The Features of Lync Online in Office 365
With Lync being launched this month, I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time describing the different features which will be available in Lync Online.
Lync Online is the successor to Office Communications Online and Live Meeting. With the introduction of Office 365 Live Meeting will stop the be supported for new customers.
The main features of Lync Online are:
- Know whether others are available to communicate. Repeatedly attempting to reach each other by phone or email is a common communication problem in today’s business world. Often the problem stems from workers who are physically separated by geography and time zones and who lack visibility into other people’s availability or presence. Presence information is especially important when there is a need for a critical business discussion or a time-sensitive decision has to be made. Lync Online helps organizations increase individual productivity by adding presence, IM, and PC-to-PC audio and video calling to the business IT infrastructure.
- Presence and click-to-communicate from Microsoft Office Outlook. Collaborating with others can be challenging for workers whose jobs require constant use of business productivity applications during the work day. Lync Online connects presence and real-time collaboration capabilities with the Microsoft Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client. This enables higher productivity by allowing workers to collaborate using the programs they’re already familiar with.
- Connect with people and be more productive through a rich and immersive online meeting experience. Online meetings enable users to connect wherever they are through PC-based audio, video, and web conferencing, both as scheduled meetings and spontaneous, ad hoc collaboration sessions. With Lync Online, users can collaborate, share information, and coordinate their efforts in real time, all within the context of an existing workflow. Lync Online supports an integrated conferencing experience, enabling users to join the same conference from the PC (via the Microsoft Lync 2010 client) or from a phone (requires a separate PSTN audio conferencing service).
- Collaborate within SharePoint sites. Lync Online serves as the presence engine for SharePoint team sites and portals, providing presence and IM access from within Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Server sites. For example, users can enable the Members Web Part to see the presence of anyone associated with a SharePoint site, which allows information workers to spend more productive time in their business productivity applications.
- Communicate with other organizations. The federation feature of Lync Online establishes trusted relationships between an organization and one or more external organizations. This allows users to see user presence and communicate across organizational boundaries.
- Communicate with public IM service providers. Public IM connectivity (PIC) allows an organization to securely connect its existing base of enterprise-enabled IM users to trusted contacts using public IM services that can be provided by Microsoft Windows Live™ Messenger and MSN® Messenger.
- Reduce costs. Lync Online allows person-to-person communication across an organization without expensive business travel or costly phone bills. The Lync Online service allows organizations to focus IT resources on developing value instead of running IT infrastructure. Microsoft manages the risks and complexity of operational systems.
- Online Meetings. Lync Online helps people collaborate through voice and video conferencing and simplifies the user experience by incorporating video into the unified client. With Lync Online, users can easily schedule an online meeting with video or seamlessly escalate to video spontaneously. Support is available for a wide variety of video conferencing options, including integration with room-based conferencing systems.
Next to this Microsoft will introduce Voice capabilities. With that organizations will be able to actually call to PSTN phone via Lync. This feature however will not be available upon release.