Customers can sign up by accessing the NextUC self-provisioning trial portal and you can be provisioned within an hour after signing up. The 2-month free trial includes NextUC Enterprise and NextUC Messenger. According to NextUC, NextUC Enterprise is a cloud-based, all-inclusive voice, collaboration and conferencing platform designed for companies that want to streamline their enterprise-class telephony, instant messaging, Presence, audio, video and web conferencing and collaboration tools into one interface. This service will replace all of their audio and web conferencing charges as well as local and long distance PSTN telephony charges. It is suitable for companies that want to receive all services from one vendor for one monthly affordable cost.
NextUC explained that NextUC Messenger is intended for partners, consultants, temporary or non-strategic employees who are looking for a reliable and secure instant messaging tool. It allows users to see and display Presence information such as available, busy, in a call or in a meeting and conduct secure chat with other team members on Lync or with public IM clients that are federated with NextUC. Additionally, users can place PC to PC audio calls and PC to PC video calls. The Messenger service also allows users to participate in a Web conference via IP with up to 25 participants.
Hosted Lync offerings seem to be a fast growing market segment. It'll be interesting to see the uptake of hosted vs. customer premise Lync deployments. Maybe I'll reach out to my Microsoft contacts and ask.
Update: Wanted to point out that the free trial included unlimited PSTN minutes to the U.S. and Canada.