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November 17, 2010

Microsoft News - Thinking About Moving to Microsoft Lync? AudioCodes Has Your Migration Strategy

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

It’s true, Microsoft (News - Alert) it making yet another splash with the relaunch/rebranding of its unified communications platform. If its predictions are right and it has truly brought about a revolution in UC, what a great asset for the business world to discover and enjoy.

Rich Tehrani (News - Alert), incidentally, was in New York recently for a demo, along with Tom Keating, and suggests Microsoft Lync 2010 is, indeed, a significant upgrade over OCS.

If we know one thing, which was made clear in 2007, when Microsoft first launched OCS, it’s that, for all its features and benefits, the world simply isn’t ready to jump headfirst into an unknown platform from a vendor that, while enhancing business operations, isn’t immune to glitches and other software issues. Perhaps even more importantly, businesses have made investments in their communications systems and aren’t ready to give them up yet. 

Microsoft Lync 2010, however, however, while also offering a standalone UC solution, also allows for a well-defined migration strategy and integrates with existing PBX (News - Alert) systems, allowing businesses to try out Lync and maximizing ROI on their existing infrastructure.

“Businesses aren’t just going to unplug their PBXs and switch on Lync overnight,” says Alan Percy, director of market development at AudioCodes (News - Alert). “It takes a migration strategy. They need to be able to connect to their existing PBX; they need to be able to connect to their existing service providers; they need security solutions for SIP trunking.”

That migration strategy is where AudioCodes comes into the Lync 2010 picture. Its Mediant media gateway family, including the Mediant 1000, Mediant 2000, and Mediant 3000, all of which can be remotely upgraded to support Lync 2010, provide a the connectivity to allow businesses to easily integrate their existing telephony infrastructures into a Microsoft Lync environment.

For distributed enterprises, the AudioCodes solutions also enable survivable communications between branch office and the main headquarters/data center, including integrated data routing, firewalling and access for the branches.

Be allowing businesses to connect to Lync 2010, without having to re-invest in hardware and without having to seek new service providers and equipment, AudioCodes ensures businesses can not only maximize on their previous investments, but define a strategic migration path to full unified communications that meets their needs.

“It’s clearly going to be a long transition process, migrating from existing TDM equipment, and even some of the more recent IP PBXs, over to full UC,” added Percy. “We’ve made a decision to be the piece of the puzzle that helps businesses migrate from that legacy equipment over to a potentially standalone UC environment.”

With workforces becoming more mobile by the week, and with mobile access to business communications features becomes a requirement, AudioCodes also offers its VMAS solution, which can also be integrated into a Microsoft environment, providing either WiFi- or 3G-enabled soft client for connecting to the unified communication features. In fact, the VMAS client is available for not only cell phones, but as a desktop or Web client as well, for those businesses looking to reduce investments in deskphones.

Of course, any major Microsoft announcement is followed by a flurry of vendor activity in support – this is no different. But, according to Percy, what’s important with the AudioCodes offerings is they are ready for the market today: “The hardware platforms necessary to deploy Lync are not just prototypes or trial products, they are now in full GA as product offerings from AudioCodes.”

Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask

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