Lync to be Rebranded as “Skype for Business”

It is official – the next version of Lync is being renamed “Skype for Business” in the first half of 2015!

The news was released today on Skype’s main blog:

Introducing Skype for Business

“In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365. We believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business”.

What you need to know:

  1. There will still be two distinct products: Skype for Business and Skype for Consumers.
  2. Skype for Business does not “replace” Lync; rather the next release of the on-premises version of Microsoft Lync Server and the Microsoft Lync Client will be renamed to “Skype for Business”.
  3. The Lync product stays the same under the covers – all the components, technology, infrastructure, and associated capabilities stay as Lync – just the name changes.
  4. Microsoft will continue to make Skype for Business and Skype for Consumers interoperate (i.e. communicate) with each other – ultimately aiming for a seamless experience whether you are at work or at home. Today instant messaging, audio, and video are supported.
  5. Skype for Business (aka Lync :-) ) will have the ability to use the Skype Directory directly from the next release of the Lync Client!  This will make it much easier to add Skype contacts and communicate with them.
  6. The new Skype for Business client will visually look more like the existing Skype client (e.g. theme, icons and workflow) but with all the capabilities of the current Lync client.
  7. Upgrading to the next version of Lync Server (aka Skype for Business) will require no new hardware from a Lync Server 2013 requirements standpoint.

Here is the video introducing Skype for Business: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUetykHsxqQ.

From the Skype blog, here is a screenshot if the ‘new’ Skype for Business client (Lync vNext client):

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For more perspective on how this aligns with Microsoft’s Universal Communication strategy see Microsoft To Rename Lync as ‘Skype for Business’ Next Year in Redmond Magazine.

Basic Requirements for Enabling a Lync User for PSTN Dial-In Conferencing

The world of UC and Lync is complex – especially when it comes down to remembering specific details of what configuration is required to enable specific feature sets. One of the goals of this blog has always been to make it extremely easy to remember basic important details at a moments notice.

Recently I had to reacquaint myself (again!) with the steps for enabling a user for PSTN dial-in conferencing.

Once the Lync system is completely configured and able to host PSTN dial-in conferences, the four key requirements you need to remember about enabling a Lync user are:

  1. They do NOT need to be enabled for Enterprise Voice.
  2. To DO need a LINE URI set.
  3. They DO need a Dial Plan assigned.
  4. They DO need a Lync Conferencing Policy assigned which has “EnableDialInConferencing” set.
    • This conference policy also determines whether users can use specific functionality during a conference such as invite anonymous participants. See the Lync Conferencing Policy Parameters for all the conferencing options.

I always seem to forget #2. And for reference, when #2 is not set, but the user is enabled for dial-conferencing, the user will get the following error message when trying to set their dial-in conferencing PIN:

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Fully deploying dial-in conferencing for a Lync deployment is a much broader subject – worthy of several blog posts – but from the point of view of enabling a user in a smaller deployment, one of the most important things to understand is the relationship between the Enterprise Voice feature set and the Dial-In Conferencing feature set.

The key here is you that while you do not need to completely deploy Enterprise Voice, you do need enable Lync to receive incoming PSTN calls, configure and assign Lync Dial Plans, and ensure that the Dial Plans have regions assigned to them. The regions associate conference dial-in access numbers with the dial plans.

A good checklist summary for deploying PSTN dial-in conferencing is described in this Microsoft TechNet article: Deployment checklist for dial-in conferencing in Lync Server 2013.

Lastly, be sure that the Online Meeting Outlook Add-In for Lync is deployed and available for your users. This add-in makes it really easy for users to schedule a dial-in conference – the dial-in information is added to the meeting invite when the user schedules a Lync meeting in Outlook. For Lync 2013, the add-in is installed automatically when the full Lync 2013 client is installed.  The meeting invitation can be customized (see Configuring the meeting invitation in Lync Server 2013 for more information).

How To Stop Lync From Chiming In So Much

[This is a guest blog post authored by Microsoft PowerShell MVP and expert Kirk Munro. You can reach Kirk through his blog at poshoholic.com or through his Twitter handle @poshoholic].

I am often invited into Lync meetings that I want to passively watch and/or listen to on a second screen while I continue doing other work on my main monitor. Unfortunately, whenever I switch the active application away from the Lync client during these meetings, Lync plays the IM notification chime every time someone else in the meeting sends out an IM to the meeting attendees. On some of these meetings, which have dozens of attendees, there is a lot of IM chatter and these chimes can be very annoying. A portion of the meeting I was passively tuned into last night went something like this:

> “DING! All hotels DING! offer DING! free wi-fi DING! access DING! DING! except DING!…”

I was feeling a little like Captain Hook with a whole lot of clocks ticking nearby. Clearly, something had to be done.

