What is Microsoft Lync?

Lync is the business orientated message service offered by Microsoft to run instant messenger, VoIP and video conferencing. It runs on Windows XP (service pack 2) and higher Operating Systems and is supported to run on windows phone, Android and IOS mobile devices.

Lync is the evolution from Windows messenger and communicator and is aimed firmly at the corporate customer. This is not a free, residential or SoHo product as it requires a complex Lync server architecture to operate. Furthermore its advantages over the free SIP applications that deliver the same core features are totally business orientated. For example, Lync strengths over other unified communication platforms, comes from its inherent security due to running its own servers.

Lync also provides for tight integration with all other Microsoft Office products such as PowerPoint and Word, which allows for close collaboration on documents and presentations. It does this through supporting whiteboard collaboration, which allows texts and drawings to be seen and shared by all. Similarly, desktop and application collaboration allows users to see and share the same screens and applications.

Further to its collaboration tools, Lync has instant messaging and group chat. Lync is also designed for use on Smartphones, so mobility is a key feature in that chat, and video conference calls can be initiated and run on Smartphones and tablets whilst on the move. However, the bandwidth requirements of delivering HD video over a mobile network may prove to be prohibitively expensive.

Lync Enterprise comes with full IP PBX capabilities with all the features and functions business customers require, which explains the complex server architecture. Lync provides all IP voice, chat and video features and functions expected in a business solution and its server architecture ensures the reliability, reliciency and high-availability necessary in an enterprise solution.

 

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Alasdair Gilchrist

Alasdair is a technical writer with interest in business practice, operational strategy, start up philosophy and affordable technology. He lives in Nonthaburi, Thailand with his wife and daughter, and writes terrible novels as a hobby.

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