Polycom, Verizon, Others Create Lync Ecosystem

By Charlene O'Hanlon Comments
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A number of vendors have lended their support to Microsoft Lync 2010 with a slew of new offerings designed to interoperate with the technology.

The latest version of Microsoft's Office Communications Server, renamed Lync 2010, is a full-fledged unified communications and collaboration platform that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office, Sharepoint and Exchange to provide a full-fledged unified communications experience.

Verizon Business is working with Microsoft to deliver Microsoft Online Services, a cloud-based unified communications and collaboration solution aimed at the SMB space. The service combines Verizon's voice, Internet, security, mobility and backup services with Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting and Office Communications Online to deliver seamless UC across PCs, phones, mobility devices and Web browsers. Verizon also announced it is introducing new consulting services that facilitate the adoption of Lync 2010 across an enterprise, including Workshop and Strategic Planning Services, Assessment Services, Architecture and Design Services, Deployment and Integration Services and Unified Communications Applications Enablement Planning Services.

Dialogic has released Survivable Branch Appliance software to run on the Dialogic 4000 Media Gateway Series, meeting a requirement of Lync 2010 that provides communications and connectivity for branch office users even if the WAN connection is lost to the centralized data centers.

Dialogic, a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, is immediately releasing the SBA software upgrade on all DMG4000 Gateways. Existing DMG4000 Gateways can also be field upgraded via a software package, available through Dialogic authorized channel partners, the companies noted.

Polycom has introduced four new components to its portfolio of voice and video endpoints, including the CX3000 telepresence system, the CX500 and CX600 desktop phones, and the CX5000, a high-definition audio and video camera offering 360-degree panoramic view. All of the Polycom devices integrate natively to Microsoft Lync 2010 and feature standards-based H.264 technology, which reduces bandwidth for HD video by up to 50 percent. The CX series phones, available now, feature a user interface that incorporates the elements of unified communications including calendar, presence and videoconferencing capability. The CX3000, meanwhile, is a conferencing unit with the traditional style of other Polycom conference endpoints that can connect to a PC to enable the visual elements of unified communications.

"You will see from Polycom more investment in unified communications and obviously Lync will be a cornerstone of that effort," said Mark Roberts, vice president of Partner Marketing at Polycom. "Lync 2010 is a real game-changer."

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