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epopova

Elka

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Blog Posts Posted on
Dec 30, 2015

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Viewing 1 to 20 (22 Total)
8x8 Celebrates a Major Victory

Yesterday, 8x8 announced a major customer win:http://bit.ly/1Q5o7G0

Regus has selected 8x8's solution to provide services for its 2,500 customer business sites across 106 countries. Regus will gradually migrate all the business locations to 8x8's solution, starting with 140 sites initially. At completion, this will be one of the largest cloud communications deployments in the world and a major milestone for 8x8, which has made a concerted effort to develop capabilities that meet the needs of mid-market and large organizations.

Cloud communications services have long been popular among SMBs, which account for the majority of the global installed base. There has been, however, a pronounced uptake of cloud communications among larger organizations over the past 18 months. Growing trust in cloud technologies and business models, as well as the availability of more compelling cloud communications offerings are driving penetration among large, distributed organizations.

According to 8x8, Regus selected 8x8 for a number of reasons, including: ability to support customers around the globe, strong UK presence, service reliability and uptime, mobility, and ability to deploy the service in a short amount of time.

Like most providers 8x8 delivers more than 50 business voice features in its standard services bundles. These include a virtual private branch exchange (PBX) with extension dialing, hunt groups, caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, call park and call forward as well as auto attendant, voicemail and voicemail to email, ring groups, number porting, music on hold, virtual attendant, virtual numbers, and so on. However, 8x8 leads the pack with some additional capabilities such as instant messaging and presence (IM/P), Internet fax, call recording, soft client, short messaging service (SMS), web collaboration, video conferencing, mobility, advanced analytics, and contact center.

Another key 8x8 differentiator is regulatory compliance. Organizations in the healthcare, government, retail and financial services sectors demand communications solutions that meet the strict regulations specific to their industries. 8x8 compliance with HIPAA/HITECH, FISMA, CPNI, FIPS and PCI-DSS makes it a trusted partner for many businesses in heavily regulated industries. 8x8 prides itself on being the only cloud communications provider willing to sign a business associate agreement (BAA) that frees HIPAA-regulated customers from liability related to patient data security and places the onus of compliance on 8x8 instead.

8x8 understands the importance of network uptime and service quality to its customers. 8x8 hosted UCC and contact center services are supported out of several geographically distributed and redundant data centers, including three in the United States, and one each in Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, and Australia. In 2014, the provider reported 99.9975 percent service availability—one of the highest in the industry. 8x8 has consistently reported high service availability over the past three years, which demonstrates its cloud services reliability. International data center locations allow 8x8 to offer more cost-effective and reliable services to multi-national organizations.

In 2015, 8x8 introduced unique service level agreements (SLAs) for eligible enterprise customers. Providers typically manage service quality and availability only on their own network. This has been perceived as a shortcoming for over-the-top providers such as 8x8, which do not own broadband or private access networks. 8x8’s new SLAs are unique in that they guarantee high service quality and availability levels over the public Internet as well as over private connections including multi-label protocol switching (MPLS).

8x8’s growth strategy going forward is based on customer diversification through a determined foray into the large-enterprise customer segment. 8x8 is well positioned to execute on its strategic growth objectives and deliver significant value to mid-market customers through a strong focus on the following key areas:

• Continued services portfolio and feature enhancement
• Multi-site business support through a centralized solution management capability
• Enhanced “white-glove” customer onboarding and improved overall customer service and support, including Elite Touch for enterprise customers
• Advanced contact center functionality
• Continued enablement of 8x8 solution integrations with various third-party services and applications (e.g., Lync/Skype for Business and CRM solutions)
• Compelling “Performance Assured” SLAs for qualified customers
• Extensive regulatory compliance (e.g., HIPAA, FISMA, PCI)
• Advanced analytics tools for Virtual Office customers
• International expansion for accelerated growth and better support of multi-national organizations
• Channel partner network expansion for more effective customer service and support

Key 8x8 customers include distributed organizations with large hosted IP telephony and UCC services implementations such as Chen Med (1,400 seats), Champion (1,300 seats), TMW Systems (1,100 seats), Learn 4 Life (1,000 seats), and Infinisource (800 seats), among others.

Overall, 8x8 stands out among hosted IP telephony and UCC services providers with its comprehensive services portfolio, proven service quality and reliability, unwavering commitment to innovation and customer value, and financial stability.

