In a recent customer conversation regarding Microsoft Lync 2013 we discussed a “Unified Communications” tender they had been completed just over a year earlier. To our surprise what the customer had actually done was not a UC tender but simply a dial tone replacement (change phone systems) that did not provide any of the UC features they actually wanted and hence why they are now looking at Lync to provide that functionality.
While the system they selected does have UC functionality available which in my opinion is not as good as what is offered by Microsoft Lync, items such as IM, Presence and conferencing, these were considered as extra in the agreement from the expensive VOIP phone system they actually purchased. 40% over budget the project was stopped and they have a VOIP phone system that does the same as their old phone system with no new functionality.
Don’t get me wrong it’s a good phone system; but it is not a Unified Communications system. Had they gone with Lync enterprise voice it would have cost them less (they already own the Microsoft Lync licenses) would have had all of the functionality they want and need built into the one client which is tightly integrated with their other investments in Exchange and SharePoint.
When you are thinking about modernizing your phone system, don’t just think VOIP, it’s largely just a replacement of the same functionality utilizing different technology. Think about what your business needs, tightly integrated with your business applications, full IM, presence and conferencing with integrated and affordable video conferencing, options for today’s modern workplace with work from home or remote working, seamless desktop and contact integration with social networks such as Skype to name just a few of today’s business requirements.
If you want all of these functions, you need to look at Microsoft Lync!