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There's Still Room for Growth in Microsoft Lync

March 10, 2014

Microsoft Lync, as a whole, has gained a lot of ground in the last few years, with over five million voice licenses sold and reports from Microsoft (News - Alert) itself saying that Lync represented a billion-dollar business for the company, with growth of over 25 percent just last quarter. Add rapid growth to clear customer interest and that's enough to get a lot of people paying attention, but growth is one of those things that's often hard to keep generating. But there are possibilities, however, currently explored by Softmart that Microsoft may just have already in mind.

One of the biggest suggestions involves a move to the cloud. Cloud computing in general is rapidly becoming a major part of the overall computing environment, and showing just as impressive growth potential. Microsoft already boasts several cloud offerings like Azure and Dynamics CRM—the company reported 100 percent growth in the cloud sector just last quarter—but Lync Online isn't really a complete cloud solution. Tying Lync more to Office 365—one of Microsoft's biggest cloud offerings—might serve to add a needed touch of cloud to the Lync process.

Additionally, bringing in some integration with Skype (News - Alert) might help as well. Microsoft is already seen using Skype with Lync to give Lync a better reach, but there's also the option of opening up Skype still further by bringing it to other carriers. Skype with other carriers would likewise help augment Lync, an important development for Microsoft as a whole.

There's further room to expand outward as well if Lync can work with other systems that aren't specifically Microsoft's. While certainly, Lync's ability to work with the huge array of Microsoft products out there is a point in its favor—complete with help with licensing—there are other systems out there that don't enjoy that same seamlessness. With some third-parties already at work on connecting Google (News - Alert) Apps to various unified communications (UC) platforms, the idea that Lync could do likewise and thus expand its market further is certainly worth considering.

Finally, there's an issue of adoption. Specifically, Lync users aren't, at last report, putting voice to work, for a variety of reasons ranging from application and feature gaps to the sheer complexity of it. If Microsoft can improve its adoption rates for voice, that's likely to break open a whole new chunk of business for the company.

Just these projections alone show the sheer amount of possibility here in terms of adding business in terms of Lync, already a fast-growing part of the Microsoft roster. Indeed, Microsoft needs growing business, especially given that the desktop portion of the market isn't looking at big growth in the near-term. What's more, Microsoft's efforts at joining the mobile stakes with Windows Phone and the Surface tablet line haven't exactly gone well in terms of unseating the two top contenders in the field of Apple (News - Alert) and Android. With Lync in play, Microsoft can better take advantage of its name recognition in the desktop field and keep fresh business going, giving it the resources to compete elsewhere.

Lync is already very big business for Microsoft. Based on the current environment, however, there's room for quite a bit more business to take place. But will Microsoft take advantage of that extra possibility? Does Microsoft have other plans in mind? Only time will tell just how all this shakes out, but it's going to be quite the ride to get there.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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