The first step was to verify that I had the correct option set in my Lync options. In the Lync 2013 client, if you open the Options dialog (either by selecting Tools | Options from the menu or by simply clicking on your Lync photo) you will see a section labeled “Ringtones and Sounds”. This section contains the following options:

clip_image002

There are two applicable settings in the options screen shot above:

  1. Play sounds in Lync (including ringtones for incoming calls and IM alerts)”.  This is a master kill switch for all sounds in Lync aside from the audio streams. That would do the trick, however it is overkill, and I want to be able to hear incoming calls or new IM request alerts when I am just passively listening in.
  2. Mute incoming IM alert sounds when viewing an IM conversation”.  IM alert sounds are the sounds that I want to disable, so that sounds promising. When enabled however (by default) I still hear the IM alert sounds when the IM conversation window is open. That happens because “viewing an IM conversation” (the last portion of that option label) means this is only applicable when actively viewing a conversation, with the Lync meeting window having focus. If you switch the focus away from the Lync meeting window, you’ll start hearing IM alert sounds whenever anyone sends a message to the IM chat. As I hinted at with my earlier example of a meeting last night with ~100 attendees there can be a lot of chatter (DING! …. DING! … DING!) in the IM window, and the repeated IM alert sounds are very distracting (read: incapacitating) when trying to concentrate on getting something else done while simply keeping an ear open to the meeting discussion.

Neither of these options resolved my problem so I searched for and found a better solution which is fairly simple.

While the Lync options dialog is open, open the Sound setting on your Windows client machine. This dialog should be shown:

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Within that dialog, scroll down the Program Events list until you find the events for Lync. You’ll know you’re in the right spot when you see the Lync section header (the selected item in the screenshot shown above). Continue scrolling down in that section until you find the entry called “New Message” and select it. This entry is set to the “LYNC_newim.wav” sound by default (the DING!). Use the Sounds combo box on that dialog to change the sound from the default value to “(None)” (which can be found at the top of the list of values in the combo box). Then click on the OK button to close the sound settings, and then on the other OK button to close the Lync options dialog.

Once you have made these changes, you should be able to passively listen-in on Lync meetings that don’t need your full attention without being distracted/annoyed by the incessant beep if the IM chatter gets noisy. Boy do I ever wish I had discovered this option a long, long time ago.

Important: I should point out that making this change means that you won’t hear an IM alert if you have a chat window open in the background and someone adds a message to that chat. The chat window icon in your taskbar will still be highlighted with a flashing Lync icon when a new IM message is received, but I know that some people want the sound notification as well. You’ll have to decide if that trade-off is worth it. Personally, I can definitely live with it! :-)

Kirk out.

What has InsideLync Been Up To?

Several folks have noticed it’s been a bit quiet on InsideLync over the summer months!

I took a brief hiatus from posting on my personal blog and tried my hand at writing some Lync articles for various publications – mostly centered around Lync cost savings and the future of UC.

Here are a few for your viewing pleasure:

5 Reasons Microsoft Lync Will Thrive in a Post-PC World

CIO TODAY UK – Curtis Johnstone – August 2014
http://www.flippubs.com/publication/?i=217752&l=&m=&p=&id=9829

* Note: you have to supply an email address to read this publication.  It is a simple one-step process (no email verification) and they do not SPAM you.

How to Gain Insight into the Cost Saving Benefits of Your UC Solution

NoJitter – Curtis Johnstone – July 21, 2014
http://www.nojitter.com/post/240168713/how-to-gain-insight-into-the-cost-saving-benefits-of-your-uc-solution

Three Steps to Understanding the Cost Saving Benefits of Microsoft Lync

UC Insight – Curtis Johnstone – June 16, 2014
http://www.ucinsight.com/news-and-analysis/analysis/three-steps-to-understanding-the-cost-saving-benefits-of-microsoft-lync/

Lastly, if you want to gain some perspective on how I was originally drawn to the UC space, you can read this write-up on Dell’s Direct Blog:

The Power of Unified Communications

http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/direct2dell/b/direct2dell/archive/2014/07/28/the-power-of-unified-communications.aspx

I hope to resume blogging on various Lync and UC topics later this month!

