Why Should I Upgrade to Microsoft Lync 2013?

August 26, 2014   //   Unified Communications, , , , ,

So you’re still running Microsoft Lync 2010 in your environment. Why not? Just because Microsoft comes out with a new version of a product, why should you upgrade? Read my blog on to learn more.

The upgrade argument has been heard in IT over and over again. It’s as old as dirt. What am I going to gain by upgrading? I want to know how it will benefit me. Well, here are few compelling reasons why your organization should definitely consider upgrading to Microsoft Lync 2013:

Conferencing Improvements

Wish you could see your coworkers in HD? Microsoft Lync Server 2013 now supports HD video. You can get up to 1080P resolution in both two-party and multi-party conferences. For video conferences with more than two people, users can see video of the other participants in the Gallery View. The new default video codec is H.264 SVC video. H.264 SVC video supports a greater range of resolutions and frame rates.

Lync Web App

Let’s face it, the Lync 2010 web app was good but it was limited. Enter the Lync 2013 Lync Web App! The Lync 2013 version of Lync Web App now has full Conference support with A/V! It makes it much easier for users without the Lync client to join a meeting via their browser with full audio and video. You now get the full Lync meeting experience which includes: HD video, VoIP, IM and desktop, application and PowerPoint sharing.

Persistent Chat

In Lync 2010 Persistent Chat was called Group Chat. You had to use a Group Chat Admin tool, a Group Chat Configuration Tool and your users had to access it with a separate client. It was a pain. That is not the case in Lync 2013! You can now Administrate Persistent Chat in the Lync Server Control Panel and the configuration settings for the Persistent Chat Server are now integrated into the Topology Builder and users can access it from their regular Lync client!

New Exchange 2013 Integration

Wish you had one place for both your Lync and Outlook contacts? The unified contact store allows you to store your Lync 2013 contact list in Exchange 2013. You can manage the contact store from Lync 2013, Outlook 2013 and the Outlook Web App. This means you now have a single consolidated store for your email, IM, conferencing, etc.

The Lync 2013 Client

This is probably the biggest selling point as far as your user base. The new 2013 Lync Client is full of great new features and improvements. The interface itself is much more modern looking and clean. Persistent Chat rooms are now included in the client making it easier to keep ongoing discussions with your coworkers. The new display options are also great! You can view all of your contacts by Groups, Status or Relationships. Did I mention Tabbed Conversations? You now have the ability to keep all of you calls, IM conversations and chats in one conversation Window. The Tabbed Conversations feature is definitely a game changer in my opinion.

The Lync 2013 Client: A Cleaner Look

Why Upgrade Microsoft Lync 2013 Photo 1

The Lync 2013 Client: Tabbed Conversations

Why Upgrade Microsoft Lync 2013 Photo 2

Topology Changes

Microsoft has consolidated the Lync Monitoring and Archiving roles into the Front End Server as built in options. The Director role is no longer recommended but optional. Microsoft says, “You can safely exclude the Director with confidence that the Front End Servers will provide the same services in their place.” Additionally, the Front End Pool Architecture has changed. The Back End Database is no longer the real-time store in a pool. User information is now kept on three Front End Servers in the pool. One server is a mast copy and the other two servers are replicas. If a Front End Server that is a mast goes down, one of the other replicas is automatically promoted. This distribution of data storage eliminates the single point of failure of a single backend server.

Pool Pairing

In the Lync 2010 server, the HA scheme was server redundancy via Front End pools. The Lync Server 2013 introduces a new HA scheme by enabling “pool pairing” in which you pair pools together in the same or different geographical location. If one of the Front End pools goes down, you can fail over users to the other pool.

The bottom line is that Microsoft has taken a good product and made it a must have product. The improvements made in Lync 2013 make it much more resilient, with a better user experience that’s easier to manage.

To learn more about all of the cool new features Microsoft Lync 2013 has to offer for conferencing, voice and more join us for our next complimentary Chicagoland Unified Communications event.

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Microsoft Lync 2013 Success Story

Watch our video below to see how Microsoft Lync and SWC’s Microsoft Lync Managed Services offering has made Tandem HR more productive than ever!

Microsoft Lync Managed Services Solution Tandem HR