Microsoft held their Lync conference recently, with many announcements about upgrades to the Lync system.
One of the announcements that grabbed my attention was the ability of Skype and Lync to be openly federated. In simple terms, this means it will be possible to connect directly from Skype into anyone in an organisation that you have details for (and that has enabled this).
In the medium term, this initiative will cause a big increase in Lync being investigated and used as a contact centre product. That direct connection between a customer and the contact centre could be made very easy, especially when you throw in presence to make the organisations availability visible (you can tell when they are on phone, etc). Company’s like Luware are already implementing the Lync client into contact centres for voice, so it seems like this is an idea ready to go mainstream shortly.
Long term, this has the potential to turn an organisation inside out. Rather than contact into an organisation being funneled through s single point (the contact centre), everyone within an organisation will be visible with presence fully published, and customer service will be distributed throughout organisation, and not siloed into one particular area.
One to watch, this.