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I've seen several brief articles on the Microsoft Lync server (formerly Office Communications Server) that talk about replacing PBX's, but in reading some press releases and websites I'm not finding it clear exactly what Lync actually does and doesn't do.

Can someone please tell me if Lync can perform the same functions and replace a linux-based Asterisk PBX? I've got an existing Asterisk PBX and VOIP phones I'd love to switch to a Windows-based system. I'd be looking for normal PBX functionality (e.g. voicemail, autoattendent).

Thanks!

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe it can: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/enterprise-voice-software.aspx

The enterprise voice features require a 'Plus CAL'. There's not a great deal of information around on how Lync connects to SIP trunks or PSTN gateways though.

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Supportdly it can - though getting support from vendors will be hard (seems it needs support for a trunk configuration that not all smaller ones will support).

That said, with FreeSwitch (free) in between as SIP switch if should be doable from waht I read at the moment. Trunk agaisnt FreeSwith (installed on the mediation server) and then hae FreeSwitch log in at your provider.

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Thanks! I hadn't looked at FreeSwitch yet. The only catch is that I need hardware support for a Sangoma A200 telephony card and it's not clear that's supported by FreeSwitch under Windows. I'm looking into that. –  Scott Bussinger Nov 9 '10 at 17:40

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 can be used as a pbx.

If you are only looking for a Windows based pbx you might also want to look at snom ONE. It will integrate to Lync Server and the snom phone handsets will work with Lync if you ever move up to lync.

If my calculations are correct, using Lync as a pbx will be something like $250 per device/user for CAL's plus the server license so there is a little cost. But Lync sure has some incredible features.

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Thanks! I hadn't heard of snom ONE before and it looks great, but no comments on support of non-snom SIP devices or my Sangoma A200 card so it's probably a non-starter despite the great price and the fact that it runs on Windows. –  Scott Bussinger Nov 9 '10 at 17:42
    
You're also correct that the pricing on Lync is way high for my application. The price isn't so bad for the base system, but the voice support stuff requires the extra CAL's and price it way out of range for me. –  Scott Bussinger Nov 9 '10 at 17:43
    
hey, how do you find the stability of Sangoma A200? We use patton gateways as I have been turned off at stability of internal card fxo/fxs devices. I'd love to hear you feedback. –  mattlandis Jan 8 '11 at 17:10

For voicemail and autoattendant you need Exchange 2007 or 2010. We use OCS 2007 R2 now with a SIP trunk from intelepeer.com for dialtone and it works great in a small business as long as you're willing to have all the infrastructure.

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Yes it can, and it's suppose to support SIP.

I've seen a demo from an MS Lync product manager and he was insisting on the fact that Polycom was the only HW provider that was fully supporting Lync so far.

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