Posted on October 06, 2015 at 2:53 PM
Re: Microsoft Offers Preview of its Promised Cloud UCC Services

The cloud UCC market just became even more exciting. It's crowded and diverse and Microsoft's entry is only going to add to its complexity. Customers should be the ultimate winners with so many choices available; yet, many are confused about the different options. Microsoft will have some educating to do as far as its own solutions and capabilities are concerned. But you are quite right about one thing--even Microsoft cannot make UCC work without the PSTN.

Posted on July 14, 2015 at 3:25 PM
Let's Imagine the World in 2030

I recently came across this article and I thought it would be interesting to imagine how technology will change critical areas of our lives by 2030.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/15-big-breakthroughs...

In the technology industry, there seems to be a consensus that mobile, social and cloud technologies will be pervasive by 2030. These trends will certainnly have a profound impact on the way we work. But what is going to be the impact of technology advancements on major social concerns such as poverty, crime, freedom and the general quality of life? In view of recent international developments, I am asking myself--can technology advancements help advance moral values as well?

Please share your thoughts.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 6:34 PM
Ex-Avayan Enzo Signore Joins Cloud UCC Provider 8x8

Today, November 11, 8x8 announced the appointment of Enzo Signore as Chief Marketing Officer.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/8x8-appoints-enzo-signore-chief-13150...

Enzo brings a considerable amount of telecommunications industry expertise to the rapdily growing hosted IP telephony and UCC services provider. One of his key strengths is identifying new opportunities among mid-market companies and large distributed organizations. Over the past decade, 8x8 has gained significant traction in the small-business market, where hosted services have been most popular. As 8x8 looks to expand its customer base and more successfully compete against arch-rival RingCentral and a growing number of other cloud UC providers, it needs to strengthen its value proposition and name recognition among larger customer organizations. Enzo's skills and expertise appear to be a great fit to address these key objectives.

Other near-term focal areas, as identified by Enzo, include vertical market strategies and channel expansion (including increasing global presence).

When asked about the reasons why he chose 8x8, Enzo pointed out the following:

--a solid portfolio of unified communications and contact center applications
--a highly experienced and talented management team
--a fast-paced environment with a high sense of urgency
--strong financials
--considerable growth opportunities

The market is ripe for cloud UCC adoption, but competition is intensifying as well. Strong execution will separate the winners from the laggards. Building a strong executive team could be the key to 8x8's continued success in this market

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 1:54 PM
Lync is Dead, Long Live Skype for Business

Today, November 11, 2014, Microsft unveiled a major rebranding of its flagship UC product Lync renaming it to Skype for Business.

http://blogs.skype.com/2014/11/11/introducing-skype-for-business/...

On an analyst call, Microsoft argued that, in spite of Lync's growing brand equity in the enterprise UC market, Skype's brand still carries much greater weight among the global user base (emphasizing users versus buyers). It appears that the product behind the new brand will not lose any existing functionality. The big change, besides the brand itself, is in the user interface, which will be more Skype-like and, as Microsoft claims, "much more personal". Eventually, new features and capabilities will be added following the trajectory originally set for Lync.

During Q&A, Microsoft also mentioned that they will not be evolving the Lync Hosters Pack any further due to the tremendous success of Lync Online.

I have mixed feelings about the potential success of Microsoft pushing forward with the Skype brand in the enterprise space. After all, Skype is very popular, but it is also associated with crappy PC telephony, whereas Lync was intended to represent enterprise-grade security and reliability.

It also appears that milennials cherish more interactive (i.e., social) interfaces and some of Microsoft's UC competitors seem to be evolving their UC clients in that direction. I would have expected Microsoft to more closely integrate Yammer with Lync in order to come up with a single pane of glass for business users that allows them to interact in multiple different ways. Why go for a Skype/telephony UI and not a Yammer/social UI?

Also, with Lync Online not yet being a full PBX replacement, what is Microsoft's strategy for the cloud UC space?

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Re: Aloft Hotels Brings Robotics to Room Service

I am embarrassed to admit, but I think I will be scared to see a robot at my door, especially if I don't expect it. I can picture a lot of little kids screaming at the sight of something so unusual. Unfortunately, I am sure this--robots, automation, person-to-machine interaction, etc.--is where the world is headed. To that point, your idea of a video calling capability or a video avatar at least probably makes sense

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 1:04 PM
Do you know about the 3 Ps of Cloud Communications?

