Sunday, September 01, 2013

UCS and Legacy Clients

Microsoft has provided some great integration features with the Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013 and one of the best feature is Unified Contact Store (UCS) , This feature provides us the ability to save and manage Lync contacts in Exchange Server and users can manage their Lync contacts on the fly without Lync client either using Outlook or Web mail.

Though this feature is a great add-on for users there is some restriction that causes Organizations to spend additional cost in terms of  upgrading the existing clients to Lync 2013 either Basic or Full to allow users to manage the contacts directly from their Lync clients as before , because if we enable this UCS feature users will no longer have ability to manage contacts from their existing Legacy client and either need to manage the client from outlook or web mail.

This is applicable for Lync 2010 client and Lync for Mac 2011 client, More information is available in the below Microsoft article

Users are unable to modify their contact lists in Lync 2010 and Lync for Mac 2011

In an On-Premise Environment we have the option to Administrate this feature either to enable it or disable it for users based on the requirement with the help of the client policy . Also we can roll back the user back to Lync Server from UCS.

Read here to know more :

How about O365 ?

This same issue is applicable for O365 environment post Service Upgrade and once the service upgrade completes either contact Microsoft team to disable the UCS for the tenant or update users regarding the current issue and educate them to use Outlook / Web mail  to manage their Lync contacts for some time and  plan for Lync 2013 client deployment at the earliest.

*Also working with Microsoft on my environment post Service Upgrade its confirmed that though Microsoft team disables UCS for the tenant during the migration once a user tries to access Lync 2013 client by any means UCS will get enabled by Client Policy as this is by design and enforced on the entire service in O365 and the only way is to update the environment with Lync 2013 clients or educate the user not to use the client on their own and get in to this issue.

Also this UCS once enabled for a Office 365 user creates a new issue with Hybrid Mailbox moves and its covered in detail in the below post

Office 365 Hybrid Mailbox Move Issues and Fixes

Finally, Understand the feature differences between Lync 2013 Basic Vs Full Client and choose the appropriate one for deployment for users as there are many features made available only with Full client. Since, all features are no longer available as with Lync 2010 client to deploy a single client for all the users.
Read here to know more :

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