I am not a tech junkie. When my husband bought me my first cell phone years ago, I was annoyed at the loss of privacy--now anyone could reach me anytime. But today I can’t live without my smart phone. Its ability to help me organize and conduct my crazy life on one small screen has definitely made life better, and I’d never go back. That’s the same experience I am having with Lync.
Brocade has deployed Lync Server 2010 and I’ve traded my desk phone for a headset, so my phone comes with me anywhere my laptop goes. The Lync client has become the center of my communications world. Its integration with Exchange email and our corporate directory make it possible for me to reach out to anyone at Brocade, see if they are available (green) and start a conversation, whether IM, phone or video. Conference calls are now a “one-click” experience, rather than two minutes of pass code dialing frustration.
All of this is made possible by the Brocade IT department, which championed the rollout of Microsoft unified communications to its employees, both to increase our productivity and reduce costs. As a company with 4,000+ employees spread across the globe, this meant IT needed to gain new expertise to deploy and manage integrated messaging, voice and conferencing infrastructure. Since UC runs across the same network as corporate data, add network expertise to that list. Luckily our IT folks work for a networking vendor—they had that one nailed!
What about companies that don’t have the necessary IT expertise, or prefer to keep IT focused on other areas? This week at UC Expo in London, Microsoft, Brocade and an ecosystem of leading technology vendors unveil a new reference architecture to help service providers build and offer hosted Lync services. The reference architecture is based on an actual deployment of hosted Lync and Exchange in New York, Seattle, London and Paris. The goal is to make it easier for service providers to deploy hosted unified communications for their own customers. Here’s a video presenting Microsoft’s view of the key part played by Brocade in the reference architecture:
Email is currently the leading app in the cloud. The next logical step is unified communications in the cloud, with integrated messaging, voice, conferencing and collaboration. You may find yourself communicating with coworkers in a whole new way sooner than you think. Is this as big as the cell phone? Maybe bigger. All I know is, I’m a happy Lync user and I’m not going back!