Microsoft Unified Technology Event for Enterprise Will Replace Lync Conference


It looks like our beloved Lync Conference will be rolled into a huge, unified technology event the week of May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago. This whopping tech conference will combine:

  • SharePoint Conference
  • Lync Conference
  • Exchange Conference
  • Project Conference
  • TechEd North America

Think About: How to Make Sub-Conferences Better Together?

No one likes change, but the reality is that in May 2015 this is what is going to happen. What can we do to make the best of it? Actually this is the question Microsoft is looking for input on as well!

  • How can we preserve the benefits of the smaller events combined in the big event?
  • Are there actual benefits of the bigger event we can leverage?
  • What can MVP & others do to make the event better?

If you have any ideas your welcome to comment or interact on twitter.


Since there will be others to take care of the Cons, I'll list some of the benefits that come to mind:

  • Attendees will get to "TechEd-SharePoint-Lync-MEC-Project" Conference(s)!
  • The answer to all the "Will you be at X Microsoft Conference" is…YES! (If you make it to MUTEE that is)
  • Maybe all attendees will get some cool new Microsoft gadget?
  • You will get a chance to visit the crazy Willis Tower glass Ledge click here
  • A much wider audience reach

Some FAQ

Q. Will this conference replace other conferences?
A. Yes, according to…

  • "Microsoft say it replaces TechEd (I asked)" –Mary Joe Foley (Source: Mary Jo Foley)
  • "To be clear, TechEd lives on. This event will be a part of TechEd." –Steve Guggenheimer Click Here
  • Maybe a better way to say it is that all the conferences will continue as a new combined conference?

Q. TechEd NA 2014 was 5 Days and "MUTEE" 2015 will be 5 Days, How will this be more than TechEd?
A. Perhaps the "Epic after-hour festivities…" noted by Julia White? click here Okay, seriously, it sounds like the intent is to bring more firepower to a "TechEd like" event. Or to quote Jamie Stark "much more than…a track & booth" click here

Q. How many attendees are anticipated at "MUTEE" 2015?
A. lists attendees as 20,000. Click Here For a comparison, TechEd NA 2014 was approximately 8,000 according to WindowsITPro. Click Here

Q. What will that actual name of the event be?
A. According to Rod Trent of WindowsITPro, "Unified Technology Event for Enterprises" is an interim/informal name. Previously there was Microsoft communication that there would not be a conference named "TechEd", but more recent Microsoft communication, according to, seems to have softened that to: "...can't confirm specifics on whether the event in May 2015 will be called 'TechEd' but I'll have more to share on the naming in the coming months." Click here


It seems Microsoft is taking the "Unified" theme very seriously.


Save the date

First Impression Review of Grandstream GXV3275 IP Video Phone Running Lync


The Grandstream GXV3275 is a 2nd generation Android IP video phone from Grandstream. It has a built in SIP client and and can also run app store applications. One of the featured apps in the Grandstream store is Microsoft Lync 2013 Mobile, which is the focus of this review.

First, some of the interesting specs:

  • Android 4.2 so it runs Lync Mobile 2013
  • 7” 1024x600 Capacitive touch screen (feels like a mobile phone, responsive, swipe etc)
  • 1 Megapixel CMOS camera with physical privacy shutter
  • Dedicated volume, home, menu and back touch “buttons”
  • 2 1GB Ethernet ports so it plugs into your network
  • Bluetooth & WIFI 802.1b/g/n supported
  • HDMI to plug into a big screen
  • 2 USB, Headset and SD memory card slot on the right side behind a
  • Included in the box
    • power cord (also supports POE)
    • Wall mount (don’t expect to see a lot of these on the wall?)
    • touch screen wipe!
    • Manual, Cat5 cable


Video Review


Quick Photo Tour

Camera Close up

Camera vertical tilt knobIMG_20140709_173935










Ports on right side: 2 USB, SD, headset and HDMI. Nice lid covers them when not in use.IMG_20140709_173956

Back view: power, 2 1GB ethernet, headset, handsetIMG_20140710_145949

Lync Voicemail does not play directly, needs to call you backIMG_20140709_174031



My initial impression is good build quality and the GXV3275 runs the Lync 2013 app just fine. The 7” touch screen is responsive, nice size & brilliant and you can use it to control Lync just like on any Android tablet. At the moment the integration between the handset and Lync is not smooth and needs improvement. Also, the phone has a message waiting indicator but it is not integrated to Lync at this time. With improvement in the area of hardware integration the GXV3275 could be a very interesting option for Lync users.


