Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to replicate Remote Call Control (RCC) in a pure Lync environment

This morning I came across the article of how to "convert" RCC from OCS 2007 to Lync Server 2010.

Although you can indeed enable RCC on Lync, it still blows my mind as to how many pieces there are to this solution and how complex it is to troubleshoot.

I understand the desire to utilize an existing PBX investment. After all I used to work for a PBX manufacturer. For some customers they may be required to keep the PBX for tax reasons.

But, for those that just simply do not want to let go of their phone because they like how a real phone feels, I have an alternative that is a pure OCS/Lync solution...
Are you ready for this?

A USB cable

That's right… A USB cable.
When Enterprise Voice is enabled on OCS/Lync there is an option to deploy an IP Phone or USB audio device. Both options, when connected with a USB port on your PC, automatically are detected and start to behave like an RCC solution.

You can make a call from your PC or your phone and if you put a call on hold using your phone you can pick up using your PC. Same goes for mute and anything else the phone can do. The PC client can even sign in the IP phone for you, saving you from that annoying LCD touch screen.

It is seamless, and easy.

Because it is so easy, I think a case could be made to justify the replacement of the PBX phones just in the cost of installing and maintaining RCC.

Total Cost of Ownership is a big deal with RCC because it either costs a lot to hire a professional that can understand both telephony and data, or you have a to pay a systems integrator that understands both telephony and data.

I have done a lot of RCC systems and none of them have gone smoothly. There is always some little issue that takes an enormous effort to resolve.
Nortel/Avaya Converged Office for the CS 1000 was probably the best solution for RCC, but once a customer had it installed they were disappointed by the lack of some features in OCS that a pure Enterprise Voice client would have (Simultaneous Ring for example)

With a USB cable, you have all the OCS/Lync features available and you can control a real phone on the desk. If it is an IP phone, then when the PC is gone or shutdown it will still operate as a stand-alone phone just like the PBX phone did.

So what do you say? Weeks and possibly months of troubleshooting or a USB cable.

Feel free to contact me (at jmckinney at if you would like to talk more about this solution or to setup a demo so you can experience what this solution looks like.

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