Gartner Research

Decision Point for Implementing Microsoft's Lync (Skype for Business) Platform: Lync Server, Lync Online (Office 365) or a Partner-Hosted Lync Service

Published: 30 January 2015

ID: G00261756

Analyst(s): Mark Cortner


The decision to internally host or utilize external cloud services for Microsoft's Lync platform is complex. This Decision Point assists technical professionals with assessing whether Lync Server, Lync Online (Office 365) or a partner-hosted Lync service will best meet an enterprise's requirements.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point

Decision Context

  • Business Scenario

Evaluation Criteria

  • Requirements and Constraints
    • Policy Requirements
    • Security Requirements
    • Network Requirements
    • Functional Requirements
    • Integration Requirements
    • Performance Requirements
    • Internal IT Skills Requirements
    • Regulatory Constraints


  • Lync Server
  • Lync Online
  • Partner-Hosted Lync Service

Future Developments

  • Lync Online: Unique Differentiation
  • Lync Online: Multiple Data Center Homing
  • Lync Online: Addition of Enterprise Voice Functionality
  • Lync Server/Lync Online: Hybrid Workload Architecture

Decision Tool

  • Using the Decision Tool
  • Decision Filter

Decision Justification

  • Lync Server
  • Lync Online
  • Partner-Hosted Lync Service

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