AT&T’s Enterprise UC Offering Now Includes Microsoft Lync
AT&T announces that it is adding Microsoft Lync to its enterprise unified communications (UC) portfolio. AT&T says that its business customers can use Lync in three ways: through their on-premise data center, as part of AT&T’s Office 365 cloud-based services, or directly hosted by AT&T’s network. IT integration and support are also provided by the cellular giant. According to reports, the partnership between the two companies involves a revenue-sharing model, not an exclusive one.
AT&T is also planning to make its Application Programming Interface (API) available to the users of the Lync platform. The API enables developers to make custom mobile and web-based enterprise applications.
AT&T, having over 110 million subscribers, is currently the largest cellular network in the United States. To be included in AT&T’s suite of UC offerings is a feat for Lync because it helps expand the market reach for Microsoft’s enterprise communications platform. According to Bloomberg, the most expensive version of Lync has five million customers. And this is likely to grow with the AT&T-Microsoft deal because AT&T has a huge global IP network and can provide fast transmission through its fiber line.
With Microsoft Lync among its UC offerings, AT&T business customers can now collaborate in real time with their applications and documents, perform HD video conferencing and telepresence, and communicate quickly through instant messaging or via a range of enterprise-grade voice capabilities. A wide range of devices, such as PCs, smartphones, and tablets, as well as various operating systems like Android, iOS, Windows, and Windows Phone, can also be used with the Lync platform.
Lync is one of the two communications tools marketed by Microsoft. It enables instant messaging, screen sharing, video chatting, and voice calling. What makes it different from Skype, its counterpart that is popular among consumers, is its internal security features. Lync is recently placed in the Office 365 for Business line of products.
“Our customers expect to connect their employees with one another regardless of location or device,” said Chris Hill, senior vice president of Advanced Solutions at AT&T Business Solutions. “By expanding our relationship with Microsoft, we now offer more choices for how customers can use our collaboration solutions to transform their organization.”
“Lync has continued its rapid growth with customers, contributing to 11 straight quarters of double-digit growth,” said Derek Burney, corporate vice president for Microsoft Lync. “This expanded relationship with AT&T underscores the growing role Lync has in the Unified Communications landscape and is an opportunity for both of our companies to continue to deliver businesses the tools they need to collaborate.” (KOM) Link. Link. Link. Link.