Is Microsoft Lync Taking us back to the 1960s?

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lyncAn office phone system of any size usually consists of multiple inbound lines mapped to a larger number of phones sitting on desks and is supposed to meet all telephony needs for the organization.

Lync is undermining that assumption and taking us back to the situation in the 1960s and 70s where organizations operated internal phone systems, ‘PAX’, and an externally facing ‘PBX’.

Because Lync is being introduced via the MS desktop estate, it reaches a market that’s currently poorly served from the PBX and circumvents the traditional voice management and procurement routes.

Out of the box, Lync offers IM, presence, screenshare, internal extension to extension calling, and an audio bridge. Call Recording? Possibly a few other features. Leaving aside the difficulty to install it and get it going compared to many other Unified Communications clients such as our own gloCOM. The missing feature is inbound DDI and outbound calling.

The use case is as follows:

Virtual teams within an organization will use presence and IM and screenshare and a combination of mobile and desktop audio. They’ll make use of the onboard audio conferencing for internal discussions but have to use a traditional audio service and some other to another service if external parties are involved.  This undermines the whole thing as the Lync audio client is now redundant, although landline and mobile are available, as soon as you consider the need for a headset it gets messy.  A user would need 3 headsets.

Apart from the power of Microsoft – why does anybody bother?

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