Microsoft's big play in unified communications – the replacement for the Office Communications Server – will sink or swim beginning this week.
Tomorrow is the day that Lync becomes an officially released platform from Microsoft.
This is a big deal and, therefore, there is a tremendous amount of good background available. Network World has a nice rundown on the product, from stem to stern. The piece starts with the basics – you can't get much more basic than the first question, “What is Lync?” Questions on interoperability between Lync and the company's previous UC platform, Office Communications Server, are asked and answered. The piece explores the new features and productivity tools from Lync.
There is something about launches of this type that make people write lists. Here are two worth reading: The first, from Unified Strategies' Marty Parker, looks at ten things for which Lync should be used; the other is from Softpedia and explores 10 reasons to upgrade to Lync Server 2010.
It's Microsoft's big deal, so it's not unreasonable to check out its version of what Lync Server 2010 is all about. This page offers five points on what it says the new platform can do and six on its features. The page goes pretty deeply into Lync's capabilities. It starts with a few general assessments, then points out what the new platform brings to enterprise instant message, conferencing, voice and as a replacement for a PBX. Finally, the EXPTA blog offers photos of products that will work with the new platform.
It is increasingly clear that unified communications – in any or all of its varying and amorphous definitions – is a key battleground in corporate communications. Microsoft, which is having its ups and downs, needs to make a strong stand. So, just a week after the release of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's UC future will begin to come into focus.