The Evolution of Unified Communications


Communication is one of the most important tools to personal and professional success. In the instant gratification world that we live in, the ability to communicate quickly and effectively has never been more important. Microsoft Lync is providing businesses with the opportunity to take communication and collaboration to a whole new level.



By Earl Jackson

 

Communication is one of the most important tools to personal and professional success. In the instant gratification world that we live in, the ability to communicate quickly and effectively has never been more important. Microsoft Lync is providing businesses with the opportunity to take communication and collaboration to a whole new level.

Microsoft Lync has its roots in Office Communicator, Microsoft’s legacy instant messaging solution.  As such, MS Lync’s most basic functionality is instant messaging. This may not sound impressive, since we’ve had the ability to send instant messages since the days of ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). But although the basic chat experience hasn’t changed much since then, the technology has evolved significantly, and we are going to explore some aspects of that evolution here.

One of the more interesting features of MS Lync instant messaging is the ability to allow communication outside of your network. If your company allows it or deems it necessary, you can communicate with business associates at other companies or even someone on Google Chat. But Lync is more than just another chat client. Lync takes instant messaging as we know it and adds new, advanced functionalities that include desktop sharing, remote control, program sharing and PowerPoint/whiteboard sharing.

Businesses that make use of the remote control functionality within Lync can eliminate the need for third-party remote control tools for their IT departments. Users that want to have a help desk technician take control of their machine to diagnose or fix a problem can do so by sharing their desktop through the Lync client, avoiding the need to go to a website and type in a code or click links in an email. This saves time for both the user and the technician, allowing them both to focus on more productive activities.

Aside from the obvious technical support advantages of desktop sharing and remote control features, the ability to share PowerPoint presentations and virtual whiteboards makes it easy to collaborate on projects.  This is especially useful if your workforce is spread out across the country or if you have a significant number of employees working from home.  The functionality is also useful if conference room space is limited, as it provides the ability to have meetings and presentations without requiring attendees to meet in person.

We have barely scratched the surface of what Lync can do for your business, but another significant feature to mention is its mobility client. Everyone has a smartphone these days, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad or an Android-based phone or tablet.  If you use any such device, you can download Lync’s mobility client and stay connected when you are not in the office. Although the convenience and productivity enhancements that this technology affords are incredible, even a partial implementation of MS Lync is a tremendous undertaking.  That is why incorporating MS Lync into your business should be carefully considered and planned out, making sure that you strike a balance between budgetary concerns and providing employees with the tools that help them to be as productive as possible.

In future posts, we will explore some of the other benefits and functionalities of MS Lync.  We welcome your feedback and suggestions.

One Source Networks specializes in taking the complexity out of large, global network deployments.
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Zack Daschofsky
Zack.Daschofsky@onesourcenetworks.com
(512) 721-2897
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