More Details:

Matt Landis’ Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 Notes


I will post my news, notes and observations about all things UC that peak my interest at WPC14. This post will be updated as we go. You can bookmark

My Notes Out of WPC New On Top

  • 7/15 – Microsoft Announced End-Of-Life for Lync Hosting Pack Version 2 (Based on Lync Server 2013) at WPC 2014. Will be supported up to 2018 More Details
  • 7/15 – Cisco & Microsoft Announce Multi-Year, WorldWide Sales & Channel Program for Infrastructure click here
    • No mention of Lync or UC in this article, but previously Cisco has noted 2 way video content sharing on the way. Good to see! click here
  • 7/15 – Guys at Combine Power of RaspberryPi and Lync UCWA to show Conceptual Possibilities with Lync Web API’s in What they are calling PiLync


  • 7/15 – Microsoft Notes Meteoritic Rise of Lync via @RunaM_Westcon
    • 40Q’s double digit revenue growth
    • #1 Enterprise Voice lines shipped
    • 60% Enterprise deployments
  • FY15 Areas of Content Investments for Lync via @WestconUC


  • 7/15 – Attendant Pro for Lync Get’s Full Exchange Calendar Integration & Partner Program
  • 7/15 – snom Makes RC Firmware Available to Partners (click here, behind password) which brings
    • Features
      • BTOE
      • Server side conferencing
      • click to join conferencing
      • Exchange Calendar Integration
      • Contact Photos
      • Busy on Busy/Callback on busy
      • UI Enhancement
      • 802.1x authentication support
    • See my video review of these features from LyncConf14 click here
  • 7/15 – Polycom’s UCS 5.1.1 now available for Lync Qualified devices and supports sidecar
    • Here is Download page click here
    • Here is my VVX Color Expansion module review from 3/2014 click here
  • 7/11 – Audiocodes OneBox 365


  • 7/9 - Among the various cool things Polycom is slated to show off at WPC is “Polycom CX300 II” which peaks my curiosity: Typo or updates to CX300? click here
    • Not a Typo according to @adamjacobs. It is a newer rev. of CX300
    • my unofficial sources say CX300 II is getting some “minor cosmetic changes”. This may include loosing the distinctive Lync presence light.
    • 7/14 - Thanks to @adamjacobs Below is the Polycom CX300 R2 with changes
      • new Polycom logo
      • self Presence indicator removed


Polycom Press Release


Sonus SBC1000/2000 Release 3.2 Gives You PRI, FXS or FXO Ports Now & You License Enable Them When Needed


With Sonus SBC1000/2000 release 3.2 comes:

  • Integration with the Sonus Element Management System (EMS),
  • the normal handful of firmware fixes/tweaks
  • perhaps most importantly Sonus now gives you PRI, FXS or FXO ports now and a simple license purchase enables them whenever you are ready.

So what does this mean for Lync implementers and ongoing support on the ground? Well, that discussion about whether the customer needs certain ports (FXS, FXO or PRI) and how many ports has just gotten a lot easier: Just order the Sonus SBC 1000 or 2000 model that includes the projected future port need and only pay for the license to use them when the need arises, with the added benefit of no need to physically install the ports at that time.  If my memory is correct the devices can include up to 8 PRI that can be license activated later on.


Sonus is pretty much giving away FXS, FXO and PRI ports and you pay when you need them.

And for the ongoing support scenario this eliminates the potentially confusion of ordering the wrong parts, getting a field tech out to the site and opening the SBC1000/2000 device and upgrading it.

In my discussion with Christie Blake and David Sauerhaft it was noted that there will be ~16 port configurations for SBC1000. I suspect this move is to bring the obvious benefits to partner/customers and but also to shorten the somewhat long supply chain times we saw with Sonus SBC1000/2000 products in the past. This will really be welcome.

Another question that came to mind was how much you can “load up a device with ports” you are not going to initially pay for. Can I get a 16FXS + 8PRI and only initially pay for 1FXS and 1PRI?

In the Press Release Sonus notes “Sonus is the only SBC vendor enabling session and port capacity on branch office SBCs to be upgraded using software without the requirement of hardware upgrades…”.

The industry is used to buying hardware and enabling pure software functionality & ports, but this is the first I’ve seen buying hardware with physical ports and just paying for them when you need them.  In my opinion Sonus SBC1000/2000 devices should be top of mind when considering a Lync SBC, gateway or SBA for branch offices.

Sonus PR:

Avaya E169 IP Media Station: How Tablets Will Affect Desk Phones?


It looks like various vendors are trying to figure out how BYOD will exist in relation to the the IP desk phone. One thing that I keep trying to figure out is why these tablet/phone converters look like a speaker with a handset laid on top? If they are serious shouldn’t they attempt a more integrated look? (not that Avaya is anymore guilty of this than all the other similar devices)

It’s interesting to see Avaya bring this type of device to the market.

Some things interesting to note

  • Media station brings POE
  • 2 1 GB Ethernet ports
  • 3.5mm headset jack (not supported in this release)
  • USB: Apple Lightning, Apple 30-pin and Micro-USB cables

Back view


Looks like this device may have been OEM’d by Invoxia as pointed out by @brian_riggs.