Cloud communications can provide numerous benefits to organizations of varying sizes and industries. These benefits fall in three broad groups as follows:

- Profit: significant top-line savings and bottom-line revenue
- Passion: mobility and collaboration increase your team's commitment to helping customers
- Productivity: simple business integration enables everyone to do more (with more)

Join me for a free webinar discussing the factors driving hosted communications adoption and the benefits of moving communications to the cloud:

http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/ebroadcast.pag?eventid=290613198...

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 7:43 AM
Status versus Quality of Life: the Choice is Yours

Recently I came across this article and it made me wonder (again) if we are living the wonderful lives we could be living:

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)

Every once in a while someone will post a reminder on Facebook that we (in the developed countries with allegedly high living standards) should be grateful for the food, shelter and other necessities that we enjoy while so many people are dying of starvation or illness due to poor living conditions in other parts of the world. And in those moments we do acknowledge our privileged situation, but why isn't that our permanent state of mind? As this article points out, we seem to be trapped in a vicious cycle working more so we can earn more even when we already have enough, thus (almost) completely defying the whole purpose of working so we could have a better quality of life.

But what does this have to do with technology?

Well, we seem to believe that advanced communications and collaboration tools and other technology advancements (e.g., the Internet of things) are meant to help us work faster and smarter and thus have more free time and thus a better quality of life. But is that really happening? As far as I can tell--not really. Most of us end up working longer hours because now we are more connected and communications and collaboration tools and devices cost a lot less. Does emailing co-workers or customers during your kid's soccer game make this a quality time with your kid? Does working during your vacation only because you can make your life any better?

The truth is--advanced technology can indeed make our lives better. But we need to make a conscious choice to use them to that end.

Do you have any statistics on worker perceptions of whether advanced tools are improving their quality of life or in fact compelling them to work more? Please share if you do.

Posted on June 29, 2014 at 6:55 AM
Are Hybrid Architectures the Future of Enterprise Communications?

Today Toshiba announced the ability of its cloud UC solution VIPEdge to tightly integrate with its premises-based solutions for extension dialing, shared mobility, feature transparency, and smoother migration from the premises to the cloud or back. Here are the details of the announcement:


Toshiba's New Hybrid Premises and Cloud Networking Solution Enables Mix-and-match of Business Telephone Solutions

Many businesses are likely to continue to deploy premises-based solutions at their larger sites and hosted services at their branch offices and remote locations. This will drive demand for hybrid, tightly integrated solutions giving an advantage to vendors that can offer both.

Multi-tenant platforms based on shared hardware and software continue to account for the majority of the hosted IP telephony installed base, however private branch exchange (PBX) vendors are making an aggressive foray into the market with multi-instance, virtualized PBX solutions. The latter are likely to be most successful among organizations with significant investments in a certain vendor’s on-premises technologies looking to deploy hybrid architectures. These solutions will also appeal to businesses looking to reallocate existing user licenses and terminals.

Toshiba is well positioned to capitalize on this trend with its portfolio of interoperable premises-based and cloud UC solutions.

Please share your thoughts on the benefits and challenges of hybrid architectures.

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 4:04 PM
Interactive Intelligence Launches Another Compelling Cloud Communications Solution

Interactive Intelligence just added another cloud communications solution to its portfolio:


http://investors.inin.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=852120...

The Interactive Intelligence PureCloud solution boasts a compelling feature set, as well as the flexibility and cost efficiencies of a true cloud offering. Furthermore, unlike many of the cloud/hosted communications providers, Interactive Intelligence comes to market with a strong brand recognition, albeit mostly for contact center solutions, existing expertise in delivering CaaS solutions, and an existing channel.

One of the key competitive advantages of the PureCloud solution is the tight integration of UC functionality with advanced contact center capabilities. Demand for hosted contact center services is growing rapidly and related revenues have already surpassed revenues from premises-based contact center solutions. Hosted/ cloud IP telephony providers are looking to capitalize on this opportunity and address existing demand among their customer base by launching hosted contact center services themselves. Some providers such as 8x8 have acquired hosted contact center providers in order to be able to bring such capabilities fast to market. Others, such as Thinking Phone Networks or Vantage Communications have developed these capabilities internally. Contact center functionality is typically offered a la carte at a significant price tag and represents a large untapped source of revenue for hosted IP telephony and UCC services providers. Interactive Intelligence is well positioned to attract a large number of SMBs looking to outsource their communications, collaboration and customer service capabilities and thus avoid the hassle and expense of deploying and integrating disparate technologies on their premises.

