The Burning Question About The Microsoft Lync Launch: Top 10 Answers From A UC Perspective
UC capabilities are transforming a wide range of communications and business process past practices.
Thousands of enterprises already own licenses for tens of millions of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 user "seats" which will convert into Lync licenses. Millions (likely tens of millions) more will be licensed in the coming year.
The burning question for those customers and for the unified communications (UC) industry at large will be, "How does my enterprise make the best use of these licenses I own, or am considering owning?"
Tomorrow, November 17, 2010, Microsoft will officially launch Lync, their newly renamed Unified Communications suite. The successor to Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Lync 2010 fills in a number of the features which some customers and some industry analysts were calling for to make OCS 2007 R2 a complete enterprise communications solution. In addition, Microsoft has also announced that a cloud-based version of Lync will be available in the Microsoft Office 365 suite in 2011. This will involve even more customers in answering the burning question.
Fortunately, the answers to the burning question are very clear, based on the growing base of customer experiences and successes with UC in the past half-decade. There are nearly a thousand case studies published by a dozen vendors to describe UC successes. The Microsoft library of UC case studies, which they call "evidence" is very impressive, with 199 write-ups and videos from around the globe that span a broad spectrum of industries and a wide range of Use Cases.
When UniComm Consulting is asked this burning question by our clients, we answer it in context of this definition of Unified Communications: "Communications integrated to optimize business processes." This focuses attention on the business outcomes, beyond just the technologies. We also consider the question in context of other options available for the customer, whether from IP PBX suppliers, video system providers, conferencing system providers, UC system providers, or mobility solution providers. Just attend our sessions at Enterprise Connect and Interop (video here from Interop Las Vegas 2010) to see the major options for UC solutions and the many vendors for each option.
But this week, the burning question is about Lync. So, here are my top ten answers to the burning question: