Lync is finding its voice in the UC space

Toyota recently announced plans to deploy a cutting-edge, unified Microsoft communications and collaboration solution – one that includes voice, IM, video and productivity – to nearly a quarter million of its employees.

The Japan-based automaker, which holds offices worldwide, unveiled its plans to deploy the full Microsoft collaboration suite to 200,000 global employees on October 1st, 2012. While this may be big news for Toyota, the move further illustrates the “enterprise-class quality and scalability” of the platform, said Microsoft’s chief operating officer Kevin Turner in a press release.

This major announcement is a signal to IT leadership that it’s time to take a closer look at Microsoft’s full unified collaboration and communications offering.Although the company is better known in the unified communication (UC) space for its IM and presence technology, announcements like Toyota’s serve to underline just how far the company has come with the rest of its UC offering. Microsoft’s Lync brings together all the components of a genuine UC platform, allowing users to keep track of their contacts’ availability, send an IM, start or join an audio, video or web conference or make a phone call – all through a consistent, familiar interface.

One doesn’t have to look far to find other high-profile deployments of Lync in the enterprise. From oil companies in Indonesia, massive construction companies in Germany, and elite universities across the United States, Microsoft has dozens of major Lync case studies, all involving thousands of users and mission critical infrastructure.

While Lync’s enterprise voice offering combines the telephony of a traditional IP PBX with the familiar IM and conferencing solutions, IT departments still often face challenges in adopting the Microsoft voice solution, in favor of other competing offerings.

The reason for the challenge may be more cultural than a performance or technological issue. Lync, for example, is a Microsoft product and, as such, doesn’t traditionally reside in the same area of IT that telephony does. Telephony may live in any number of different areas these days because of the different types of approaches VoIP may take. As a result, internal collaboration and consensus is challenging if this isn’t addressed ahead of time.

There are several benefits to Lync’s UC solution that increasingly make it an optimal choice.

Perhaps the most appealing feature of Lync is its extensibility, which is the ability for internal developers to customize the solution to better serve the needs of the organization. From plug and play, no-coding required, embedding of Lync into business-critical applications, to an easy and familiar framework (.NET) allowing customers to make their own user experience, this flexibility can have significant benefits to both users and the bottom line.

Whatever your roadmap or current technological needs are, Softchoice has the agnostic, assessment-led services to help you make the best decision when it comes to unified collaboration technologies.

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About Lesley Morris

Lesley is a Communications Lead at Softchoice with over 15 years of technology marketing experience, and provides thoughtful content that creates insights, ideas and knowledge.