing more problems in the future, thereby making your job and possibly the jobs of others much more difficult.

How can we eliminate these issues proactively? The key is utilizing tools that we sometimes take for granted. There are a number of free tools from Microsoft that help us estimate the computations for bandwidth and hardware capacity needed for Microsoft Lync Server 2013 to operate efficiently. Some of these tools include:

 Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Planning Tool
 Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Hardware Capacity Calculator
 Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Bandwidth Calculator
 Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Rollout Adoption and Success Kit

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