During the last 4 years I have been involved in developing a business that has the highest skilled, specialist Microsoft resources in the country. You can’t be all things to all people so we focus. Our focus is Cloud (Office 365), Unified Communications (Lync and Exchange) and Systems Management (System Center and Forefront).
Developing skills for any product requires substantial and ongoing investment. These skills are hard to acquire and are not available with just a few days of training. They require literally months of training and development and then you are trained but don’t have any real world experience.
With Lync for example, after the Microsoft training the engineer needs training on the gateways (Sonus or AudioCodes), handsets (Polycom, SNOM etc), video conferencing units (Polycom or LifeSize), call accounting (CVT), Contact Center (Zeacom, Interactive Intelligence, Aspect) – you get the idea. Installing then supporting Lync is not easy at all.
After the training, mentoring takes an engineer with lots of training to a highly productive, valuable resource – the rocket surgeon! This training and mentoring takes over a year before we take the “training wheels” off of an engineer.
The investment required to skill up a resource to be ready to build and support Lync is SUBSTANTIAL. Be careful about who you pick to build your mission critical environment – pick the rocket surgeon.