September 2012 – Prepared by Zeus Kerravala

Unified communications (UC) has been a market in the making for more than a decade, with a focus on bringing together all collaborative applications. The coming together of communications and collaboration technology opened the door for many new vendors to enter a market historically dominated by voicecentric solution providers.

Microsoft, with its latest release of Lync, provides a high-quality collaborationcentric alternative to the traditional UC solutions. Many organizations have begun to take a serious look. In fact, a 2012 ZK Research survey on UC purchasing intentions shows Microsoft and Cisco are now the two dominant vendors in this rapidly evolving market.

However, enterprise customers have decades of investments in legacy telephony infrastructures and related business processes that need to be bridged to the Lync all-IP environment. Many companies use Lync for chat and presence but continue with legacy telephony infrastructure for voice communications. This significantly limits the benefits organizations can realize with their UC migration.

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