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SMBs Interest in Lync Online Affirms Microsoft's Office 365 Cloud Strategy

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August 23, 2012

SMBs Interest in Lync Online Affirms Microsoft's Office 365 Cloud Strategy

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

Many owners of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) shy away from investing in Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Lync Server 2010. However, many resale partners report a surging interest in Lync Online, a cloud-based communications solution that can be seamlessly integrated with Office 365.

Microsoft reported double-digit sales gains for Lync during the Worldwide Partner Conference in July. In the past six months alone, the technology giant revealed that is has captured three million enterprise voice users and two million Lync mobile clients.

Solutions like CiscoWebEx and Citrix GoToMeeting cost more than Lync with Office 365, and platforms like Skype (News - Alert) are viewed as insecure. For these reasons, companies like eMazzanti Technologies, located in Hoboken, N.J., are recommending Lync Online as a sensible add-on for Office 365 customers.

Even the Lync Server provides a significant cost savings over the deployment of a similar Cisco (News - Alert) system, according to Carl Mazzanti, eMazzanti CEO. Mazzanti claims that a Lync Server deployment costs about one-third of a Cisco deployment for most customers.

Although 90 percent of Microsoft’s Office 365 customers are small businesses, many large companies also leverage this robust solution including Lowe’s, Burger King, Patagonia, JetBlue and Starbucks.

In total, at this time Office 365 is available in 88 markets and 32 languages with the potential to reach four billion people around the world.

"The way that we sell hardware and software is going away," David Geevaratne, co-founder of Microsoft solutions provider New Signature, in a statement. "Because cloud has become so mainstream, we have less of the focus of the customer's budget being spent on servers and expensive software. And instead they can redirect the response to service revenue."

Lync Online provides presence, instant messaging, audio and video calling. The service also enables online meetings including Web, video and PC audio conferencing. The solution makes it much easier to communicate with customers due to the fact that SMB employees can reply to a customer e-mail by sending an instant message or making a quick audio call.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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