By Alan D. Percy, Senior Director of Marketing NA, AudioCodes
Many resellers have seen success with Voice-enabled Microsoft Lync 2010, selling equipment and services into the mid-market and enterprises where businesses tend to have their own data centers or private cloud infrastructure. Meanwhile, deploying voice-enabled Lync to the small business market (under 250 seats) has been difficult, requiring dedicated server pool infrastructure for each business, resulting in high overhead costs.
During a recent AudioCodes-hosted webinar, Roy King, Business Planner at Microsoft and Larry Clarkson, CTO, AudioCodes addressed this challenge and walked us through the new hosting options available with the recently released Lync 2013.
For enterprises or mid-market, the existing Lync edition would continue to be deployed in either a customer-premise data center or a private cloud data center. A reseller partner could host Lync for a customer in a “hosted dedicated” architecture. Not much has changed here as reseller partners provide the equipment, installation, configuration and maintenance of the Lync server pool and related devices. Customization and business process integration are excellent ways for resellers to differentiate themselves and deepen their relationship with the enterprise. This is by far the most common deployment model for Lync to date.
The significant change in Lync 2013 is the new cloud-friendly version in the “Lync Hosting Pack”, enabling multi-tenant operation of Lync – ideal for servicing multiple smaller businesses that don’t want their own on-site Lync installation. As noted by Roy King during the webinar “small businesses don’t have the same requirements as enterprises, but do need customization or other features”. The Lync Hosting Pack opens up a whole new range of opportunities for resellers, allowing them to offer cloud-based voice-enabled Lync to smaller businesses, hosting it in a cloud data center of their own, or from a cloud computing provider.
As part of the cloud-based deployment architectures, AudioCodes media gateways and E-SBCs continue to play an important role in either the customer premise or the cloud data center, providing connectivity between the hosted Lync software and the public network. In addition, AudioCodes Survivable Branch Appliances continue to play an important role in providing voice quality monitoring, local trunking access and continued operation in cases where connectivity to the cloud data center is lost.
It seems that the new cloud-friendly Lync 2013 is something that resellers should take a close look at, helping refine a cloud strategy and offer.
If you’d like to learn more about Lync 2013 and the architectures supported by the Microsoft Lync Hosted Pack, you can view the recently recorded webinar “Microsoft Lync Hosting Strategy and Voice”. Access to the recording via the following link: http://bit.ly/VBVlAQ
Alan Percy is Senior Director of Strategic Marketing for North America at AudioCodes, a leading provider of Voice over IP networking products and enabling technology.