Lync is a unified communication solution built by Microsoft; it's basically a messaging tool specifically designed for the corporate environment.
If you're looking for a comparison, Lync is similar to MSN Messenger, but for corporate world. All of your staff can be on an ‘internal MSN Messenger’ and easily communicate with each other. Lync is particularly useful for organisations that have multiple offices in different locations. Along with personal messenger features, Lync also lets you video conference and route phone calls; creating a central place for all communication.
Microsoft Lync enables each person to set a ‘presence’. This means staff members can quickly see if someone is at their desk, away, busy or in a meeting. It syncs with Microsoft Outlook to automatically pull out appointment information and set a presence. This is particularly useful to quickly see if someone is at their desk or not. Don’t waste time walking over there just to find out they’re out of the office.
A communication tool might sound like an unnecessary addition, but anyone who dismisses it is very out of touch. In fact, small and medium-sized companies can achieve three benefits from using Lync.
A successful Microsoft Lync implementation involves doing a proper business analysis and determining the right flavour of Lync that bests meet your requirements. Here are the three keys to successfully implementing Lync:
Carry out a business analysis and assess requirements
The first thing you have to do is assess what your organisation needs from Lync. Do you want it to route calls? Do you want it to be a phone system? Are you satisfied with just the instant messaging and the video conferencing? Are you comfortable with hosting your data outside of Australia?
Once you've identified your requirements, you need to work with someone who's experienced enough and qualified enough to actually set it up and install it. By listening to your requirements, an IT service provider can make recommendations based on your needs.
Determine the Lync service model that’s right for you
There are three different flavours of Lync:
Lync is very heavily tied to Microsoft Exchange (email). Whoever is hosting your Lync will also need to host your Microsoft Exchange.
The advantage of using an Australian partner instead of Office 365 is that you can have them route your phone system through Lync. At this stage, Office 365 does not allow for the routing of calls via Lync.
A local solution is the least common flavour of Lync. Since Lync is inherently a fairly complex product, you really need to think twice about whether you want that burden on your local IT environment. Local should only be an option if you have specific requirements and you speak with someone who is a technical consultant with Lync who insists you need to go local.
Train staff on how to use Lync
As with any new technology, there will be a learning curve for staff. Training them on the best practices of Lync and how to use it will help make the transition easier.
R & G Technologies is a Brisbane IT Support and IT Consulting firm that helps organisations across Australia. We can help you make better use of new cloud technologies - like Microsoft Lync - to increase productivity. Call us on 1300 562 886 or visit our contact page.