Free Microsoft Lync eBooks

I discovered a fantastic set of free Microsoft content recently and wanted to share it with my readers. Eric Ligman from Microsoft has put together what he calls the:

Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and much more

In addition to some good Lync content there are some valuable free resources for Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, SharePoint, PowerShell, and Azure. You can access it all here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mssmallbiz/archive/2014/07/07/largest-collection-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-ever-including-windows-8-1-windows-8-windows-7-office-2013-office-365-office-2010-sharepoint-2013-dynamics-crm-powershell-exchange-server-lync-2013-system-center-azure-cloud-sql.aspx

There are ten Lync specific digital publications available. Many of them you have seen before including fellow MVP Matt Landis’ excellent free eBook Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step By Step for Anyone

Here is a full listing of the Lync specific content available with the links to download:

  1. Lync Server 2013 Stress Testing Guide
  2. Microsoft Lync Room System Deployment Guide
  3. Lync Right Start Kit
  4. Lync 2013 Keyboard Shortcuts
  5. Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step By Step for Anyone
  6. Microsoft Lync Server 2013: Basic Administration – Release 2.1
  7. Lync for Mac 2011 Deployment Guide
  8. Microsoft Lync Server Resource Kit Tools
  9. Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit
  10. Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Security Guide

Happy reading!

Configuring Simultaneous Ring with Mitel Communications Director (MCD) and Microsoft Lync Server 2013

The last InsideLync blog article provided a guide to establishing Direct SIP integration between Mitel Communications Director (MCD) and Microsoft Lync Server 2013.

Once direct SIP has been established, users will likely benefit from simultaneous ring (“SimRing”) integration. SimRing in this scenario means that when a Mitel phone extension is called the call will be “forked” to a associated Microsoft Lync endpoint (which typically belongs to the same user as the Mitel phone extension). This allows a user to receive a call on both their Mitel phone and Lync client in an environment with both Mitel and Lync. Speaking from experience, this is a wonderful feature for users living in a scenario where an existing IP-PBX phone and Lync enterprise voice coexist. It allows the user to receive incoming calls on whatever endpoint is best for them.

To enable SimRing between Mitel Communications Director (MCD) and Microsoft Lync Server 2013 a configuration guide was authored by InsideLync guest contributor and Lync consultant Habib Mankal and is available here:

http://www.insidelync.com/resources/mitel/Mitel_Lync_SimRing.htm

Here is a hyperlinked table of contents to get you started:

Introduction

   Reference Topology

Mitel Configuration

   Configuration and Licensing

   Class of Service

   User and Device Configuration

   Personal Ring Group

Summary

Direct SIP Integration between Mitel Communications Director (MCD) and Microsoft Lync Server 2013

If you’re looking for an introduction and reference guide on how to establish Direct SIP integration between Mitel Communications Director (MCD) and Microsoft Lync Server 2013, this blog article will help you. Note – Mitel Communications Director (MCD) is the re-branded name for the Mitel 3300 IP-PBX starting in MCD Version 4.

Mitel is a qualified IP-PBX vendor for direct SIP connection, and the last version to be officially qualified was the Mitel 3300 version 4.2.1.6. This guide provides guidance for establishing Direct SIP with the new Mitel MCD Version 6, so it is officially unsupported by both Microsoft and Mitel, but practically it has successfully been used several times.

The Direct SIP Integration between Mitel Communications Director (MCD) and Microsoft Lync Server 2013 guide was authored by InsideLync guest contributor and Lync consultant Habib Mankal and is available here:

http://www.insidelync.com/resources/mitel/Direct_SIP_Mitel.htm 

Here is a hyperlinked table of contents to get you started:

Table of Contents

Introduction.

   Reference Topology.

Mitel Configuration.

   Configuration and Licensing.

   Class of Service.

   Network Element.

   Trunk Attributes.

   SIP Peer Profile.

   Call Routing.

Lync Server 2013 Configuration.

   Adding the Mitel MCD IP-PBX into Lync Server 2013 topology builder.

   Create a Dial Plan.

   Voice Policy, PSTN Usage, and Route.

   Trunk Configuration.

Summary.

Additional References

Happy SIP Trunking!

Allowing Anonymous Presenters in a Lync Meeting

I have participated in several Lync meetings recently where an anonymous attendee – an external partner or customer for example – was attending the web conference and the organizer wanted them to share content (an PowerPoint presentation for example) but they could not – the option to “Share” in the Lync Web App client was not available.

This is a quick blog post to show organizers of Lync Meetings how to enable anonymous participants to share content when they are participating via the Lync Web App.

