Some people were skeptical at our Unified Communications Launch in 2007, when Bill Gates said that the magic of software would move business communications far beyond phone calls, and, that over time, the transformation to software-based communications on the Internet would provide more capabilities at a lower cost than PBX systems. Even when we unveiled the Lync Server voice feature set in 2010, and demonstrated in a public RFP session how Lync delivered presence, instant messaging, video, web conferencing, and voice at a lower price than competitors’ voice only seats, people still wondered….when would enterprises shift their buying criteria from PBX systems to UC?

The answer is now.

Interest in Lync is huge, based on a recently released report by Infotrack. This year, almost 60% of enterprises (500+ seats) surveyed are deploying or planning to deploy Lync, including enterprise voice, up from 45% last year. The proportion of enterprises with no plans to deploy Lync for voice dropped dramatically, from 21% down to only 7%. Finally, one in four enterprises now report Microsoft as their preferred vendor for IP-PBXs, a number unheard of back in 2010.

Our financial results reflect the growing customer adoption. In our Fiscal Year 2013 earnings release, we announced that Lync revenue grew 30% year over year. In our earnings call, we also disclosed that the Lync business, including Lync Server and Lync Online, surpassed $1B in annual revenue. Our voice software license sales grew 150% on top of an already significant installed base, which we noted in February at Lync Conference was more than 5M seats. 

Finally, at Microsoft’s recent Financial Analyst Meeting, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner shared – based on a comparison of our internal sales information to the enterprise telephony shipments of every PBX maker, including Cisco and Avaya, as provided by analyst firm, T3i -- that Microsoft is now shipping more enterprise voice lines than any other technology company in the world.[1].

These stats are meaningful, but they don’t tell the full picture. Lync’s success has never been just about voice -- it’s about the ability to deliver the communications tools that people rely on to get their jobs done, and the capabilities businesses need to succeed in a highly competitive world.  In recent months, we’ve added the ability to connect to your customers, partners and suppliers using Lync-Skype connectivity, updated free apps available across all of the major mobile platforms, and delivered Lync Room System products through partners for the best conference room experience anywhere.

Shell, The Jetstar Group, Obama for America, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Red Wing Shoes, The Kennedy Center, Marquette University, Bentley Systems and Cerner and many other companies use Lync, including voice, to improve their employees’ productivity, deliver greater work life balance with remote and mobile capabilities, and save money compared to alternatives. Read the case studies for their full stories.

We know not all companies move at the same speed and that it’s rare for a company to rip out every legacy PBX at the same time, but the case studies and the market data show that companies are moving to Lync in increasing numbers as their primary communications solution – including voice. I can’t wait to share  more at Lync Conference in February, and I hope you’ll join us. Register now!

BJ Haberkorn
Director, Lync Product Marketing


[1] Lync enterprise voice shipment data from Microsoft internal sources; market and competitor data (for shipments of 400+ lines) provided by T3i Group LLC (www.t3igroup.com).