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CLOUD PARTNERS – CallTower (Booth 807) says it will launch Microsoft Office 365 integrated with Lync Enterprise Voice in the fourth quarter, creating a complete UCaaS platform.
Office 365 houses the programs businesses use, including Exchange, Word, Outlook, Excel and Lync Online. There’s also Office on Demand, which features access from any Internet-enabled device.
As such, all Office 365 licenses come with email, Web conferencing, presence and instant messaging. But an E3 license includes voicemail while its E4 counterpart contains Lync with Enterprise Voice, a standing VoIP system that enhances or replaces traditional PBXs. However, to activate the VoIP capabilities, businesses also must deploy Lync Server, either on-site or in a hosted data center.
That further means integrating the Lync Enterprise Voice license with a SIP provider. CallTower says this can be expensive; time-consuming if deployed on-premise; and that additional technical staffing is required. To help solve the problem, CallTower, since the release of Lync 2013, has been allowing enterprises to use their E3 or E4 licenses to deploy Lync Enterprise Voice in a hosted model. That lets Lync operate as a full PBX replacement in less time and it saves more money, CallTower says.
And while the company has been specializing in providing full-featured hosted Lync with Enterprise Voice for some time, it’s taking that expertise a step further with the upcoming integration of Office 365 and Lync Enterprise Voice. This will, CallTower said, create a complete UCaaS solution for any enterprise.
The timing is right for channel partners to consider selling such a service. MarketsandMarkets forecast in May that the UCaaS market will grow from $13.1 billion in 2014 to $23.34 billion in 2019. And Frost & Sullivan found in June that 26 percent of large organizations plan to move their communications to the cloud in the next three years.