Microsoft Lync becoming a favorite for UC users

15 October 2013

The unified communication (UC) market has been booming in recent years. By integrating various communications platforms into a single interface, companies simplify employee and client interactions, offering more flexible and diverse contact solutions. 

Although many corporate leaders recognize the benefits of UC, figuring out how to implement the technology can be a challenge. There are a number of considerations to take into account including which vendor to go with, which services to unify and how much to spend on the system. Due to the many steps that need to be followed in the configuration process, a large portion of enterprises simply bypass investing in UC.

However, by using Microsoft Lync, businesses can easily take advantage of UC by installing a single platform by one of the world's most reputable software providers. 

Mobile support and improved quality
Additional Microsoft training for Lync may be required for employees and IT professionals but it's a worthy investment to make. CIO Magazine reported that the server platform has evolved significantly since it was first launched several years ago. Originally dismissed by many IT managers, the system has recently proven to be an extremely useful collaborative tool. 

Included in Lync 2013 – the latest version of the software – are presence, instant messaging, video conferencing, audio chat, VoIP and other technologies. 

The source reported that one of the biggest challenges faced by UC vendors today is the ability to integrate services with mobile devices. Although the market may still have some room to grow in this regard, Microsoft has been proactively creating easy-to-use mobile solutions that can be accessed via smartphones and tablets. 

The new version of Lync supports iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Windows Phone gadgets and the company continues to work on creating better applications to use on compatible devices. 

Other Lync improvements outlined by CIO Magazine include enhanced image quality for video transmissions and better VoIP services that can replace traditional PBX platforms. Microsoft has offered additional resources to app developers that they hope will be used to build innovative services for Lync users and also started establishing closer relationships with vendors to create more streamlined integration with particular pieces of hardware. 

Market giant emerges
Even given the numerous new features in Lync 2013, Gartner predicted that the Microsoft product may yet become more useful in the future. The source stated that Microsoft officials are planning to integrate Lync with Skype, which should make an even more attractive service for B2B clients. 

The scalability that Lync offers was noted as a major factor in its increased rate of adoption in the past several years. When first deployed, most enterprise users implement simple systems such as IM and conferencing. However, it's possible to launch more complex services such as VoIP at a later date, allowing businesses to ease into using Lync. This can be particularly beneficial for employees currently taking Microsoft training courses for the platform. 

The success that Lync has experienced recently has helped to establish Microsoft as a UC market powerhouse. The company was named by Gartner as one of four UC leaders out of 13 surveyed suppliers

Growth to continue
Global UC adoption rates are only likely to accelerate in the coming years. A recent report from Transparency Market Research found that the global UC market will expand at an incredible rate. In 2011, the source reported that the value of the UC sector was $22.8 billion. By 2018, the market will be worth $61.9 billion

This shows that more enterprises are adopting UC technology. Any B2B company that fails to follow the trend may find themselves struggling to communicate effectively with clients. Therefore, encouraging in-house IT professionals to invest in Microsoft certification courses for Lync and UC platforms is a wise move for any executive to make. 

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