When a meeting is scheduled in Outlook, or an existing Lync meeting is edited, there is a Meeting Options button beside the Lync Online meeting icon that allows the Organizer to change the Online Meeting Options, and these include options for who are Presenters for the meeting.

Here is a screenshot of the create Online Meeting toolbar in Outlook (provided by the Lync add-in):

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Clicking on the Meeting Options brings up a dialog which allows the Lync organizer to customize several meeting options – as shown here:

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In most Lync deployments, the default setting is “People from my company” which will not allow an anonymous guest to share content.

To allow external anonymous guests to Share content, the “Everyone including people outside my company” option needs to be selected above.

Note: the “Customize access and presenters for this meeting” option must be selected first to change the default options below. Selecting this customize access option will also generate a new Conference ID – i.e. a Conference ID that is different from the same one used for all Lync meetings by this organizer (this Conference ID will show up in the meeting URL but does not really have any other significance from a user perspective).

Tip – if you do not see a “Meeting Options” icon make sure you are in either Creating a meeting or Editing an existing one – the basic Calendar view for example will not show the Meeting Options icon. The ability to create meetings and edit them in Outlook comes from both the Lync Meeting Add-In for Microsoft Office 2013 and the Online Meeting Add-in for Microsoft 2010.

Tip – Why are these options grayed out for me?  It is possible that the Lync administrator has disabled the ability for end users to allow some of these options.  If so, some of these options might not be customizable by the end user.

If allowing external anonymous participants to present is a default experience you wish to have every Lync meeting, select the “Remember settings” option to make this your new default Lync meeting experience.  Note: when you change this setting it will apply for future meetings with your static Conference ID.

Tip – the Lync organizer can promote an external anonymous attendee to a Presenter at any time during the meeting by right-clicking on their name and selecting “Make Presenter” as shown here:

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Here we see an external anonymous guest attendee is not a Presenter and does not have any Sharing capabilities:

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Here we can see that once an organizer has promoted the anonymous guest to be Presenter, that the guest has Sharing capabilities in the Lync 2010 Web App:

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These screen shots show the experience when the external anonymous attendee uses the Lync 2010 Web App (my target audience was still using the Lync 2010 Web App).

The Lync 2013 Web App has a much improved experience and less limitations as outlined in this article on Microsoft NextHop: Lync 2013: The New Lync Web App.

Happy web conferencing!

Perspectives on the Big Announcements at Lync Conference 2014

Now that the dust has settled on the Microsoft Lync 2014 Conference last week, this article gives a recap of the big announcements and some perspectives on what it means to Lync, Skype, and the communications world at large.

The full keynote is available here to watch here: http://www.lyncconf.com/.

Beyond “Unified Communications” – Introducing “Universal Communications”

After a brief work-assignment-sabbatical from the Microsoft UC space, Gurdeep Singh Pall (Corporate Vice President for Lync & Skype Engineering, Microsoft) was back in fine form and offered some insightful thought leadership on the communications space and what the future will look like. Gurdeep is a proven visionary and it was great to see him back helping to plot the course for the next decade.

image

The “Universal Communications” announcement was somewhat lost in earlier more practical cool feature-based announcements in the keynote, but it is significant and will shape the UC industry in the next decade. Speaking from personal perspective, it was Microsoft’s initial vision of “software powered communication” that really resonated with me over 7 years ago and got me involved in working with Lync (OCS at the time!).

At the 58 min mark of the keynote Gurdeep talks about how the decade of Unified Communications is drawing to a close – specifically how the initial goals that were set out at the beginning of the decade have been largely accomplished, and he raises the important question – so what is next ??   Drum roll … enter:

“Universal Communications”

Gurdeep’s reasoning for this term is well thought out – it’s based on the changing landscape of communication tools and methods we use that cross barriers that include work & life, social, synchronous & asynchronous, multiple devices, and the cloud.

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Gurdeep then offered what he thinks will be the pillars of future Universal Communication experiences:

  1. Consistent User Experience
    • the next generation of information workers will require familiar user experiences as they have in the personal and social lives; they are not going to re-train to use enterprise tools.
  2. Application and Context Intelligence
    • your universal communication applications should “know what your brains wants”
    • regardless of what device you are on, your applications should know you and what you want
    • interesting – this leverages the intelligence platform Gurdeep was working on during his UC sabbatical
    • real life example offered by Gurdeep: your UC solution will “predict who you will be calling in the next 5 minutes…”.  Wow.
  3. Video – it’s about Video
    • study after study shows that people connect better with video – there are higher levels of trust, commitment, and engagement when video is involved in the conversation
  4. Universal Reach
    • anyone should be reachable

Gurdeep articulates these thoughts here in this blog post: From unified to universal, the next stage for communications.

