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Lync 2013 Mobile for Android First Look

 

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Lync 2013 Mobile for Android is available on the Google store. Below is our first look and photo tour of the app. At the end of this photo tour I have written my notes and thoughts. Enjoy.

Status Screen:
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Voice Calling Screen

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dtmf dial pad during a call

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Dialer

Set Status

Instant Message

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IM using Android Speech recognition (very nice)

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Making a call from Android Contact List you are given a choice of which app to use. Lync 2013 Mobile is among this list.

Video Call (this is a video call to a Lync 2010 user)

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Video Call: You can switch cameras and orientation mid call.

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Incoming Call

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Settings

Call forwarding

Landscape works in all screens fine. Notice the buttons at the top get smaller

Call Via Work Call back (it doesn’t appear the user can select call-via-work versus voip at dial time like Windows Phone)

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Swipe to get to IM from a Voice/Video call

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New modality request

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Call History: Notice the little “1” on the conversation history “tab” indicating 1 missed call.

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Not connected” indication

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Both Lync 2010 and 2013 can be installed and (it seems) run at the same time. Do note that Lync 2013 will not work with Lync Server 2010.

Some Things I Noticed:

  • You can swipe as well as tap between screens (not possible on Lync 2010 Android)
  • Entire app is VERY snappy on my Nexus 4
  • You can sync Lync contacts to your Android device
  • You cannot search Android contacts from Lync (not a big deal because you can dial from Android contact list)
  • Even if you exit Lync from App Switcher, incoming calls will come through
  • NOT supported on Android tablets
  • Contacts added on Lync 2013 (PC) will show up immediately
  • Lync dialer does not normalize number
  • NOTE: Appears there is no way to initiate multi-party IM from this client (Is this correct?)
  • No Visual Voicemail

Observations

  • The app is VERY snappy on my Nexus 4
  • Seems like the Lync 2013 Mobile for Android is ever so slightly more basic than iOS and Windows Phone Versions of Lync 2013 Mobile (but still great app)
    • No way to select Call-Via-Work versus Voip at time of call
    • Can’t search device contacts from Lync App (in fairness Lync contacts are added to Android contact list as an alternative)
    • No Visual Voicemal
  • Overall very nice app

More Detailed NotesAlso, you may want to read this blog article that answers in detail, a variety of call situations and how Lync 2013 Mobile (not android specifically) handles them.

  • Question Your Users Will Ask About Lync 2013 Mobile: Click Here
  • Which Android Devices Will Lync 2013 Mobile Run On? Click Here

Get Lync 2013 Mobile for Android Click Here:

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Lync 2013 Mobile is *NOT* supported on tablet. But what does it look like on a bigger form factor device?

Audio call

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Video

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conversations

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Instant Message thread

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Contacts Screen

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Dialer

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apk: click here

Nexus7 ($199) + HTC Mini (?) + Lync 2013

Google’s Cross-Platform Messaging App: Babel


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Google is said to be working on a new cross-platform messaging app to unify its many messaging platforms into one brand. Originally it was reported that this effort was called “Babble” but now it has been corrected to “Babel” (According to the Biblical story of Babel, it seems “Babel” would describe Google’s current disconnected bunch of messaging apps better than one that is united. Perhaps the code-name really should be “reverse-Babel”?)

Babel, not Babble:
http://bgr.com/2013/03/29/google-babel-messaging-service-rumor-403387/

More:
http://www.androidauthority.com/googles-unified-chat-service-to-be-named-babel-seamless-integration-across-five-platforms-180946/

The 2013 Unified Communication “Fortune 1000 List” DNS Report

 

In 2011 I wrote a report about Microsoft UC based on statistics derived from publicly available DNS records. This year we will be able to compare the same domains and what has changed in the Microsoft UC/Lync. We will also add to our report data about XMPP servers.  While there are some challenges with using DNS records that I will outline below, I think the data demonstrates what is happening, at least in a general way, in the real world.

Definition of Terms

To avoid using the generic “Microsoft UC” we will use Lync to refer to any Microsoft UC products. This could be LCS, OCS, Lync or Lync Online/Office 365.

We understand the UC federation can mean different things to different people and vendors, but for the purposes of this report we are using the definition as outlined in this article “What Is UC Federation?”

Notes About DNS Based Data and Our Domain List

This report is not perfect and we want to clearly indicate what we see as weaknesses that one should be aware of when considering this report.

  • This report is based on querying DNS SRV records
  • Having the noted DNS record does not guarantee that an organization has fully implemented the indicated UC as the organization could be merely testing or piloting
  • Somewhat in the same vein of thought but having the DNS records reveals nothing about how many users are using the indicated UC solution
  • We are using the Fortune 1000 domains list by Andrew Pavlo compiled in 2008. We have decided to use this same list to ensure that domains are the same as tested before for comparison.
2011 Report Results

You can read the entire report by clicking here.

