Microsoft’s Office 365 Lync client has been up and running for several years now, providing Instant messaging, presence and video and Audio conferencing. But voice has been noticeably absent.
A few years ago in a halfhearted attempt, Microsoft partnered with telecom companies, especially in Europe, to try and piece together some kind of cloud voice offering. It unceremoniously tanked. Then they decided that customers would need to be running an Enterprise Lync server on their premise in order to bring voice into the Lync experience. Not a good story for several reasons, including that capital outlay for such a setup was not insignificant.
Fast foward to a recent Enterprise Connect keynote by Zig Serafin, corporate vice president of Skype for Business (the new name for Lync), which laid out Microsoft’s plans for enterprise voice. Read the full article by Beth Schultz, which is a good rundown of Serafin’s keynote.
According to Serafin, Microsoft will be rolling our enterprise-grade PSTN connectivity later this year, with a global roll-out to follow. It’s all part of creating a “comprehensive productivity experience.” Microsoft will utilize strategic carrier partners, like AT&T in the US.
By combining the best of Lync and Skype and calling the product Skype for Business, Microsoft has launched a product that completes the UC puzzle in the enterprise. They also have a Skype user base of 300 million users, many of whom now use a different communications system at work. These Skype users are all potential business customers, and that’s where Microsoft hopes to dominate.
Publish Date: March 26, 2015 5:00 AM
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