If you work at a tech-friendly mid-market company or enterprise, chances are good that you’ve heard of Microsoft Lync, the tech giant’s relatively new communications platform that’s designed with the unique needs of businesses in mind. What you might not be familiar with are the product’s ins and outs, and why more and more companies are adopting the package for their online communication needs. Let’s take a look at just what is making this product a must-have tool for businesses of all sizes.
What Is Lync, and How Does It Work?
Put simply, Lync is instant messaging on steroids. This isn’t Google Talk or Yahoo! Instant Messenger; this is their grown-up sibling who’s got a corner office. As more and more employees are working remotely, it becomes increasingly important to streamline how we communicate with one another. Whether two people are across the hall or across the international dateline from one another, Microsoft Lync lets them communicate via instant messaging, voice or video.
Developed over the span of five years, Lync combines a number of features to make office communications simpler and more intuitive. Instant messaging, which is compatible even with users who don’t have Lync, is just one feature, along with a voicemail-equipped phone service, high-definition video chat, one-click conference calls and more.
There are plenty of reasons for you to get excited about what Lync can do for your company, particularly if you’re in a business where travel and telecommuting are facts of life.
Here are five big ones:
1. Features, features and more features. Microsoft Lync boasts more features than you could imagine. Instant messaging allows you to quickly communicate without the hassle of the phone. Video chat allows you to have personal, face-to-face discussions with clients or coworkers literally half a world away. Phone services, intuitive conference call features, desktop-sharing technology, easy contact management and a whole lot more make this a can’t-miss proposition for many enterprises.
2. Flexible pricing. With all three packages enabled (chat, voice, and video), Lync costs about $245 per user – making it cheaper than most voice-only licenses for Cisco and Avaya products.
3. Seamless integration. Perhaps the best thing about Lync is the seamless integration of all its different features. Through one interface, you can control everything from simple chatting to document sharing to conference calls to face-to-face video.
4. It’s Microsoft. One of the biggest advantages Lync has going for it is that it was designed and developed by Microsoft, a company known for producing innovative but functional programs geared towards the needs of the business world (Ever heard of the Microsoft Office Suite?). Throw in five years of research and development, and you know this is a product you can trust.
5. Connects your desktop to your company’s meeting room system (now in HD!) Since 2011, LifeSize video systems have provided basic video calling between your conference room and your Lync-enabled PC or Mac. Now with the LifeSize UVC Video Engine those calls can be experienced in crystal-clear HD. No more jumping through hoops and having to buy super expensive gateways. LifeSize is pursuing official qualification with Lync 2010 for the LifeSize 220 Series (Room 220, Team 220, Express 220) and LifeSize Passport.
Bottom line, Microsoft Lync is a wise investment if your company values simple, integrated online communication. Is your company using Lync? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.