Lync 2010 launched on November 17, marking an important milestone in our journey to bring together different silos of communication. Chris Capossela and Gurdeep Singh Pall unveiled the product in New York and we enjoyed hearing from Bill Gates and our customers about the advantages of Lync over traditional solutions.
I wanted to follow up today to share some of the incredible momentum we are seeing with our partner eco-system. We are unique in the communications industry to have the benefit of one of the broadest eco-system of partners offering devices, products and services optimized for Lync. This wave of partner led innovation, driven by Lync’s open and interoperable platform, is helping to provide unprecedented choice and value for our customers across a broad spectrum of solutions and services.
I’d like to highlight partner solutions and services across four categories: Devices & video conferencing, Deployment Services, Custom Applications and Other Infrastructure & Communication Services.
Devices and Video Conferencing Solutions to round out the UC Experience -
Partners including Polycom, Aastra, Plantronics, Jabra, ClearOne, Logitech and Microsoft Hardware are announcing 70 new devices optimized to work with Lync! These include PCs, headsets, webcams, IP desk phones and conference room phones. ‘Optimized for Lync’ IP devices are designed to deliver a best-in-class user experience providing user functionalities like the ability to browse Outlook calendar, one click conference join and contact photos from SharePoint. Many of our customers including Nikon and Stoneridge are using a mix of IP Phones and headsets to accommodate users’ needs and preferences.
Video conferencing providers, Polycom and Radvision announced telepresence products and gateway solutions that are designed to interoperate with Lync. Through these offerings, Lync can connect with any standards based video and telepresence solution in the industry. Here’s a quote from, AT Kearney, on how they are using video between their different offices to connect and collaborate.
“So many of our employees work at small offices, at home, or at client sites, and the ability to communicate through video conferencing from these locations has really driven them to adopt the solution,” explains Kevin Rice, Global Network Architect at A.T. Kearney. Employees can use video conferencing through Communicator on the desktop, and the company has enabled Office Communications Server to work with its Polycom video conferencing bridges at the office.
Integration Service Partners helping Customers Deploy
100’s of our system integrator partners have been getting ready to help customers plan, evaluate, deploy and manage Lync. BT, Dell, Dimension Data, HP, Orange Business Services, T-Systems, Tieto and Verizon Business are some of the global partners with worldwide practices for Lync. These partners offer end to end services including consulting, design, deployment and management to help customers integrate Lync into their communications and IT environments. Browse through the partner showcase or find a partner to see how they can help introduce you to Lync.
Custom Applications take Communications into the Future
Partners are also taking advantage of the Lync platform to create an entirely new class of solutions that integrate communications within business applications and processes. Announcements include new offerings in areas such as contact centers, call recording and accounting that improve upon traditional solutions through more intuitive user interfaces and integration of concepts such as presence and expert search. Aspect announced Unified IP Contact Center solution, an enterprise level contact center solution built on Lync. Microsoft partner Gluck and Kanja, helped Herrenknecht, a world leader in tunneling technology integrate Lync with their inventory system for automatic notifications at different stock levels, thus reducing costs due to human latency and error. There are many such examples from partners such as Wortell, Geomant, Evangelyze, Convergent, Enabling and Proton Media. We have a number of videos showcasing these solutions that I encourage you to browse through –seeing these examples may help you generate ideas on how you can use communications to boost your business processes.
Infrastructure and Communication Services provide Choice and Cost Effective Offerings
Lastly, a number of partners are working closely with Microsoft to develop compatible hardware and services that complete the communications infrastructure. These include gateways, Survivable Branch Appliances, SIP Trunking and E911 Call routing solutions. Customers are already taking advantage of these new products. Tieto, for example, used a Survivable Branch Appliance from NET at one of their three Lync sites for a survivable, more cost effective deployment.
Even with all the solutions and services already in the marketplace, our partners are just getting started. We expect to see a ton of innovation and offerings as partners build on the Lync platform and help customers transform their communications and productivity infrastructure. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements and news from partners that we’ll continue to feature on this blog.
If you are already a Microsoft UC partner, visit the updated Microsoft Lync Resource Center on the Microsoft Partner Network to take advantage of new sales, marketing and training resources.
Lync Partner Marketing