Page 2 of 3
Lync will be a great way for many solution providers to expand their competencies, Pall noted, given its seamless integration with Sharepoint, Exchange, Office and the other linchpins of the Microsoft portfolio. Lync Online, which the company has promised as a forthcoming Lync version for Office 365, its cloud and hosted services offering, will also be a flexible option for partners designing cloud computing solutions for customers.
"One of the big things we did for Lync is made the same code work for on-premise and as-a-service, so as we transition from Live Meeting and upgrade to Lync Online, we'll see the presence capability, conference capability, Sharepoint Online, all of those things being available when Office 365 ships," Pall said.
Lync's extendability is its competitive edge, he reiterated.
"We feel great about the fact that some of our competitors have different products for on-premise, and different products for cloud. That's a big gap. But we've got the same bits running in the cloud and on-premise," Pall said.
Hewlett Packard is among Microsoft's key system integrator and reseller partners, and back in 2009, the companies forged a four-year, $180 million global initiative to deliver integrated UC and collaboration solutions.
The launch of Lync, and the certification of nine HP devices, including PCs, as "Lync-optimized," is the latest step in that relationship, said Richard Skoba, director of worldwide strategy, unified communication and collaboration for HP Services.
"HP, as you know, has the rest of the stack, from desktops to data center," he said Wednesday. "We integrate with Lync, and it's a pretty powerful message to the traditional PBX world. We're excited about it -- you never bet against Microsoft -- and it's a neat technology. I tell people if they're not believers and they use the technology, they'll get it."
UC and collaboration are major sales priorities for HP's services arm this year, Skoba said, and are now an enterprise business initiative within HP, meaning that the company's greater sales force -- and not just its dedicated UC and collaboration team -- is pushing the message.
"You'll see it in the top-tier accounts, the enterprise and some of the commercial space," Skoba said. "This is a big initiative right now."