Less than a month ago, Microsoft completed its acquisition of Skype. Given that Microsoft spent $8.5 billion dollars to make this happen, it seems clear that they see a lot of value in bringing the 600 million plus Skype user base into the Microsoft umbrella.
It is not that Microsoft does not have a desktop conferencing product. Over the years, as they went from Live Messenger to OCS to Lync, interest and adoption of their product has been steadily increasing. Today there are probably over 200 million users within the OCS/Lync community that have the access to voice, video and chat, like Skype users.
The sad reality is that these two islands of hundreds of millions of users are unable to connect with each other, or communicate with each other. Just like the other islands out there like Google Talk and room based video conferencing systems, they only connect to others of the same ilk. Or need expensive hardware such as gateways to do the translations. Even Microsoft, today, does not have a solution that lets Skype and Lync/OCS connect to each other.
Which is why it gives me great pride to share that Blue Jeans Network just announced that we are now able to connect Lync to Skype. And have Lync join the family of clients we support including Google Talk, and H323 based room systems such as Polycom, Tandberg, and LifeSize.
The implications of this for the enterprise are far reaching. With this option, large enterprises with on-premise Lync or OCS deployments, as well as SMBs with Lync Online access via Office365 can now connect to external sites and host calls without having to worry about their Lync versions. Without needing to federate with every external caller. They can just federate with Blue Jeans and let the other party call in with their client of choice.
There is an incredibly talented team of engineers cranking away overtime at our offices in Mountain View to make this happen. It has been an amazing experience defining the specifications for this product and watch it come to life .. slowly but surely.
If you wish to get on our beta trial, get in touch with me. You can see us at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara next week and catch a live demo in our booth. You can also read more at: