Monday, June 20, 2011

Businesses not into cloud phone services in Office 365

Businesses may not be ready to run their phone systems in the cloud, according to a private survey commissioned by Azaleos, a Microsoft partner that provides communication software services in Seattle.

The results may mean that businesses are not ready to embrace the unified communications software called Lync in Office 365, which is expected to come out at the end of June. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer will launch the Office 365 cloud service, which also includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and cloud email services,at an event in New York.

Lync can replace a traditional phone system with phone services that run on the Internet, also known as voice over IP. Lync also includes services such as conference calling, video calls and instant messaging. It used to be called Office Communicator, and a variety of other names. Skype and Google Voice are other examples of phone services that runs on the Internet.

Osterman Research, based in Black Diamond, did the survey of 100 chief information officers and other IT decision makers. Ninety percent had not installed cloud-based unified communications software. Of those, 42 percent had no plans to do so. The reasons cited were concerns about security, doubts about reliability and a lack of control. These are similar to concerns businesses have raised about using cloud computing for anything, not just phone services.

Those surveyed who do plan to pursue phone services in the cloud made up 19 percent of respondents, and 33 percent said they would choose Microsoft's Office 365.

Microsoft has feet in both the cloud and non-cloud camps because it also offers Lync as software that businesses can buy.

Out of the IT managers surveyed who said they would not move toward the cloud for phone services, 48 percent said they would be interested in switching to an Internet-based phone service that does not run in the cloud.

Azaleos provides software services for email, collaboration and unified communications.

Michelle Rodriguez Mena Suvari Georgina Grenville Michelle Trachtenberg Amanda Bynes

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