Microsoft (News - Alert) partners have recently reported accelerated interest in the cloud edition of Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Lync Online, among small and medium-sized business owners.
At InfinIT Consulting, a managed services provider in San Jose, Calif., close to 85 percent of Lync customers opt to combine Lync Online with Office 365, replacing insecure communications platforms such as Skype or more pricey offerings such as Citrix GoToMeeting or Cisco (News - Alert) WebEx, said Jerod Powell, CEO and founder, in a statement.
He further added, "Lync is a slam dunk argument for most people. It can save some companies thousands of dollars."
Lync Online can be purchased either on its own or bundled with Microsoft Office 365. Subscription pricing for the standalone version of Lync Online starts at $2 per month per user for basic features that includes instant messaging, presence, PC to PC calling and federation.
Carl Mazzanti, CEO and cofounder of eMazzanti Technologies, a Microsoft partner in Hoboken, N.J., said he is presenting Lync Online to all of his Office 365 customers. Between five and 10 percent of eMazzanti's clients are prospects for Lync Server 2010 because they want to replace existing on-premises solutions and the Lync Server can be deployed at approximately one-third the cost of a Cisco solution.
eMazzanti officials recommend that its SMB accounts consider Lync Online rather than the on-premises solution so that they can invest that money elsewhere.
During the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in mid-July, the technology giant reported that sales of Lync grew at double-digit rates for the 2012 fiscal year that ended June 30. More than three million enterprise voice users have adopted the service and two million Lync mobile clients were downloaded in the past six months alone.
Microsoft Lync Server is a unified communications platform that combines instant messaging, videoconferencing, e-mail and collaboration technologies.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein