Microsoft today announced the general availability of Microsoft Lync, the next generation of communications that connects people in new ways. Starting today, anyone can download a free trial version of Lync at http://www.lync.com, and business customers can purchase Lync beginning Dec. 1.
Lync is a single platform that integrates instant messaging, presence, audio, video and webconferencing and voice to bring people together in the ways they communicate best, with one interface that works with the applications businesses know and use today, including Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange.
Through Lync, Microsoft gives people are more collaborative experience with HD video, conference recording, and social features like status updates and activity feeds. "With Lync, we are delivering on our vision to unify all of the modes of modern business communication," said Femee Cruz, Information Worker Product Manager, Microsoft Philippines. "Lync transforms how people communicate and helps IT departments to evolve their infrastructure and enhance, if not eliminate, their traditional PBX systems to save money and time,â€" she added.
Worldwide customers including The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., Nikon Corp., Marquette University, France Telecom, and Herreknect are deploying Lync 2010 to change the way they communicate, and transform their businesses while saving money.
Nikon, for example, uses Lync with SharePoint and Exchange to increase the companyâ€™s employee productivity. To date, Nikon has experienced a 30 percent increase in productivity in some areas.
"We want to move away from relying on a specific communication tool, like email," explains Michiko Noborisaka, General Manager of Information System Planning Department at Nikon Corporation. "We need capabilities that free people from the constraints of time and place. Our employees should be able to choose the best communications tools for each scenario they face."
According to a Total Economic Impact study by Forrester Consulting, for a composite organization, Lync 2010 offers a risk adjusted ROI of 337 percent, including $6.35 million in hard cost savings over three years, with a payback period of 12 months.
Choice and Value With Partner Solutions
Today, more than 70 new devices and 34 new applications are being announced by partners and hundreds of partners are getting ready and building their practice on Lync.
Today, more than 35 partners are announcing more than 100 new applications and devices specifically designed for Lync. Hardware products include a variety of headsets, webcams, Internet protocol phones, telepresence systems and USB endpoints optimized for Lync, from partners such as Polycom Inc. and Aastra Technologies Ltd.
According to Cruz, "Microsoft is working with partners around the world to change business communications by bringing about a full communications experience across the organization."
In addition, more than 30 partners are launching applications on the Lync platform for public and private organizations of all types and sizes. Solutions include contact centers, call recording, accounting, performance monitoring services and new applications that imbed communications within business processes. Partners include Aspect Software Inc., Convergent Media Systems Corp., ProtonMedia Inc. and Wortell.
Finally, several partners, such as British Telecom (BT), HP, Dell, Dimension Data and Verizon Business are offering services to help customers evaluate, deploy and manage their Lync infrastructure.
Microsoft Lync 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010 will be available for businesses of all sizes to purchase on Dec. 1, 2010. Microsoft Lync Online will be available as part of Office 365, with voice capabilities available in 2011. Lync Online will include instant messaging, presence, audio and video conferencing, and PC-to-PC voice calls.
Microsoft Lync is the new family brand for the products formerly known as Microsoft Communications Server, Microsoft Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Communicator, and now also includes Microsoft Lync Web App and Microsoft Lync Online. More information about Lync is at http://www.microsoft.com/lync.
* "Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Lync Server 2010," Jeffery North, Nov. 15, 2010
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