BVA has reviewed and looked at the new Microsoft Lync. The new name for the next generation of our real-time communications products, known until today as Communications Server and Communicator. Over the last five years Microsoft has been on a journey to transform communications with the power of software. Lync delivers on this vision by unifying enterprise voice, instant messaging and web, audio and video conferencing into a new, connected communications experience. A key part of the release is the re-branding to Microsoft Lync. Lync, a combination of “link” and “sync”, is about connecting people in new ways anytime, anywhere. Beyond simplifying and shortening the current branding, customer research found that the name Lync appeals to end users and IT pros, even more than descriptive options like Communicator. This could seriously be an alternative to an on-site VOIP phone system via reliability, feature set, integration with Microsoft technologies, as well as cost.
The feedback on Lync 2010 has been pretty good from initial testers. Here is a sample of the types of comments that Microsoft got from the TAP programs and internal beta:
- “Just love, love, love the new UI.”
- “An incredibly comprehensive set of tools, including integration into workflow with SharePoint”
- “Everything I’ve tried to do, I’ve been successful so far.”
- “[OCS 14] looks more user-friendly and visually it’s like, ‘wow’. It looks better and aesthetics are a lot better, especially when you are using an application nine hours a day.”
- “The overall user experience is more engaging, convenient, and social-oriented, when compared to 2007 or 2007 R2. Thank you! :-)”
I’ve been using Lync – and as my only ‘phone’ – for the past month and the experience has been pretty solid. A few of my favorite features:
1. Switch between your head-set and phone in the middle of a call with device switching.
2. Gotta run? Leave the office and take your call with you on your mobile phone.
3. Select multiple people and click to make a group call, and then drag-and-drop someone into the conference from Outlook.
4. Connect with family while you’re travelling – start a high-definition voice and video conversation with a Windows Live Messenger user.
5. Hush that annoying meeting participant. When someone is causing bad audio on the conference call, Lync will identify which phone to mute to improve quality – and productivity.
Something to consider moving forward when looking at different communication methods. Is VOIP the way to go?