What I Learned from Microsoft WPC 2014 in DC

Microsoft wpc was a great show and as a first-timer, what can I say? Microsoft is going after Enterprise Voice (EV) and they’re like a locomotive going full steam ahead. They did this show in style and they took over our nation’s capitol city.

This time it’s not about the PBX. It’s about transforming the way company employees communicate – desk phones being replaced with tablets, smartphones extending the experience with Mobile Lync apps all tied together via SDN (Software Defined Networking) – wowser!

Trust me, they are studying EVERYONE with a Directory infrastructure that is getting into UC – from Facebook to Amazon and Cisco to Siemens – the race is on. Their angle? Platform is the Key!

And everybody already uses Microsoft’s platform, right? Active Directory, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange…Bueller?
Today, there are numerous, different UC clients in front of the end user. Microsoft feels strongly that Microsoft Lync 2013 and beyond brings forth the most elegant experience, and oh, most IM is Microsoft already.

Microsoft Lync Users 52% + Skype Users 22% + Messenger Users 8% = 82% of the IM space!

So, fasten your seat belts if you’re going to jump on Microsoft locomotive because as they showed us at Microsoft WPC, it’s complex!1.5 billion people use Windows every day

Microsoft WPC: What I Learned

At Microsoft WPC, Microsoft detailed how to sell and install Lync so you get the maximum benefits.

You need to be prepared to sell to:

  • C-Level: What’s the value to the business and savings for the company? Microsoft explained the importance of articulating the business case. They recommend showing savings in any of the areas like voice traffic, roaming, travel, conference services, PBX maintenance, etc.)
  • IT: It’s important to convince IT you can bring it all together – network, PCs, etc., and DELIVER! The key is to offer end-to-end global value proposition – from device to application. The real winners will be those who integrate the legacy systems with Lync. This will have lasting impact on the way the sales people communicate!
  • Users: Will they adopt the solution and what is the best way to test-drive it? Tip: Give it to executives and their assistants first!

To install it? Get prepared and PARTNER UP!

Byron Spurlock, Microsoft UC Architect, talked about this in his presentation at Microsoft WPC. He said:

✓      If you don’t have Lync Experience, partner with someone who does!

 ✓      Get the Right Tools – being able to assess the existing IP or Legacy environment to ensure Lync readiness is key to making sure there is enough bandwidth, as well as an understanding of current call flows and trunk utilization. Check out VXSuite for this.

 ✓      Keep an Eye on Things – Use the tools to perform ongoing voice and video quality monitoring as the Lync environment grows, especially as remote offices, contact centers, and multimedia customer service environments leverage Lync.

Byron also talked about this at our VXMadness Partner Conference last March in his Microsoft Lync Technical Dive session. Click here to watch it. He recommends using VXSuite as a key tool to determining Lync success.

To wrap it up, Microsoft WPC 2014 was a riot – great venues, demos, and a wonderful VIP party at the Hey-Adams Hotel with amazing views of the White House and monuments everywhere. Plus, quality discussions with some of the largest manufacturers and integrators (Fujitsu, HP, Dell, Mitel, etc.) all there with the intent to embrace this locomotive as it starts gaining speed down the line.

Takeaway stats:

Last Year

  • Fifteen percent of US Enterprises had begun to deploy Lync with Enterprise Voice.
  • Forty-four percent were in the planning stages of Microsoft Lync EV deployment.

This Year

  • More than half of those that were in the planning stages last year have actually begun their deployment, thus increasing the current total to 44 percent, tripling the 15 percent from a year ago.
  • Only 21 percent of the Enterprises were either waiting for the results for their trials before deciding whether to deploy Lync EV or had no plans to deploy. That represents a 20 point reduction in the “Undecided” or “No Plans” group from last year.

So hold on tight and let’s see where this ride takes us!

What are you doing to deploy Microsoft Lync? Are you an installer? What are you doing to help ensure success for your customers

Kurt Karshick (2 Blog Posts)

Kurt has over 15 years as a technology strategist and business developer in both Start Up and seasoned firms. As Director of Channel Management - East, Kurt's focus is on the East Coast channel sales and partner development at LVM. This includes all types of organizations supporting and delivering Digital/IP PBX, UC platforms and/or Microsoft LYNC initiatives as well as those looking to deliver voice-oriented managed services as provided via our Cloud/Premise based VXSuite of solutions.