Another key element of the PureCloud solution is the strong emphasis on service availability and reliability. Most hosted IP telephony providers, regardless of their market focus, have rushed over the years to enhance the functionality of their solutions in order to be able to deliver superior and differentiated value to their customers. However, there is increasing awareness of the need to also focus on other aspects of the business in order to increase customer satisfaction, reduce churn and improve other performance metrics. For example, many providers experienced downtime during natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy. Therefore, there is an increased effort to ensure greater service reliability by building geo-redundant data centers and by enabling redundancy and failover at the customer site. Interactive Intelligence's new solution has the ability to address the requirements of more demanding customers that highly value service quality and reliability and would not settle for a compromise when migrating to the cloud.

Let me know what you think of this new service offering and its role in the marketplace.

Posted on June 04, 2014 at 7:52 AM
Drastic Measures Needed to Improve the Longevity of Communications Solutions Vendors

Unify's recent announcement of a major restructuring and repositioning program seems to indicate that drastic measures are needed for the PBX/UC vendors to improve their competitive positioning and future-proof their businesses.

Here is a summary of the announcement:

http://www.unify.com/us/news/5308E096-994A-4B57-9410-33F016BC52B1/...

The toughest part of the program is most certainly the dramatic headcount reduction. The increased focus on software development, channel expansion, cloud and managed services is not really new, but it may be accompanied by a more specific action plan this time and thus lead to more effective execution. The new leadership team brings channel expertise, a strong sales track record as well as an outside perspective on communications development and delivery, which may be exactly what Unify needs at this point.

Tell us what you think about the future of Unify and other communications vendors? Do they all need to become leaner and meaner to survive the major transformational shifts in the industry challenging their established business models?

Posted on June 03, 2014 at 3:12 PM
Hosted Communications Providers Looking to Boost Growth through Effective Channel Programs

Fonality recently announced a new Marketing 360 channel program:

http://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/Fonality+Launches+New+Channel+Partner+Marketing+Program/9548240.html

This new initiative demonstrates hosted communications providers' growing recognition of the importance of an effective partner channel in accelerating growth and improving customer service. My recent research on distribution strategies in the North American hosted IP telephony and UCC services market reveals that hosted/cloud providers are using a variety of partners including master agents (e.g., TBI, Intelisys, etc.), distributors (e.g., Ingram Micro), various traditional telecom system dealers and services resellers, data VARs, systems integrators, IT services providers and consultants and even moving companies and other businesses that act as agents. Business models vary from white-label relationships to simple resale, value-added services, commission-based agents, and so on.

Since hosted/cloud services have proven most appealing to small businesses, relatively small, local resellers with IP telephony expertise, good customer service and existing relationships with businesses in the area have been most effective in selling hosted IP telephony and UCC services. However, most hosted providers have partnerships with master agencies and distributors, which then use their own partner networks to reach end users. This helps scale the business faster and more economically.

The majority of hosted service are still offered by more traditional telecom resellers, but mostly those that have embraced the cloud model and understand its value proposition. Successful partners are the ones that can employ a more consultative approach whereby they truly understand customer needs and can propose options that best meet customer needs. This model is very different from one-time sales of traditional equipment, which used to be common practice among some resellers.

Data VARs, systems integrators and more IT-oriented companies are increasingly tapping into this market. They are still lacking some skills required to properly implement and manage real-time communications solutions, but some are investing in training and operational restructuring to be able to add voice and UC to their services portfolio.

Service provider approaches to their channel vary. Some are looking to acquire and entice partners through generous commissions and revenue sharing. Others are focusing on education, marketing collateral, and help with lead generation. Overall, most providers are looking to expand their channel as an effective way to grow and grab market share in an extremely fragmented and still nascent market. Some providers, however, are focusing less on the number of providers and more on the quality of the channel—the specific partner mix and capabilities. Only few providers have made a deliberate choice to sell only directly.

Going forward, access to a competent and loyal channel network will become a critical success factor in this market. Partner relationship sand capabilities will play a key role in both accelerating customer acquisition and improving customer support, which can help increase customer satisfaction and reduce churn.

What do you think? What do an effective partner channel and a successful channel strategy look like in the hosted/cloud communications market?

