Since traditional telephony met the Internet and Voice Over Internal Protocol was born, the way your business communicates internally and externally has changed. With the popularity and advantages of the converged network came a need to unify communications.
Unified communications spawned other technology platforms by which businesses could stay competitive in the mobile workspace by allowing employees to communicate and collaborate anytime, anywhere and increasingly on any device.
Last year brought significant upgrades and improvements to Microsoft’s cloud services, and the introduction of Microsoft Lync 2010. Microsoft Lync gives a business’s communication services the ability to connect colleagues, customers and partners virtually anywhere on virtually any existing network infrastructure. When a business communicates today there are numerous options from phone, fax, and email to instant messaging, electronic whiteboards, and web conferences. As employees become increasingly mobile, with varying collaboration wants and needs, providing the most appropriate communications in a robust, enterprise-class fashion is increasingly essential to maintain a competitive edge.
Microsoft Lync Server 2010, the on-premises solution, or the cloud-based Lync Online combines voice, data, and video to eliminate roadblocks in communications and improve productivity.
Businesses in Northern New York have a communications partner that has embraced emerging technologies. Through a deep understanding and long history of success with voice communications, data networks, and voice applications, it saw unified communications as the next logical progression.
Ronco Communications, Tonawanda, with strong roots throughout Central and Northern New York, has recently earned the Microsoft Gold Unified Communications Partner distinction.
Jamie Schwinn, Ronco’s unified communications engineer, who is a Microsoft Certified Master on Lync Server 2010 – one of only 40 in the United States and Canada – has provided Ronco the depth and breadth of skill to help an organization implement communications options, such as software-powered voice, PBX integration, instant messaging, on-premise audio and video conferencing, application sharing, and mobile access.
“Microsoft sees Ronco as a high-value partner with a unique ability to implement and support Lync in heterogeneous environments. Their skill lies not only with system integration but software development,” said Bill Sherry, Clifton Park, the Northeast voice business development manager for Microsoft. “Ronco also is a participant in some of Microsoft’s early adopter technology programs.”
Participation in these programs is not easily obtained; partners must demonstrate significant capability in respective areas. This is an example of true partnership that has many organizational connections ranging from practice development to product development.
Last month, Microsoft and Ronco hosted a Microsoft Lync launch event near Rochester, which gave key business managers and decision-makers a chance to see how a single interface – Microsoft Lync 2010 – united voice, IM, audio, video, and Web-conferencing into a rich, contextual offering.
The demonstration showed how end users, with a single identity, make it easier and more efficient to find contacts, check their availability, and connect through IM, desktop sharing and video conferencing all on a single connection. It is evident that Microsoft Lync worked consistently across the Microsoft Office Suite, with tremendous potential to enrich an employee’s already-familiar experiences with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and more. From an IT standpoint, Microsoft Lync seemed equally beneficial, providing a highly secure and reliable system that works with Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, and SharePoint.
Later this year, I plan to take John Magee up on his offer to see Microsoft Lync in a real-time environment. Mr. Magee is a partner and COO for the Bonadio Group. So look for a future column with valuable feedback on the advantages, challenges and subsequent return on investment results as the Bonadio Group implements Microsoft Lync across its enterprise in partnership with Ronco.