Lync voice leading in enterprise shipments

Some people were skeptical at our Unified Communications Launch in 2007, when Bill Gates said that the magic of software would move business communications far beyond phone calls, and, that over time, the transformation to software-based communications on the Internet would provide more capabilities at a lower cost than PBX systems. Even when we unveiled the Lync Server voice feature set in 2010, and demonstrated in a public RFP session how Lync delivered presence, instant messaging, video, web conferencing, and voice at a lower price than competitors’ voice only seats, people still wondered….when would enterprises shift their buying criteria from PBX systems to UC?

The answer is now.

Interest in Lync is huge, based on a recently released report by Infotrack. This year, almost 60% of enterprises (500+ seats) surveyed are deploying or planning to deploy Lync, including enterprise voice, up from 45% last year. The proportion of enterprises with no plans to deploy Lync for voice dropped dramatically, from 21% down to only 7%. Finally, one in four enterprises now report Microsoft as their preferred vendor for IP-PBXs, a number unheard of back in 2010.

Our financial results reflect the growing customer adoption. In our Fiscal Year 2013 earnings release, we announced that Lync revenue grew 30% year over year. In our earnings call, we also disclosed that the Lync business, including Lync Server and Lync Online, surpassed $1B in annual revenue. Our voice software license sales grew 150% on top of an already significant installed base, which we noted in February at Lync Conference was more than 5M seats. 

Finally, at Microsoft’s recent Financial Analyst Meeting, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner shared – based on a comparison of our internal sales information to the enterprise telephony shipments of every PBX maker, including Cisco and Avaya, as provided by analyst firm, T3i -- that Microsoft is now shipping more enterprise voice lines than any other technology company in the world.[1].

These stats are meaningful, but they don’t tell the full picture. Lync’s success has never been just about voice -- it’s about the ability to deliver the communications tools that people rely on to get their jobs done, and the capabilities businesses need to succeed in a highly competitive world.  In recent months, we’ve added the ability to connect to your customers, partners and suppliers using Lync-Skype connectivity, updated free apps available across all of the major mobile platforms, and delivered Lync Room System products through partners for the best conference room experience anywhere.

Shell, The Jetstar Group, Obama for America, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Red Wing Shoes, The Kennedy Center, Marquette University, Bentley Systems and Cerner and many other companies use Lync, including voice, to improve their employees’ productivity, deliver greater work life balance with remote and mobile capabilities, and save money compared to alternatives. Read the case studies for their full stories.

We know not all companies move at the same speed and that it’s rare for a company to rip out every legacy PBX at the same time, but the case studies and the market data show that companies are moving to Lync in increasing numbers as their primary communications solution – including voice. I can’t wait to share  more at Lync Conference in February, and I hope you’ll join us. Register now!

BJ Haberkorn
Director, Lync Product Marketing

[1] Lync enterprise voice shipment data from Microsoft internal sources; market and competitor data (for shipments of 400+ lines) provided by T3i Group LLC (

Comments (18)
  1. Lync voice leading in enterprise shipments
    very good article

  2. darwin says:

    With Lync 2013 what was cool is even better, just by demonstrating to a board in financial organization where i work, that already uses Lync 2010 the new features like the new mobile app, the new Web App and the potential of Office web apps for delivering content endpoints, presenting video slides in a meeting, is has been all greatly improved and it is all visible to the end user, and they love it,

    That is why lync 2013 is selling so well and will continue to when companies are presented with the dilema of buying PBX equipment, or buying enterprise voice licences, the answer is increasingly shifting torwards the second one

  3. Zeus Kerravala - ZK Research says:

    I find it hard to believe that Microsoft could be shipping more voice lines globally than all the other traditional telephony vendors with much bigger install bases, however, anything is possible.

    Any details on the survey.  Who was surveyed?  What counts as a "line"?  Is the calculation just counting every Lync client as a voice line?  

    It's a bold claim, so a few details please

  4. Matt Dodd says:

    It is extremely enlightening to read the transcript of Kevin Turner's acutal comments on the Financial Analyst call of September 19, 2013.   His actual quote is "And the ability to take Lync and Skype, now Microsoft is shipping more enterprise voice lines on unified communications than any other technology company in the world."

    There is no explanation offered of how Skype lines are factored into this total and no mention of T3i market research to corroborate the claim.

  5. Frank Fellows (Microsoft Lync PR) says:

    Hi, I work on PR for Lync—thanks for the comments. There's a couple of questions below that I'd like to answer.

    First, regarding Kevin Turner’s comment—context from the transcript is important. When I watched the Financial Analyst Meeting live, it was clear to me that when was talking about Lync & Skype, he was referring to the connectivity between the two products as being one of the reasons we’re doing so well in the enterprise. But to be absolutely clear on this point– the enterprise voice lines stat listed in the blog are Lync only and in no way include Skype.

    Zeus, I think your question is regarding T3i's data and not the Infotrack survey. If I am mistaken, you can find the Infotrack data on the Analyst Relations portal (…/default.aspx ;…/07-10-13Lync.aspx for the direct link to the Infotrack report) As for the questions about T3i’s data—you are welcome to contact them. I think our footnote is clear that this claim is based on their market data, with us using our own data for Lync voice lines. And no, a Lync client does not count as a voice line. This is specifically enterprise customers that have purchased Lync voice from us and is an apples-to-apples comparison to how most PBX vendors report their data.

    Thanks again for the comments,


  6. Petri X says:

    Is there any hope to get "busy on busy" into Lync? This is most fundamental feature on the phones lines but by some reason that is not implemented into Lync. When I'm calling into customer service, I like to know if the person I'm calling is busy and unable to answer to my call.

    Also, please, try to improve the response group service on the Lync. Now quality of the RGS is forcing companies to add 3rd part tools over the Lync or build total alternative solutions.

    Also, do you have any plans to get Lync Conference into Europe as well? We – behind the sea – like to participate to the conferece as well..

  7. Rajeev Ujjwal says:

    BJ Haberkorn: It would be appreciated if you can have bit comparision chart between Lync 2013 features with others vendors and then have Marketing Strategies..I know that Skype and Lync will play a mojor role to enhance the end user's experience.

  8. Marco de Jager | Active Communications Europe says:

    Now Lync is becoming a commodity for Enterprises, SMB's will follow automatically, sort off then. Time to jump on the bandwagon and make life easier as well as the implementation…/a-lync-appliance-for-enterprises

  9. Bend-y says:

    The outlook seems great. Naturally, statistics can be scewed accordingly to support most cases. I was expecting to see some of this reflected in the Gartner Quadrant, but was suprised to see Cisco peaking Microsoft in the UC sector even now – not something I have been able to get my head around yet.

    With such uptake at Enterprise, its important that Microsoft now go on to exploit the small business sector with a voice solution – something that's not available at this time without integrating an existing PBX.

  10. Mr. LatAm says:

    Yeah Microsoft is getting more accounts and leaving behind broken promises. Their mobile apps are not MDM friendly, and once they get you as a customer, good luck getting what the sales reps promise you for deployment.

    There's a new UC player in town that's getting attention in Latin America. I've demoed the solution myself. Easy to deploy, easy to manage, and it just works; all at a considerably less price too. Pay attention to Microsoft's Latin American numbers this quarter.

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