A Blog Series for U.S. Partners by Jenni Flinders, Microsoft U.S. Vice President, Partner Strategy and Programs.

JenniFlindersRight on the heels of the Microsoft Partner Network’s first-year anniversary on November 1, we have cause once again to celebrate as Microsoft Lync “turns 1” this month. One year ago, we introduced Lync to the world, and it’s been transforming communications by connecting people in new ways ever since. With this solution, we sought to fulfill an unmet customer need for a truly seamless unified communications experience, and the speed and enthusiasm of adoption in the marketplace tells us that we delivered something special in Lync.

The benefits to customers have been measured in terms of cost savings and, just as valuable, meaningful connections.

  • LA Fitness reports saving more than $650,000 per year using Lync;
  • The U.S. Army relies on Lync to help keep soldiers connected;
  • Swisscom, which deployed Lync across its entire 15,000-employee enterprise, recently decommissioned all of its former VoIP systems, netting the company $17 million in savings.

If that customer evidence isn't reason enough to cheer, I am doubly pleased that so many of you in the Microsoft Partner Network are realizing success in alignment with Lync’s popularity. The fact that nearly 3 million enterprise users now utilize Lync for telephony offers statistical validation, but I’m just as excited about the value Lync has brought to your individual businesses. Microsoft Lync - The Next Generation of Communications Server

Many of you have signaled that you understand your customers’ business needs for fully integrated communications by pursuing certification in the Partner Network’s new Communications competency, for partners who sell, deploy, support, or develop Lync solutions. For those who are in the process of obtaining this competency, you’re positioned to deliver Microsoft unified communications consultations and deployment to a marketplace hungry for this solution.

For partners who have not yet pursued the new Communications competency, consider the customer successes detailed above and the other Lync customer stories as indicators of how you could grow your business by differentiating yourself with expertise in this area, and capitalizing on the value Lync is clearly driving for organizations around the U.S.

As a member of the Partner Network with a silver competency, a gold competency, or a Microsoft Action Pack subscription, you have access to internal-use rights (IUR) software benefits to deploy Lync internally, so you can speak from first-hand experience with your customers about the increased productivity and savings Lync brings to a business. You can use the licensing calculator to determine your specific IUR benefits, and should review the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Licensing Guide to learn how to integrate your solution with the appropriate licensing option. If you are using Lync already, we have begun introducing Lync mobile clients, starting with Lync 2010 for Windows Phone.

Many of you are selling and deploying Lync solutions today, and I hope that many more will learn about the Communications competency in the year ahead and win new business because of your differentiated expertise.

To all of our partners, I raise a virtual glass to you and say, “What a great year it’s been…job well done!” Please keep the engagement alive in 2012 and share your plans for the New Year on Twitter @Jenni_Flinders.

Sincerely,

Jenni Flinders
Microsoft Vice President, U.S. Partner Strategy and Programs

Follow @Jenni_Flinders on Twitter. Read all Partnering with Precision blog posts.

Read the MPN Year 1 Reflections post published on October 11.

Read other Partnering with Precision posts on this blog.

Read Previous Posts by Jenni Flinders on the U.S. Partner Portal.