Perspectives:

  • Kudos – I think Gurdeep, and Microsoft, nailed it. They are once again demonstrating their ability to lead in a space with their vision and thought leadership.
  • Admittedly “Universal Communications” did not resonate with me when it was announced. Since having time to digest it however, the term “Universal” really does encapsulate the future trends that we are seeing in the communications space: a highly distributed workforce where people to communicate and collaborate across work & social boundaries, on any device, in the most effective way possible (intelligence + modality).
  • Microsoft is well positioned with Skype, Lync, Office 365, their devices, and commitment to cross-platform experiences to make this vision happen.

 

New JavaScript Wrapper Coming for Lync

At the 36:40 mark Derek Burney (Microsoft Corporate VP) makes what I think is another under-rated but very significant announcement in the keynote: a new Javascript wrapper for Lync built on the existing UCWA API – codenamed jLync.

This is very significant because it will enable web developers to integrate all modalities of Lync and Skype communications into web sites and web applications very easily. With the coming age of simple context embedded application in web applications and devices (aka ‘webRTC’) Microsoft is enabling Lync and Skype to be more easily embedded into the context of business and personal workflow.

Allows developers to integrate all modalities of communications into web sites and web applications very easily. I saw a tweet from the conference stating this will likely be enabled via a Lync Server Cumulative Update rather than a having to wait for the next server release.

Fellow Lync MVP Matt Landis has a posted a recent article if you are seeing J-Lync in action: Microsoft Demonstrates UC Javascript API (aka jLync, UCJA, Name TBD) That Brings All Lync Client Modalities “In Browser”.

Perspective

  • With initiatives such as webRTC being slowed down by the standards process, Microsoft is showing they understand the significance of simple embedded communications and is positioning Lync and Skype to be part of the that.
  • This will spur Lync and Skype communication modalities such as web chat, audio, video, desktop and application sharing, and conferencing into websites and any web application with a few lines of code.

 

More Lync Mobile Upgrades

Derek Burney takes the stage at the 17:13 min mark and demonstrates the latest and greatest features that are being delivered in Lync including the following:

1. Voice activated commands on Windows phone

Derek demonstrated the ability to show your meetings and join your next meeting with a voice command – no-click required. The user simply instructs the Lync mobile client to ”show my meetings” or “join my next meeting”.

Here is a screenshot showing an Android client responding to the “join my next meeting” voice command.

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Developers can use the same open Speech API to build your own voice activated windows phone apps.

2. Anonymous join from mobile and tablet

Lync as long had the ability to join a conference as an anonymous user via the Lync Web App.  Derek demonstrated the ability to sign-in as a guest from a mobile – making it easier for partners and customers who don’t have Lync to participate in Lync meetings.

Here is a screenshot of Derek joining a Lync meeting as a guest from and iPad:

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3. Display a PowerPoint deck in a on an iPhone

Here is a screen shot of the new ability to display a PowerPoint presentation in Lync on an iPhone:

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Perspective

For Lync and Skype to be to UC solution of choice, it will need to work on all popular devices and this is more proof that Microsoft keeps evolving their cross-platform mobile support to give Information Workers the tools to collaborate anywhere.

 

Lync Support for Android Tablets

Derek demonstrated the much asked for Lync client for the Android tablet.

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The client will be available on Google Play by the end of June.

More information on the Android tablet Lync app in this ZDNet article by Mary Jo Foley.

Perspective

Again, more fulfillment of Microsoft’s commitment to making Lync work across all devices and platforms.

 

New Windows 8.1 Lync Client Features

Some very useful new features were announced in the Windows 8.1 Lync client that leverages native Windows 8.1 functionality to achieve the following:

  1. Answer a call without unlocking screen
  2. Use split screens with adjustable sizes (e.g. content in one screen and communication in another)
  3. Allow participants to advance through presentation slides

Perspective

Although these are feature upgrades rather than big new features, I do like the fact Microsoft is staying committed to improving the user experience – crucial in the communication user experience.  The more effective an information worker is, the more a UC solution such as Lync fulfills it’s promise of better communication and collaboration.

