BT and Microsoft team for Lync cloud service

James Stirling News
6 Jan, 2012

US customers will get the benefit of British Telecoms, with the firm offering Microsoft’s voice platform in the cloud.

BT and Microsoft have announced a partnership to provide the latter’s Lync Voice platform through the cloud.

Lync offers users numerous communications capabilities via a PC, including VoIP calls, video conferencing and instant messaging.

Initially a software option, Microsoft has included it as part of its cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) package Office 365. Now, in partnership with BT, it will offer Lync as a service by itself with the pilot enabling one instance to serve 250 users.

Despite BT’s notoriety in the UK, the pilot will only be running in the US out of BT’s operations centre in Irving, Texas. Customers the other side of the pond will be given a 90-day trial to test the service and design/implementation advice, including whether on-premise systems would be necessary.

Both companies have warned, however, that service levels may not be up to scratch.

“During the pilot phase, performance is subject to access technologies and other factors that may impact service levels,” read the statement.  

Despite covering themselves on this aspect though, there is a lot of enthusiasm on both sides, firstly about Lync but secondly around the growing partnership between the firms.

Kirk Gregerson, general manager of Microsoft Lync, said: “Our goal is to work together to maximise the benefits of converged communications to increase business growth for our customers.”
Jason Cook, chief architect and CTO of BT Global Services in the US, added: “We’re excited to be able to introduce customers to a low-risk opportunity to evaluate a production-class Lync environment.”

“[They will] benefit from substantially lower costs and faster time-to-production of a pilot compared to a typical on-premise systems integration project.”

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