Lync VoIP Advances in Enterprise Adoption
February 19, 2013
By Mae Kowalke
, TMCnet Contributor
Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync, the company’s voice-over-IP (VoIP) offering, has been making inroads lately. In late 2012 alone, it grew by 40 percent according to Infonetics research, and with the latest recent release of its server product, Lync 2013, Microsoft is now gunning for the enterprise environment.
Lync 2013 is a unified communications (UC) solution that includes capabilities such as VoIP, instant messaging (IM), presence and conferencing. Enterprise customers are flocking to VoIP, according to Scott Gode, senior director at business solutions company, Avanade.
“A year ago only 10 percent [of companies used] enterprise voice," Gode told Redmondmag.com. “Now, over 50 percent of the new Lync business that’s coming our way is enterprise voice related.”
He added that there’s a renewed confidence in Lync as a very viable voice platform, and with the release of Lync 2013, there’s much bullishness among enterprise IT for the Lync technology.
This is partially because Lync 2013 is the forth release of Microsoft’s UC platform, and Gode said it is conventional wisdom to wait until at least the third release before adopting Microsoft server technology.
But while interest in Lync as an enterprise UC platform is growing, businesses would be wise to take the migration slowly.
“When implementing Lync they should perhaps not start with voice piece out of the gate because that's the most complicated piece," Gode noted. "But start with just instant messaging only, or conferencing only, or instant messaging plus conferencing."
Part of this caution comes from the critical need for reliable quality of service (QoS) when it comes to voice. While hiccups in quality might be acceptable on Skype or Apple’s (News - Alert) Facetime, enterprises adopting VoIP as their telephone solution need to be guaranteed that their service always runs smoothly.
For example, sometimes, Gode would help a client install the perfect Lync environment, only to see it fail later on when the client added a bandwidth-sucking application or didn’t properly addess the network needs to begin with.
“So the end result was that, regardless of the brilliant Lync architecture, the customer experience was bad as it relates to the quality of the voice calls and the quality of the conferencing," he explained.
Needless to say, solutions providers have picked up on this need for reliable quality of service (QoS).
One such company is Tone Software (News - Alert), a longstanding VoIP and UC monitoring firm, who last week released a free tool for monitoring VoIP QoS, its ReliaTel Free VoIP QoS Monitoring Tool. As we reported last week, Tone’s ReliaTel Free VoIP QoS Monitoring Tool provides immediate and accurate visibility into the quality of their Cisco (News - Alert) UCM and Microsoft Lync voice services, including QoS alarming and dynamic QoS management dashboard views.
“A lot of times operational support teams have to try this or that and look and hunt in several different places in order to try to figure out what’s causing their problem, and that’s a huge burden on [them],” noted Tone’s Tracey Whitney. “Users have bad experiences because the operations and support team don’t have the ability to get in front of these problems as they’re developing because they just don’t have the analytics, and ReliaTel really helps in that scenario to give them the trending views they need to see where they’re starting to develop issues.”
So while there still are kinks that are being worked out – and will undoubtedly continue to need working out – Lync is definitely making inroads in the enterprise space, and Tone Software is right there to support its growing needs.
To learn more about industry expert Tone Software, visit www.tonesoft.com.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo