Both Andy Thompson (@adthom1) and myself (@DarylHunter) represented Mirazon at the 2013 Lync Conference in San Diego. We had a really good time diving deeper into the Lync Ecosystem and rubbing elbows with a great group of MVPs and MCMs during several events over the course of the week. Below are just a few highlights we walked away with. Our brains are quite full and it will take a while to fully debrief all that we learned…and still have to learn!

Day 1:

With Lync 2013 Mobility clients, you have a fully immersive one-click join of meeting using the new Lync Client on iPhone, Android, Windows 8 Phone, and iPad. This was incredibly cool because of the higher resolution video (any video really), audio, and the ability to switch between video and meeting content on the device itself

For conference rooms and telepresence, the Lync Room System  is amazing.  It offers a native Lync registered endpoint and doesn’t rely on a “shell” to add Lync capabilities. It’s pretty neat.  You can see/read more here and here.

We learned about a new product from NetSocket at lunch.  We sat with two principals of the company and learned about their solution that helped to understand more about voice in infrastructure.  It’s like AppNeta + Solarwinds + PRTG + NTOP for Lync.

We also had some significant conversations with Clarity out of Chicago.  They make a call-center app that’s 100 percent Microsoft-UC focused. It’s unlike I3 or Altigen.  This could be a nice option for us when meeting with larger customers in the Lync space or mid-size organizations with call center needs.

That evening we went to a Dell event and ended up spending hob-nobbing with a few other Lync Partners.  We had a chance to meet Ken Lasko (@kenlasko), a popular UC blogger and writer of a Lync Voice tool that Mirazon uses with voice implementations. Through Ken, we met other Lync MVPs and MCMs from all over the world.  They were gracious to us from Kentucky (which they reminded us of many, many times) and gave us a lot of facetime discussing the product and pros/cons and, more importantly, the branding/recognition of who Mirazon is and how we play in the Lync space.

Day 2:

This is a generic statement; however, there are some pretty amazing things in Lync 2013 (that weren’t in 2010) and that are yet to come in both 2013 & Office 365/hybrid.

The afternoon keynote was mostly focused on how Lync is now under Skype. We learned that HP has 330 thousand global employees on Lync and use 370 million conference minutes a year. That’s unreal! We also learned that Marquette University in Wisconsin has 30,000 Lync users and has just one full-time employee managing all of that! They also focused on a unique remote educational project in Lee County, Kentucky, of all places.

At lunch we met with Kevin Lopez from Microsoft, our “Heartland Region” Microsoft representative in the unified communications space.  We were at a table with about a dozen other Microsoft (mostly Gold) Communications partners in our region. We also were introduced to Advatel in Australia. His organization has made a very affordable Lync Call/Contact Center app. It sounds impressive.

Day 3:

Day three were some of the deeper technical sessions. I spent my time in Persistent Chat and Andy was in a Powershell and Video Interoperability session with Kevin Peters (@lyncguy) who I think is one of the closest MVPs to us, based out of Cincinnati.  I can’t wait to get Lync 2013 in place soon to take advantage of some pretty neat stuff already available and more to come.

We wrapped up about noon.

That morning I made final walkthroughs in the vendor area making contact with current (Intelepeer, Polycom, Jabra, Dell) partners, and perhaps future (Plantronics, Advatel, SNOM) partners. I also stopped at the hands-on-labs area to say hi to the guys there that know some of our company’s principals.

In the afternoon and evening we focused our time with some connections we made in the MVP and MCM and Product Team Community. We ended up the evening around a firepit with MVP/MCM from Norway, Sweden, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, Belgium, and a few from the US.  I don’t know how we got invited, but we were happy to buy a round.  These guys we were with are regular contributors via blogs, social media and technet to the Lync Community. It was good to get to know them, and get the Mirazon name/brand out there.

Anyway, that’s that. Lync Conference 2013 was great. We’re looking forward to Lync Conference 2014! Will you be there?