Lync Voice UC Contact

Fujitsu Offers Lync PSTN Integration

August 07, 2014

Unified communications systems like Lync are becoming popular in the enterprise, and the demand for hosted solutions is growing. If Microsoft (News - Alert) isn’t going to deliver a hosted solution of its own, then other companies will step in, including Fujitsu, according to Enterprise Connect (News - Alert).

“Throughout our recent Enterprise Connect Tour, attendees showed a consistent curiosity about the potential for hosted Lync services,” program co-chair, Eric Kraph, wrote.

Kraph wrote that Enterprise customers were clamoring for a completely hosted Lync solution as part of Microsoft Office 365, but that the company fell short by failing to offer a solution that connected with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

Fujitsu (News - Alert) has stepped in with its own hosted UC platform, ECS (Enterprise Communication Service). Fujitsu plans to interconnect with other platforms, but is initially offering only hosted Lync.

ECS offers what Microsoft currently doesn’t: a hosted Lync system with PSTN connections. The company already has an extensive server farm, which it currently also uses to deploy Infrastructure as a Service.  ECS offers a dedicated Lync server to each customer running on a shared infrastructure.

In a case of “eating one’s own dog food”, Fujitsu is using the system for its own conferencing to save money on cellular calls by connecting over VoWi-Fi. The company apparently has more capacity than it could sell to customers.

Fujitsu isn’t exactly a competitor to Microsoft, as the two companies have a tight relationship. Fujitsu is targeting customers who already have Office 365 subscriptions. The company also analyzes a customer’s voice network before installation to make sure it will fit in smoothly.

Hosted systems like ECS are becoming increasingly attractive to businesses because managing these systems becomes somebody else’s problem rather than having internal IT staff dealing with the phone system. Even with the growth of VoIP and UC technology, companies still have to talk to the outside world, and that means connecting to the PSTN.

 A truly “unified communications” system should make it seamless to talk to anyone around the world, whether it’s a instant message to someone across the hall, a video chat to a smartphone or tablet, or a voice call to a landline.

Edited by Adam Brandt

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