06 November 2010

Microsoft forecats cloudy weather over enterprise UC&C

Nearly 10 years after Cisco & Skype initiated the VoIP revolution that has transformed Telephony into Unified Communications, Microsoft is gearing up to rip the combined benefits of IP convergence and cloud computing with the launch of Office 365.

If the solution primarily takes aim at Google Apps -and also at "Skype for business" when the voice components are fully operational next year- on the SMB market segment, it should also be noted that it is a most valuable add-on to their on-premise UC&C offering for larger companies -as Lync server is claimed to be the PBX killer by Microsoft who has declared war to the incumbent vendors such as Cisco, Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia-Siemens and consorts.

Microsoft's interest for voice applications in the enterprise communication space is not new (TAPI, Netmeeting, Speech API) but it gained momentum in 2007 with the release of Exchange Unified Messaging & Office Communication Server products.

Since then Microsoft has made consistent efforts to streamline the initial architecture of the OCS solution (thus allowing for it to run on virtual machines) and build a full featured API for application developers rather than trying to bring extra features & sophistication to the Enterprise Voice product in an attempt to compete with traditional PBXs capabilities.

This is quite the contrary of what Cisco did. We should see if this strategy is equally successful by the end of next year.

Lync Launch video