Microsoft still has a few aces up its sleeve. One sleeper product that is only just catching fire is Lync, a unified communications tool that integrates neatly with established products like Outlook.

When I caught up with Audrey William, head of research, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Australia & New Zealand earlier this year we discussed the technology’s potential to disrupt traditional telecommunications markets.

Since then the market has marched on. In a look forward to the main trends we’ll see in 2014, William says Microsoft has gained momentum in the last 12 months and has now reached the point where the company challenges traditional UC vendors.

She writes:

Channels and customers now regard Microsoft seriously and channels and IT integrators that used to sell only traditional telephony solutions are now incorporating Microsoft Lync into their product mix. Lync 2013 offers close to 95 percent PBX functionality.

Increasingly, the adoption of Lync is a natural progression for companies using Active Directory, Sharepoint and Microsoft e-mail. These companies are now moving to Lync for IM, presence, collaboration and voice.

Frost & Sullivan anticipates that traditional market participants in the unified communications space will increasingly feel the pressure from Microsoft in 2014.

To underline this, Logitech is selling a range of enterprise and business UC hardware products with the Lync brand logo on the box.