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The Impact of Microsoft Lync to the Unified Communications Market

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.

Microsoft Lync 2010 provides many key benefits as a UC platform that includes IM, Presence, Conferencing, Integration, etc… and according to Nemertes’ latest analyst survey published by Irwin Lazar. Enterprises are taking notice of Microsoft’s platform benefits.

Among the key statistics cited within Nemertes’ findings:

  • Enterprise Adoption Rate grows from 4.9% in 2011 to 11.2% in 2012
  • Top two key drivers behind rise in adoption rates are 53.3% of Enterprises citing integration with Microsoft Applications and 33% of Enterprises citing ease in integrating licensing costs to ECAL (Enterprise Client Access License)

While the benefits exist for Lync adoption and as the newest leader in Unified Communications, enterprises that have existing competitive solutions in-place such as Cisco, Avaya, Nortel or Siemens are choosing to employ an augment versus replace transition strategy for features such as instant messaging, presence, conferencing, etc… cites Time Greene from his article in Network World titled “Microsoft unified communications Lync system moves close to proverbial PBX replacement option”.

Lync does provide many key benefits to organizations; however augmentation of Lync features to existing communications platforms will inherently indicate a multi-vendor architecture to ensure seamless end-to-end communications. Lync is clearly gaining traction within the industry and as Microsoft further strengthens integration through Skype federation as planned within Lync 2013 and continues the evolution of mobility enhancements, we will continue to see an increase of Lync adoption within the market.

However, a multi-vendor approach to Unified Communications will require monitoring and management strategies similar evolve to provide seamless visibility over the disparate networks. Tone Software has recently announced the release of the newest ReliaTel solution that adds Microsoft Lync Unified Communications monitoring and management to the vast portfolio of multi-vendor library of knowledge. As we continue to see Microsoft Lync evolve within the industry, we can anticipate interoperability will continue to drive client adoption and Tone Software will similarly adapt monitoring and management solutions to provide the industry with leading technologies in monitoring and management.

In addition to our recent announcement on Lync, stay tuned for an exciting announcement by Tone Software on Tuesday October 9, 2012 for enterprises that are either evaluating or currently adopting Lync technologies.