Internet Solutions (IS) is to offer Microsoft Lync 2013, an enterprise-ready unified communications platform, as a hosted solution.
The announcement comes at a time when mid- to enterprise-sized businesses globally are looking to mobility and unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) to improve competitiveness, enhance operational efficiency and productivity, and reduce telecommunication costs.

According to 2013 mobile workforce adoption trends for the UK and US released by Forrester, 37% of workers already work from multiple locations and 53% of workers use multiple devices to access e-mail, browse the Web, access intranet portals, Web conference, file sync and collaborate with colleagues.

“As is reflected in these trends, now is the time for South African businesses to start taking the adoption of UC&C seriously,” says Wayne Speechly, executive: communications at IS.
“Microsoft Hosted Lync 2013 is the perfect solution for organisations that want to accelerate their unified and collaborative communication capabilities, as this will deliver a multitude of business benefits.”

According to Speechly, despite the fact that the ability to effectively communicate sits at the core of every successful organisation, the technology that enables it is typically not a core competency.

“Organisations often have such a material jump to enable this kind of capability, given their legacy technology. Therefore, many businesses are looking to the adoption of hosted solutions and the delivery of unified communication as a service (UCaaS) as a feasible option.”

IS’ hosted Microsoft Lync 2013 solution offers businesses an end-to-end enterprise-ready unified communications platform that delivers a consistent experience for presence, instant messaging, voice telephony, voice mail and video, web and audio conferencing across multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, phones and tablets.

The Lync solution also addresses other telecommunication challenges, such as the consumerisation of communication technologies and the prolific challenges posed to the organisation by the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend.

“The adoption of the hosted Lync solution also negates the impact of device evolution,” explains Speechly.

“Hosted Lync also allows employees to work and communicate in real time with colleagues, customers and partners from virtually anywhere through Lync Meetings, which improves productivity.

“In addition, it enables new ways of collaborating via voice and video, all through a single unified client. More importantly though it does all of this while reducing the cost of communication by between 5% and 30% and telephony charges by between 50% and 70%.”

It can reduce costs even further as it limits the need for costly travel, explains Speechly. “As the solution is hosted it also reduces the total cost of ownership of a company’s IT and communication infrastructure through simplification, consolidation and integration.”

Additional benefits of this hosted UC&C solution include flexible, simple and rapid deployment, as well as centralised management and administration. This allows an IT department to easily add new users, update software and manage devices.

“Users also enjoy content and application sharing, as well as integration with Office Apps, and business continuity with data centre failover and WAN survivability.