Microsoft Lync Unified Communications Done Right

By Eric O. Schueler, Senior V.P. of Information Technology at HRCT

It seems that Microsoft has all the right ingredients when it comes to unified communications.  Microsoft Lync wasn’t the first stab and unified communications for Microsoft.  They had previously launched a product called Microsoft Communications Server which didn’t get a lot of traction.

With the introduction of Microsoft Lync they blended all of the right things into one product. 

The beauty of it all is that Microsoft has the home court advantage because organizations are already managing Exchange Server for e-mail and deploying Outlook for users and the integration into Outlook, SharePoint, other Office products that many organizations have deployed are second to none.

So what is Lync? 

Lync at it’s core is corporate instant messaging.  Instant messaging was always something network administrators tried to block from their users because there was no control over it and there was no record or archiving of the conversations.  Lync fixes this buy giving total control over the environment and conversations are saved into the users mailbox in Outlook.  Instant messaging alone doesn’t make Lync all that special until you add in the other capabilities such as presence, video conferencing, web meetings, desktop and application sharing, and even voice calling.

I think people really under estimate the value of presence. Presence is the little indicator telling other Lync users if the person is online, offline, busy, in a meeting, on a phone call, on vacation, etc.  This can be a huge time saver in communications.  Lync actually updates your presence based on your Outlook calendar and when you are composing or replying to a message you get this indicator next to the person’s name.  If the person you are relpying to is online you may decide not to send the e-mail at all but instead start a chat dialog and get your question answered immediately.

The next feature is video conferencing and it can be a very powerful tool for today’s disbursed business with remote employees.  It’s one thing to have a conference call but when you add video you’d be amazed at home much more productive you meetings become because you can see your audience and read their body language.   Online meetings let you schedule a future video conference with multiple users and even invite people who aren’t in your organization.  They can visit a web page where they can join the meeting and even take part without installing any software on their computers.

With application sharing you can choose an application to let the other user see.  For instance, you want to some feedback on the document you’ve been working on.  You choose the open document to share with your co-worker in another state and it pops up on their screen.  You can even give them control and they will have the ability to edit your document.  Last but not least there is voice calling.  With a headset, webcam, and even special Lync enabled phones it can replace your phone system completely.

For these and other tips, contact Eric Schueler with HRCT. (757) 399-3350

Posted by Eric O. Schueler, A+, MCP, MCSE, MCTS, CSSA, ACSP – Senior V.P. of Information Technology at HRCT.  Eric has been in the business of providing IT and consulting for small and medium business for more than 15 years.wildstar gold

Hampton Roads Communication Technologies (HRCT) provides quality business telecommunications solutions, like IT Sales, Repair and Service Plans to companies and organizations throughout the United States, Mid-Atlantic and the Hampton Roads Virginia cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton, north into Williamsburg and south into the Outer Banks of North Carolina. HRCT keeps your company connected.

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