 

Lync Online to get Enterprise Voice and Large Meetings

At the 41 min market of the keynote Gurdeep announced the coming support for PSTN in-and-out calling in Lync Online (at the 41 min mark of the keynote). He also announced support for large meetings in Lync Online: a 1000-2000 attendee meeting will be possible in Lync Online. Both features are expected “this year”.

Perspective

  • Although these were quick announcements, the addition of Enterprise Voice to Lync Online is huge. Bringing the ability to dial in and out to PSTN (i.e. the ‘regular’ phone system) makes Lync Online a viable complete SaaS based communication offering. PSTN connectivity is a powerful feature for businesses, and to offer this to consumers without the on-premises hardware and configuration is significant.
  • The ability to host large meetings gives Lync Online subscribers the ability to leverage Microsoft’s cloud to scale out large meetings when that workload requires it. To accommodate that type of meeting scale today on-premises typically requires an investment in additional hardware that might only be used for a small subset of your Lync meetings (e.g. large meetings).

 

Bing & Browser Skype Extensions

Bing has had the ability to allow users to call a number from the search results with one-click for awhile. Derek demonstrated the new ability to now allow the called-party to pay the bill.  Businesses can make their phone numbers free-to-call for any Bing user anywhere – offering a 1-800 type experience.

Here is a screenshot from the demo

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These extensions will also extend to high definition video calling.

Perspective

More proof of Microsoft’s vision of having Skype and Lync communication easily accessible in Web browsers and applications.

 

Skype and Lync get Video Interoperability

At the 37:08 min mark of the keynote Derek Burney announced video support for Skype to Lync (“coming in a few months”).

Here is a screenshot of Derek video calling a Skype user from his Lync client:

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This video interoperability is being called “Lync-Skype connectivity v2” and if you are interested in more details about it such as what video codes are used and how much bandwidth is consumed take a look at this NextHop article: Microsoft Lync-Skype connectivity v2 – Adds Video and More.

Perspective

This is continued evidence of Microsoft’s commitment to bring Lync and Skype communication together – enabling Lync enterprise users to easily connect with the hundreds of millions of partners, customers, and friends and family – the heart of connecting the enterprise to the consumer network (aka B2X).

For more information see Microsoft’s blog article: Video calling between Skype and Lync is part of next step of universal communications.

 

Bing & Browser Skype Extensions

Bing has had the ability to allow users to call a number from the search results with one-click for awhile. Derek demonstrated the new ability to now allow the called-party to pay the bill.  Businesses can make their phone numbers free-to-call for any Bing user anywhere – offering a 1-800 type experience.

Here is a screenshot from the demo

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These extensions will also extend to high definition video calling.

Perspective

More proof of Microsoft’s vision of having Skype and Lync communication easily accessible in Web applications.

 

Video Interoperability with Tanberg

Microsoft announced video interoperability between Lync and Tanberg VTC.  This will enable a legacy Tanberg VC to join a Lync meeting. This will likely be enabled via a dedicated Lync video interop server component in the next release of Lync Server.

Perspective

In the real world there is still a lot of audio and video solutions businesses have made investments in.  The more interop that Lync has, the more easily a solution like Lync can be utilized without having to throw away existing solutions.

 

More Compelling Lync Growth Numbers

During his talk Gurdeep Singh Pall also provided some compelling numbers on Lync’s continued domination in the UC space

  • Lync has experienced 38 Quarters of double-digit revenue growth
  • 60% of enterprise have deployed Lync
  • #1 UC voice market leader
  • 130 million Skype users use Android and iOS – out of the 300 million active Skype users

A Recent 360 Tour of Lync

Myself and Greg Thomas (from Openjive) launched a new Lync Users Group in Ottawa, Canada last week.

The inaugural meeting was a great experience and the bulk of it was Greg and I doing an end-to-end platform tour of Lync with demonstrations so that everyone had a good background to go deeper into specific Lync and UC topics at future meetings.  It was quite a challenge to cover such an expansive topic in 1 hour, but we did it (ok – it took us 1.5 hours)!  To achieve this (including a brief ‘State of Affairs’ on Skype, Yammer, and Lync Online) we had to keep the topics at a very high level.

The presentation by itself without the demo’s and presenters greatly diminishes in value, but we had such good feedback I am sharing it here.  If anyone needs to give a 360 Tour of Lync on short notice, this should be a great reference.

The embedded presentation is included below.  If you want to see some of the speaking notes, view the presentation here in the PowerPoint Web App and click on “Notes” on the bottom toolbar.

 

Lastly, if you are in the Ottawa area join our Ottawa Lync Users LinkedIn group and come out to a meeting!