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Lync Leverages What Microsoft Already Has in Place

by Carl Weinschenk

Microsoft's effort to reinvent and simplify its unified communications platform through Lync -- which was introduced late last year -- leverages the huge deployed infrastructure the provider has in most businesses. That doesn't mean, however, that deep deployments are easy. 

What Microsoft does – and whether it succeeds or fails – is vital to both the IT and telecommunications worlds. The success of its Lync unified communications initiative is no exception.
That's why it's a good idea to spend a few minutes – actually more than a few – reading this long Q&A with Joe Schurman, the founder and CEO of Evangelyze Communications, a Microsoft Gold Partner.
The interview was conducted by Doug Barney and posted at RedmondMag.com. Highlights include how Schurman characterizes the close relationship between Lync and the Microsoft products and services that already are in use at most companies: 
Microsoft's advantage in this space is definitely integration with the Office and SharePoint product line. Microsoft realizes the dominance of the Microsoft Office system and by providing out-of-the-box integration with Outlook, Word, Excel, OneNote, and SharePoint for portal and Web site, users benefit by being able to click-to-communicate directly from within these applications, view presence of their contacts and dramatically increase productivity. Microsoft Outlook is definitely the premier Microsoft UC application and acts almost as a launching pad for all Microsoft UC communication.

He added that since Microsoft Exchange is all but ubiquitous, instant messaging is the initial application beyond email that will lead, presumably, to a more ubiquitous deployment. A far more ambitious step is using Lync for voice. It is a long-term transition, Schurman said:

You also have to realize what an enterprise voice deployment entails. In order to deploy any enterprise voice solution, you have to account for communication line configuration (VoIP and/or telephony), IVR configuration, dial plans, branch services, scalability, security and permissions, Group Policy rules [and so on]. It's a massive undertaking, especially for a global organization, so these projects are not completed in short order.
As a break from all the reading of the worthwhile – but, again, long – Q&A with Schurman, perhaps check out this video. Video bloggers Michael Gannotti and Brent Whichel – it's not entirely clear for whom they work – have done a short, informal and amusing video on how to switch an ongoing conference call from a tablet to a smartphone via Lync. The video is fun and certainly shows how easy the process is. Finally, here is a good overview of Lync, from OnWindows, a Microsoft-related site.
This article was originally published on Wednesday Apr 6th 2011