The shift from traditional telephony platforms to Unified Communications (UC) has put organizations in more of a consumption model, which is causing a shift in how UC is supported. The concept of a call server or PBX is really going away, as all the functions of a UC environment – voice, video and collaboration – are more and more distributed. This trend causes server monitoring and availability to be de-emphasized.
As the effects of Superstorm Sandy are still being felt all over the East Coast, I can’t help but reflect on the importance of Communications especially during times of disaster. Business Continuity requires visibility, availability, reliability and redundancy to ensure the entire organization is kept well informed during emergencies. Are remote locations healthy and available or are services potentially degrading to prevent remote employees from being productive? When the business must reprioritize functions between different geographic territories, are the communications networks successful in handling the increased workload for service quality and throughput?
Do we need yet another communications platform in the seemingly crowded Enterprise Communications space? Microsoft has not only answered this question to a resounding YES but they have rapidly become a leader in the Enterprise Unified Communications (UC) space according to the latest Gartner 2012 UC Magic Quadrant. Gartner cites Microsoft as a leader in the Unified Communications space, along with Cisco, Avaya and Siemens. Among the key strengths identified by Gartner’s study on Lync are adoption rates for enterprises ranging from small to large organizations, integration with Skype, and integration with enterprise business processes and applications.