Posted on June 03, 2014 at 2:47 PM
What are the success factors for channel partners delivering communications systems and services to SMBs?

Frost & Sullivan is launching a research study on IP telephony/UC system and services resellers in the US sub-40 user market segment. The goal is to identify characteristics of successful partners as they compete against status quo key system requirements and the many cloud-based IPT/UC services options in the market. The plan is to aggregate the findings in order to build a general profile, rather than publicly state details about certain vendor channels.

Please help us out by filling out this brief questionnaire:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DK8C7DT...

Thanks a lot in advance. Please email me directly at epopova@frost.com if you wish to receive a copy of the study.

Elka

Posted on May 02, 2014 at 8:21 AM
Are Google and Facebook Shaping the Future of Communications?

Here is an interesting article on Google and Facebook and what technologies and social trends they seem to be betting their future on:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/26/technology/innovation/facebook-goog...

In my opinion, we are already spending too much time with virtual buddies and paying little attention to our neighbors. If the future of communications is in virtual realities, then we are headed toward a very different society. There is already research pointing to the fact that social networks are making us actually less social and more individualistic. Is that what we want for our children and grandchildren? Tell us what you think.

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 7:48 AM
Re: Oslo--Making Office 365 More Like Facebook?

Somehow I feel that this new feature will have to go through many iterations before Microsoft finds the best functionality for the majority of Office 365 users. More likely, it will keep evolving forever. I suppose the best approach would be to make this feature very customizable so users can adjust the functionality to their needs and preferences. But that will be a longevity requirement for all software in the future.

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 4:24 PM
Re: Interactive Intelligence will Remake Your Contact Center--Free!

Sounds like a great way to promote cloud services!

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 1:17 PM
Re: Men Benefit More From Flexwork Than Women

I think it is indeed harder for women to take full advantage of flexwork programs because they simply end up doing more work - whether those are job-related tasks or household chores. But I also think it is a matter of personality and self-discipline. Many of us try to give their best to both their employer and the family and we sometimes forget that it is aso important to also relax and decompress. Such people need to make a conscious effort to take advantage of flexwork programs for their personal benefit and not just for the benefit of their employer or family.

Posted on March 01, 2014 at 6:09 AM
Leaning In or Leaning Out

Lately I have had multiple reasons to think about the important things in life such as success, happiness, love and the meaning of life. Not the least of these reasons has been illness and the need to redirect my energies inward for the first time in a very long time. Sadly, I found out that I HAD NO TIME to think about the important things in life and redirect my energies because ... I was too busy! The irony! Busy with work, kids, chores and so on. Busy learning about technologies that are supposed to make our life better. Busy explaining to others how mobile communications, unified communications, cloud communications, and other advanced technologies enable remote working and better work-life balance and hence a greater quality of life. And then I wondered--but why is it not happening for me?

Today, in advance of my birthday tomorrow, a dear friend of mine sent me this article:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/02/21/recline_why_leaning_in_is_killing_us_sheryl_sandberg


I'd like to share it with you and hopefully hear your thoughts on this matter.

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 7:56 PM
Where is Facebook Headed with the WhatsApp Acquisition?

I read a lot of stories about this acquisition and the history of WhatsApp. My favorite one is a Forbes exclusive titled: The Rags-To-Riches Tale Of How Jan Koum Built WhatsApp Into Facebook's New $19 Billion Baby. I am truly impressed by the story of Jan Koum and his amazing rise from a poor immigrant to the owner of an extremely successful technology company. I also understand the factors driving WhatsApp's popularity among mobile users.

But I still can't fully comprehend the reasons for the company's very high valuation in its acquisition by Facebook. In my opinion, in any M&A the valuation is based on several factors including future earnings potential, strong synergies and anticipated impact on the competition. In the Facebook/WhatsApp case, the growth potential seems high based on historical trends and the value proposition of the solutions offered by the company. In terms of synergies, it seems that WhatsApp is a great way for Facebook to enhance its messaging capabilities, especially on mobile devices where most of the future demand for messaging and social networking lies. From a competitive point of view, the acquisition seems to have the potential to prevent, delay or otherwise disrupt similar moves by Google, Microsoft or other market participants.

Yet, the price tag still seems very high ... What am I missing?

