Lync delivery models: dedicated vs online

This is a specific comparison with the Microsoft Office365 cloud offer.

.

Why? because it a direct competition and threat to:
* Lync server on-premises deployments by IT departments who wants to expand knowledge and justify their investment;
* Partners and service providers who invest in know-how that want to deploy and sell  a dedicated offer (like myself);
* Providers with a partial or similar offer based only on MS technology.
The problem is that the comparison is at done at the price. It is difficult to legitimate an investment internally (by the IT department) or on an complete UC solution (by an integrator), when the decision maker sees that the cost per user is usually more expensive that the MS cloud offer.. and this is even more complicated in SME markets, which are the main target for these cloud services.

I know that Microsoft didn’t created BPOS and Office365 to steal their partners profit. It was a response to the other cloud competitors that are threatening the traditional Messaging/collaboration monopoly, like Google… others are responding the same way: Zimbra (bought by VMware), IBM and even Cisco announced the same approach.

It natural that this packaged solutions (messaging, VoIP, IM, …) are the first to become eligible for a Cloud offer, but there are still some important arguments that you (IT director, Integrator or Service Provider) can use at your favor.

The first one is the cloud offer itself. The customers share a common infrastructure, separated only by software rules that hide and organizational users from each others. Finance, legal or R&D companies should measure the risks, especially with their data on an off-premises datacenter. As an american company, Microsoft is under the ‘Patriotic act’ which enforces to give to the US government access to any customer data even located on their European facilities.

The second is the customer support service. Gartner has a great report about BPOS/Office365 and most of the  outline concerns are common to other cloud providers. Just some examples:
* There is no standard process for VIP problem request or escalation. Whether your CEO or the janitor lost access to their mailbox, you have to talk to the first line support and wait for an answer… and even your TAM cannot help you.
* In most times you have to prove the failure, send a fax and pictures to prove. And if you are right, you receive credits in return for… the same ‘bad’ service.
* Service is purchased online, with no contracted SLA’s (and they keep changing) or termination clauses. And if you managed to terminate the service you have to migrate the users and data yourself or to another cloud provider.
IT departments and service providers have a face and signed a contract with the customer. You know where they live 🙂 and they cannot escape to the legal obligations… most of the times.

The third one are the features and functionality. Office365 is a packaged offer, with predefined features and you cannot ask for any customization: What you read on the site and documentation is what you get… hopefully.
With a dedicated Lync server for your company you can have access to all features and customizations according to your business needs. All is dependent on the knowledge of your staff or provider.
To support this and finish this post, I customized part of the comparison matrix from the Lync Online for Enterprises Service Description which “compares the current feature availability across delivery models for Lync Server (on-premises), Microsoft Office Communications Online, and Lync Online” and evidence some important differences to help you in a decision.

Features

Lync
On-premises

Lync
Online

IM/Presence and Lync-to-Lync Calls

1-to-1 and multiparty IM/presence

Yes

Yes

Address book search

Yes

Yes

Distribution List Expansion (DLX)

Yes

Yes

File transfers

Yes

Yes

Lync-to-Lync audio/video calls

Yes

Yes

Lync-to-Lync high definition video

Yes

No

Presence and click-to-Lync from Office Apps

Yes

Yes

Interactive contact card in Office 2010

Yes

Yes

Lync Skill Search in SharePoint Server (on-premise)

Yes

No

Lync Skill Search in SharePoint Online

No

No

Persistent Group Chat

Yes

No

Privacy mode

Yes

No

Voice and telephony

Lync-to-phone (calls with landlines and mobile phones)

Yes

No

Call hold/retrieve

Yes

No

Dial-out from ad-hoc Lync meetings

Yes

No

Advanced call controls (transfer, forward, simul-ring)

Yes

No

Access to Exchange Online voicemail

Yes

No

Team call

Yes

No

Delegation (boss-admin) for Voice

Yes

No

Call park

Yes

No

Outgoing DID manipulation

Yes

No

E-911

Yes

No

Dial plans and Policies

Yes

No

IP desk phone support

Yes

No

Resilient Branch Office Appliance

Yes

No

Call Admissions Control (CAC)

Yes

No

Support for analog devices (such as FAX)

Yes

No

Response groups

Yes

No

Private Line (secondary DID for executives)

Yes

No

Interoperability with third-party PBX or trunks

Yes

No

Presence interoperability with third-party PBX

Yes (MS says no)