2013 Report Results
Lync and XMPP External Client Access Enabled Among Fortune 1000 Domains

Fortune 1000 Domains With Lync (_sip._tls.) or XMPP External Client Access Enabled (_xmpp-client._tcp. SRV record present)

Lync 370 37%
XMPP 20 2%

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Lync and XMPP Federation Among Fortune 1000 Domains

With Lync (_sipfederationtls._tcp.) or XMPP Federation Enabled. (_xmpp-server._tcp. SRV record present)

Lync 382 38%
XMPP 108 11%

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Federation Growth Among Fortune 1000 Domains Comparison Between 11/2011 and 3/2013

In about 1 year 4 months Lync grew about 11% points among our fortune 1000 domain list. (since we did not have numbers on XMPP we can’t give growth of XMPP)

11/2013 255 26%
3/2013 382 38%

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Skype 6.3 Brings Skype to Lync Voice Federation

NOTE: You must have a Microsoft Account associated with the Skype user you want to call. Click Here

Skype 6.3 seems to bring Skype to Lync Voice. With Skype 6.2 we noticed that voice “kinda/partially” worked, but it appears that with Skype 6.3 calls can go in both directions and Caller ID seems to work correctly.

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Skype 6.3 required for Lync <-> Skype Voice federation.

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In Skype 6.2 the caller ID would not always indicate correctly, in 6.3 this seems to have been fixed and caller ID is indicated correctly in both Lync and Skype.

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Video is NOT enabled a this time. (This means Lync <-> Skype voice is AHEAD of schedule and Video is still on track for the timeline Microsoft has indicated)

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below is what happens if you try to start video from Lync (as expected)

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Below you can see presence coming from Lync to Skype:

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If you want my detailed analysis of how Lync <-> Skype federation works technically and behind the scenes, please click here.

Some other Lync <-> Skype articles you might have interest in:

  • How Do I Enable Lync <-> Skype Federation from Skype Side? Click Here
  • How Much Will Lync <-> Skype Federation Cost? Click Here
  • How Does Lync <-> Skype Federation Work Under the Hood? Click Here
  • Nov 2012: Lync <-> Skype IM/P Has Started Working: Click Here
  • Feb 2013: Lync <-> Skype Voice Has Started Working for Some: Click Here

XMPP Server Research

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I’ve built an app, the “Who Can Federate Tool”, that can search your Outlook contact list for Microsoft Lync enabled domains. ( with pretty good, but not perfect accuracy via the presence of a DNS SRV record _tcp._tls.) Thanks to the power of crowdsourcing, this tool and helpful participants have discovered over 15,000 domains that appear to be Lync federation enabled at some level.

Lately I’ve been looking more closely at XMPP and the federation opportunities that lie in XMPP.

A couple things I noticed in my research so far:

  • Google Has Started to Block XMPP Invites: Click Here
  • Lync 2013 XMPP functionality built into Edge Server Means Much More Connectivity: Click Here

But I started to wonder: How many XMPP servers are out there? Why not search for XMPP servers facing the web in the same way we search for Lync servers, by looking for the presence of an XMPP SRV record? (_xmpp-server._tcp.)  I have a bulk DNS query tool that I developed to mass test a list of domains for presence of records. I have this tool chugging through the domains that currently are know to have Lync federation…

XMPP Server Initial Findings

Of the 15,255  known Lync federation enabled domains, only 1,201 or 8% are also XMPP federation4 enabled. This would indicate that the vast majority of Microsoft Lync implementations could benefit by implementing Lync Server 2013 XMPP built-in functionality.

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Of Fortune 500 companies, 70 or 14% appear to have a public facing XMPP federation4.

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XMPP Federation in Fortune 1000 companies2, 108 or 11% appear to have a public facing XMPP federation4.

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Fortune 1000 companies with external client access via XMPP is 20 or 2%.

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Research Ongoing…

1 Response to ._sip DNS considered “Microsoft UC public facing deployment”.
1 Response to .sipfederationtls DNS considered “federated to UC partners”
2 2008 Fortune 1000 list by Andrew Pavlo: Click Here
3 100 Oldest .COM Domains by tgdaily: Click Here
4 Response to ._XMPP-Server SRV DNS Record Considered “XMPP Federation”
5 Response to .XMPP-Client SRV DNS Record Consider “External Client Access”

http://wiki.xmpp.org/web/SRV_Records
http://www.lynclog.com/2012/07/lync-2013-xmpp-federation.html
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-informal-report-approximately-23-of.html

Google, WebRTC and Ads: Could Ads Show Up In Future Video Calls Coming from Chrome?

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Ads show up in Google searches. Ads show up in YouTube videos. Ads show up in Gmail.

But what about WebRTC? Could calls originating from Chrome have ads inserted? Could ads eventually play before you video call can commence? Or could there be transparent ads (much like Google+ water mark below?) at the bottom of a video calls? Or perhaps even more innovative: real-time transcription could suggest great solutions to problems being discussed in your video call or conference?

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Just out of curiosity I’m wondering if this has been guaranteed against? Or is this just crazy and technically impossible? Would like your input. For some reason my “googling” seems to return nothing on this…

What Is UC Federation?

