Benefits of Lync Online - dummies

By Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

Lync Online is available in both the professional and small business (P) and enterprise (E) plans in Office 365. The features include instant messaging (IM), audio, and video calls, presence, online meetings, online presentations, and the ability to connect with Windows Live Messenger contacts and other external users running Lync.

The technology is integrated throughout the Office 2010 applications, as well as SharePoint Online, which means that you can quickly view your co-worker’s presence status and initiate a conversation without leaving the Office application or SharePoint site. What this means for your organization is access to an intuitive interface guaranteed to keep your team connected by using the latest and up-to-date software subscription service.

To use Lync Online, end users need to install the desktop client, Microsoft Lync 2010. The desktop client is available as a free download from the Microsoft Office 365 portal.

External users who do not have an Office 365 account can still attend online meetings by using Lync Web App, a browser-based version of Lync 2010. It come with limited features and requires the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight installed. If Silverlight is not installed, the user will be prompted for installation.

For Windows users, all in-meeting features are available in Lync Web App except for computer audio/video capabilities and the ability to upload Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. It does not support features outside of the meeting experience, such as presence, contacts, IM, and telephony features.

If an external user needs the full-feature set of an in-meeting experience, such as audio/video capabilities and uploading PowerPoint presentations, have the user download and install the free Lync 2010 Attendee client. As with Lync Web App, Lync 2010 Attendee client does not support features outside of the meeting experience.

Stay current with what’s happening in your organization with one of the many features Lync has to offer. If you like the real-time connectedness found in social media applications, you may be pleased to know that status updates, IMs, content sharing, and groups are now part of the daily work environment through Lync.

One of the core principles for effective collaboration is knowing when others are available to communicate. If you are a member of a geographically distributed team, you probably have experienced the frustration of trying to repeatedly reach a co-worker in a different time zone by phone only to realize that he can’t take your call because he’s sound asleep.