No

RCC (click-to-call) with on-premises PBX

Yes

No

Malicious call trace

Yes

No

Unassigned Number

Yes

No

Network QoS – DSCP

Yes

No

Media path optimization

Yes

No

Phone number management

Yes

No

CDR and billing reporting

Yes

No

Integration with call center solutions (Aspect)

Yes

No

Meetings (audio/video/web conferencing)

Meeting attendee capacity

250

250

Desktop sharing

Yes

Yes

Application sharing

Yes

Yes

White boarding and annotations

Yes

Yes

PowerPoint upload for online presentations

Yes

Yes

Upload for other file types

No

No

Multimedia Content Upload

No

No

Polling

Yes

Yes

Ad-hoc multiparty PC-based audio/video

Yes

Yes

Authenticated attendee in Lync Web App

Yes

No

Unauthenticated attendee in Lync Web App

Yes

Yes

Lync attendee client

Yes

Yes

Scheduled conferences (using Outlook plug-in)

Yes

Yes

Outlook delegation for scheduling meetings

Yes

Yes

Support for RoundTable (Polycom CX5000)

Yes

Yes

Lobby

Yes

Yes

Interoperability with certified partners for dial-in audio conferencing (ACP)

No

Yes

Phone dial-out from scheduled meetings via third-party dial-in conferencing service

No

Yes

Client side recording and playback

Yes

No

Server-side recording and playback

No

No

Generate a link to a scheduled meeting via web page

No

No

Scheduling an online meeting in Outlook Web App

No

No

Native dial-in audio conferencing on Lync server

Yes

No

Screen Snapshot (Desktop Annotation)

No

No

Backstage/Content Preview for presenters

Yes

Yes

Mute all attendees

Yes

Yes

Mute individual attendees

Yes

Yes

Unmute all attendees

Yes

Yes

Unmute individual attendees

Yes

Yes

In-meeting attendee permission controls

Yes

Yes

Interoperability with on-premises video conferencing systems

Yes

No

Client support

Lync 2010

Yes

Yes

Lync Web App for participating in scheduled meetings

Yes

Yes

Lync 2010 Attendee client (joining meetings)

Yes

Yes

Communicator for Mac client

Yes

No

Office Communicator Web Access (2007 R2) client

Yes

No

Office Communicator 2007 R2 client

Yes

No

Lync 2010 Phone Edition (Lync-based IP phones)

Yes

No

Lync 2010 Attendant client (receptionist rich client)

Yes

No

Communicator Mobile (Windows Phones 6.x)

Yes

No

Lync 2010 Mobile client

No (coming soon)

No (coming soon)

IM and media encryption

Yes

Yes

IM filtering

Yes

Yes

Anti-malware scanning for meeting content and file transfers

Yes (partner solutions)

No

IM archiving (server side)

Yes

No

Lync external connectivity (federation and Public IM connectivity)

IM/presence/audio/video federation with other OCS/Lync Server /Lync Online organizations

Yes

Yes

IM/presence/audio/video with Windows Live Messenger

Yes

Yes

IBM Sametime federation

Yes

No

IM/P federation with XMPP networks (Jabber, Google Talk)

Yes

No

IM/presence with AOL, Yahoo

Yes

No

Exchange/SharePoint interoperability

Presence interoperability with Exchange and SharePoint on-premises

Yes

Yes

Presence interoperability with Exchange Online and SharePoint Online

Yes

Yes

Unified Messaging interoperability with Exchange Online

Yes

No

Unified Messaging interoperability with Exchange on-premises

Yes

No

Lync Online and Lync on-premises, and administration

Server/cloud coexistence (split domain) on user basis (some users on-premises, some users online)

No

No

Splitting workloads (for example, IM/presence/voice on-premises, conferencing in the cloud)

No

No

PowerShell support

Yes

No

Bigfin (web) UI

Yes

No

Attendee/user reporting

No

No

Reporting (CDR, QoE)

Yes

No

Third-party API support

Client-side APIs

Yes

Yes

Server-side APIs

Yes

No

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2 thoughts on “Lync delivery models: dedicated vs online

  1. PMNunes 17/08/2011 / 13:28

    Luís, este artigo está muito bom. Finalmente vejo um argumentário bem feito. Uma análise muito boa, com conselhos práticos e demonstrativos que podem ajudar quem vende mas acima de tudo, quem compra.

    Obrigado
    PN

    • LuisR 19/08/2011 / 07:26

      Obrigado pela opinião e suporte 😉

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