I find myself in discussions that come down to what are we talking about when we refer to “UC Federation” is so I thought I would write down my definition so I can refer others to see how I define it. (and how I came to the definition)

Communication and trust between different organizations and UC platforms as if you were on the same platform  while each organization maintains control of internal affairs. Instant Message and presence modes of communication presumed with additional modes a possibility.

Some of My Rationale

Since in “UC federation” we are using the word “federation” I references the Oxford and Random House:

a group of states with a central government but independence in internal affairs –Oxford

the formation of a political unity, with a central government, by a number of separate states, each of which retains control of its own internal affairs –Random House

I have burrowed from the the Oxford Dictionary in the area of “maintaining internal control” which I think is very core to UC federation.  But using “Federation” could be problematic because of the aspect of “centralized control”. It is not defined this strong in all dictionaries and UC Vendors often talk about UC Federation in the absence of “centralized control”. But I would like your input:

survey tool



Other definition:
NextPlane: http://nxpfs.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/what-is-uc-federation/
UC Strategies: Click Here

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Interworked

Corporate VP Microsoft Lync Derek Burney: “Microsoft Will Support WebRTC As Soon As The Standard Is Ratified”

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We have known for some time that Microsoft is doing work around webRTC (or a standard like it CU-RTC-WEB). Yesterday in a Q&A after his keynote at Enterprise Connect 2013 Derek Burney, Corporate VP Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Office Data, noted that Microsoft is excited about the prospects plugin-less media coming to Microsoft Lync. His comment:

“…the Microsoft Lync Web App uses a plugin today. Microsoft will support webRTC as soon as the standard is ratified. This is a super exciting initiative.”

This is of course not the first time Microsoft has mentioned Lync and webRTC. On Jan 17, 2013, Adalberto Foresti, Principal Program Manager Microsoft Open Technologies, on the interoperability@microsoft blog noted that Microsoft has a CU-RTC-Web prototype and that CU-RTC-WEB or even RTC-Web could be used with Microsoft Lyn'c’s new UCWA API:

“UCWA can be layered on the existing draft WebRTC API, however it would interoperate more easily with webRTC implementations if the standard adopted would follow a cleaner CU-RTC-Web proposal.”

Burney and Foresti both seem to have Microsoft Lync foremost in their minds as they think about webRTC (or Microsoft’s own initiative CU-RTC-Web). The two areas they have explicitly mentioned:

Aswath Rao, communication strategist at EnThinnai and webRTC watcher, notes that “Microsoft Lync already conforms to webRTC framework so it merely needs to align with webRTC once it is ratified.” The Microsoft Lync Web App is already doing the kind of functionality webRTC promises and achieves voice & video via a plugin today.

Observers have noted that webRTC is not likely to show up on all browsers for some time. But panelists at Enterprise Connect 2013 have noted that the benefits of webRTC could be realized sooner via webRTC plug-ins for browsers that do not initially support webRTC natively. This intermediate step could provide the benefit of replacing many plugins for one plugin until the browsers support it natively.

<the end>

EC13 WebRtc Comment:
http://www.nojitter.com/post/240151301/microsoft-lync-takes-center-stage/
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2013/03/lync-news-out-of-enterprise-connect.html

UCWA and WebRTC:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2013/03/lync-news-out-of-enterprise-connect.html

Microsoft Lync: The Most Open and Actually Connected UC Solution

NOTE: This article is in progress and may get additional data and corrections.
NOTE: Lync can do all the below federation without additional hardware, software or licenses cost from Lync perspective.

Which major unified communication solution connects and allows you to collaborate with the most people outside your organization? In many cases with no extra hardware?

Below are some of the UC solutions Lync Server 2013 allow you to collaborate with “out of box”:

Solution

 

Users

Modalities

How

Lync On-Premise

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+15k
Known Orgs

All

 
Office365

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+5m

All

Click Here

Live Messenger*

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?

IM/P/Audio/Video

Click Here

AOL/AIM

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4m?

IM/P

Click Here

Skype

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280m

IM/P/Audio**

n/a

USA SMS mobile*** image

+300m

IM

Click Here

Google Talk

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423m

IM/P

Click Here
Click Here

Cisco Webex

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unknown

IM/P

Click Here

Cisco Jabber

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unknown

IM/P

?

IBM Sametime

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unknown

IM/P

Click Here4

Openfire

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unknown

IM/P

?

Avaya

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unknown

IM/P

Click Here

BlackBerry

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unknown

IM/P

Click Here

* will soon be rolled into Skype
** Audio coming in 2013
*** Using AOL PIC; Okay, I know we’re stretching, but there IS connectivity!
4) IBM SameTime requires gateway from IBM to connect to other solutions: Click Here

Some Commercial “Federation” Solutions

http://www.nextplane.net/microsoft-supported-uc-platforms.html
http://www.thrupoint.com/solutions/uc-federation.html

Conclusion

Perhaps you disagree? If you have a UC solution you would nominate as the “most connected feel free to nominate via comments. (But please do include sources to support)

<the end>

Skype 1/3 of Phone Call Traffic:
http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/02/skype-calls-now-equivalent-to-one-third-of-global-phone-traffic/