Microsoft East and Southern Africa announced the general availability of Microsoft Lync in the market. The suite was formerly called Office Communications Server. You can download a trial copy of Lync from www.lync.com.

Lync is like your Skype but now with more enterprise functionality.  The communication suite works with MS Outlook, Sharepoint and  Administrators can benefit from a single, secure management infrastructure, new capabilities to increase adoption, and interoperability with existing systems.  These features lower cost of ownership, allow smoother deployment and migration, and provide greater choice and flexibility.

Speaking during the Microsoft Open Door event, Hardeep Sound, Regional Solutions Sales Manager at Microsoft, East and Southern Africa said that, “Lync delivers on Microsoft’s vision to unify enterprise voice, instant messaging and Web-, audio- and videoconferencing into a new, connected communications experience. IT departments can evolve their infrastructure and either augment or remove their PBX systems with Lync.  And by deploying Lync they will empower their workforce to communicate and collaborate more efficiently and effectively, and stay connected to others on a wide range of devices no matter where they are located.”

Customers using Lync 2010 are already changing the way they communicate, and find they are transforming their businesses while saving money.

”Lync’s voice capabilities can be used as an alternative to desk phones. Lync fits into an existing environment, so that organisations do not have to ‘rip and replace’ what they are currently using. Lync can be built on top of a company’s infrastructure, therefore giving a lot more flexibility to communicate and collaborate with the right person, at the right time from familiar applications, whether at the office, at home, or on the road. Adopting Lync Server 2010 offers organisations the opportunity to improve their unified communications environment.” added Edwin Kiiru, Line of Business Manager – Microsoft Solutions at Dimension Data East Africa.

Microsoft Lync is the new family brand for the products formerly known as Microsoft Communications Server, Microsoft Communications Online and Microsoft Communicator, and now also includes Microsoft Lync Web App, and Microsoft Lync Online.