Enterprise Connect – the event formerly known as ‘VoiceCon’ – is here again, bringing together a great collection of industry leaders in the business communications space.  More than 5,000 IT administrators, IT pros and top decision makers are here in Orlando, and we couldn’t be happier to be here ourselves.

We are particularly excited about this year’s event being fresh off the heels of launching Microsoft Lync.  Lync delivers on the vision Microsoft has been discussing for years – and as a result, it’s being embraced and adopted by customers and partners all over the world.

Today, Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of for the Office Business Productivity Group – of which Lync is a part – will keynote for Microsoft.  It’s been great to see how customers are already getting great ROI and end user adoption with Lync 2010, just three months after launch, and Kirk’s presentation will include some of these stories.  While I don’t want to steal his thunder, here’s a sneak preview of two of these stories:

LA FITNESS

LA Fitness, widely regarded as one of the leading fitness and sports clubs in the United States and Canada, has more than 20,000 employees working for more than 360 clubs across North America. A short while ago, the business had an aging PBX and legacy VOIP solutions, and needed to reduce its telephony costs while continuing to open new clubs. The company also wanted new communications and collaboration tools, which could provide employees with an integrated solution for staying in touch with customers, colleagues and partners.

LA Fitness decided to deploy Lync, because it delivered the solution to the company’s telecommunications challenges, but integrated communication and collaboration tools as well. Ultimately, Lync provided LA Fitness with a much lower total cost of ownership for its telecom (saving over $500,000 per year), and better value to its employees through integration with Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and the company’s own custom business applications. Today, the entire company uses Lync enterprise voice and is increasingly utilizing Lync as a platform for custom applications ranging from contact center uses to workflow.  They’re also seeing video communications reach more parts of the organization now that Lync makes video accessible not just in high-end scenarios, but to a much broader set of employees.

REVLON

Revlon, the global cosmetics company that sells products across 100 countries and six continents, now also uses Lync to communicate and operate a virtual world-wide team, especially when developing new products.

Revlon replaced its aging PBX system, and changed its IT model by deploying Lync. David Giambruno, CIO of Revlon, says the company evaluated and chose Lync for its simple and more cost effective solution. Compared to competitor alternatives, Giambruno said Lync is easy to deploy, and brings all business communication and collaboration tools together in one place. Revlon has deployed Lync across the entire company, allowing employees to work anytime and anywhere, while reducing costs and removing geographical barriers. For this reason, Giambruno says Lync is the ‘most used solution within the company, bar none.’

As I mentioned earlier, customers aren’t the only ones excited about Lync – check out the latest from Network World, PC Magazine and Miercom.  And of course if you’re at Enterprise Connect here in Orlando, come visit us at our booth 808 and try Lync 2010 for yourself.    

Kirk Gregersen

Senior Director of Microsoft Lync