Microsoft Lync as a Strategic Piece in Microsoft’s Unified Communications Forecast

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Many of us in the unified communications space are closely watching the face-off between Cisco and Microsoft, the top two vendors mentioned in the October 2012 TechTarget survey, to see what impact this will have on the UCC marketplace and the contact center industry in particular.

Does Lync have the robust range of capabilities it needs to outmatch its larger telecom opponents?

Not only do we believe that the the answer is yes, Lync also has the distinct advantage of being able to integrate seamlessly with other Microsoft applications already in use throughout most businesses, such as Outlook, SharePoint and Exchange. This may be a major contributing factor to Lync’s rise in popularity. In many organizations, we are seeing a shift in more decision-making power to IT managers who have a inclination to desire synergy among existing systems. Microsoft Lync is a natural extension as a UC solution for an enterprise that already has a solid investment in the Microsoft stack. In contrast, managers from a telecommunications background might be more likely to choose a third-party UCC vendor such as Avaya (which ranked third in the survey).

According to UCStrategies:

Conducted in October 2012, the TechTarget survey of Unified Communications questioned 348 enterprise IT respondents on the issue of their present UC deployments, structures and schedules for investments in the future, and preferences for UC vendors. The findings of the survey show that following years of discussion regarding the rise of UC, around 22.7 percent have fully distributed access to UC over their organizations, and an additional 26.4 percent had only partly distributed UC or provided it to a specific number of employees.

Read their full article, Microsoft Lync Poised to Attack Cisco’s Crown Position in UCC

Costs Vs. Benefits

A unified communications solution can not only boost competitiveness and improves business performance in today’s global environment, more enterprises are turning to unified communications as a way to resolve issues faster, increase revenue, reduce costs and enhance customer relationships. The most significant benefits mentioned by survey respondents had to do with collaboration and communication:

  •  57.5% noted the benefit of collaboration between corporations
  • 56% mentioned faster time to information
  • 55.5% saw the benefits of lower costs of communication

Where Lync will likely have the biggest edge over its competition comes in overcoming obstacles to implementation, such as:

  • A low number of trained IT staff (32.5%)
  • Determining the cost of implementation (25%)
  • Security concerns (23.3%)

If you’re attending the now sold-out Microsoft Lync Conference 2013, we hope see you there! Otherwise, be sure to join us in watching the opening keynote live on the conference website.