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 8:01 PM
True or False: One Billion People will be Using Microsoft Universal Communications in this Decade

Much of the attention of the enterprise communications community has been captured by the Lync 2014 Conference that is taking place in Las Vegas this week. Microsoft Lync has emerged as a powerful competitor in the enterprise communications marketplace and everyone is watching ongoing product developments and related Microsoft strategic moves to be able to predict the future impact of Lync on end-user demand, technology evolution, and competitor market positioning.

In his keynote Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate Vice President for Lync & Skype Engineering, highlighted key Lync accomplishments over the past years and major strategic objectives for the near- and long-term future. He started by pointing out how the event itself has evolved from last year: from old and quaint Coronado to a much more modern setting in Las Vegas; from 800 to over 1,600 attendees, from 60 to over 100 sessions.

Singh Pall went on to highlight some key differences between Microsoft’s vision and that of other vendors. He talked about how the rest of the industry thought VoIP was disruptive. Unlike others, Microsoft has based its strategy one the premise that the most important thing is the user experience. Another tenet of Microsoft’s vision is the belief that general-purposes processors can transform computing and communications.

But one of his most important statements that Singh Pall made in the very beginning of his presentation was about the transition from unified communications to universal communications—a trend that he believes Microsoft will set for the next decade.

According to Singh Pall, Lync’s success was obvious from the very beginning. When LCS was launched it made $16K in the first month. In its fiscal year ended in June 2013, Microsoft reported that Lync revenues had reached $1B. Lync has now had 38 quarters of double-digit revenue growth; 60% of enterprises in the US have deployed or are deploying Lync. Skype adds more value to Microsoft’s communications portfolio with approximately one-third of all long-distance calling in the world happening on Skype.

Singh Pall also highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to continued innovation through quarterly product releases and delivering updates on 14 different platforms. Over the past year, Microsoft enabled Lync-Skype voice and video connectivity and launched Lync room systems. A new Lync server is underway. With an ecosystem of 1,300 certified partners, Microsoft is able to deliver a number of additional capabilities to its customers including Lync-optimized devices with contextual intelligence from partners such as Jabra, Logitech, Plantronics and Sennheiser.

Microsoft intends to continue to focus on embedding communications into business processes. It also plans to enhance its cloud solution Lync Online with PSTN connectivity. Finally, it is planning to enable large meetings in Lync Online.

Customers attested to the value they have received from deploying Lync in their organizations. Dean Leung, CIO, Holland & Knight LLP, evaluated Cisco and Microsoft solutions for his company. Integrating both seemed to present a lot of complexity. Cisco appeared mostly phone-centric, whereas Microsoft offered a much more desktop-centric approach. Leung appreciated the single pain of glass offered by Microsoft and chose to go with Lync. Users at Holland & Knight appreciate the click-to-call functionality in Lync, the mobile app, and even the video capabilities.

Herb Keller, CTO of Adventist Health Systems gave examples of how his organization was using Lync to improve patient care, while also saving money for both patients and doctors. Adventist Health Systems is moving to Lync audio conferencing and looking to replace Cisco room video systems with Lync.

Singh Pall wrapped up his presentation with a brief review of the mega trends that are setting the context for future technology developments in enterprise communications:

• Work & life balance
• Social networking
• Proliferation of devices
• Synchronous and asynchronous communications/collaboration
• Cloud

Singh Pall concluded by stating that 1 billion people in this decade would be using MSFT universal communications. That is the inspiration Singh Pall is setting up for his team.

It is hard to deny Lync’s success given the facts presented by the new VP. Everything we hear from customers, partners and even Microsoft’s competitors also seems to point to Lync’s growing appeal and adoption among enterprise customers. But how new is really the idea of universal communications? Maybe no one called it so until now, but the vision has been around for a while. Also, with such a broad term how does one measure adoption and how does one attribute any particular deployment to a single vendor?

Lync is now the dominant platform for enterprise instant messaging and presence. Microsoft has also become a key market share holder in the enterprise communications market, even though it took the vendor a few years longer than it originally anticipated. We don’t believe it is indeed the number 1 UC vendor based on shipments (as it claims) because we know many Lync PLUS licenses that have been sold have not been activated. But then Singh Pall also said that human beings overestimate what can be done in 3 years and underestimate what can be done in 10 years. So we can wait and see how far Microsoft Lync will get in the next few years.

I’d love to hear what others think about “universal communications”. Is it just a new song to an old tune? Where do you see Microsoft at the end of this decade

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 1:08 PM
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