ITD is currently working on a pilot project to deploy Microsoft Lync 2013. Microsoft Lync is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform that allows users to enhance their productivity by providing a consistent, single client experience for presence, instant messaging, enterprise voice, and conferencing.
Below is a feature overview of Lync 2013:
Presence is a collection of information about a contact in Lync that includes availability, willingness to communicate, as well as location and status information. Presence information is gathered based on Exchange Calendar entries or phone status, and can also be manually set by the user. Knowing the presence of a user allows you to utilize the most efficient method of communication, thus improving productivity.
Instant Messaging (IM) allows users to send messages to each other in real-time, rather than routing quick, short questions through traditional email. Used in conjunction with Presence, you can quickly get answers to questions when the recipient might be unavailable by phone.
Enterprise Voice allows traditional call handling through the Lync client, including call answer, call forward, transfer, and hold, using a broad range of both IP and USB endpoint devices. With Lync’s Enterprise Voice solution, your university phone number has the ability to move with you, and can be accessed from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
Conferencing within Lync includes audio, video, and web conferencing. Lync provides a familiar user experience to those that are accustomed to traditional audio bridge services, including dial-in services and touch-tone call control commands, but with the benefit of one-click scheduling within Microsoft Outlook. Expanding upon the audio component, Lync also enables users to share programs or their entire desktop to conference attendees, as well as peer-to-peer or multiparty video conferencing.
Also included in the Lync implementation plan is an upgrade to the current voice mail system, Intuity Audix. The new voice mail platform, Unified Messaging, will work in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange to route voice mail messages to email, providing a speech-to-text written preview of the voice message, as well as allowing playback of the audio file, all through a single inbox. Unlike the current Enabled Voice Mail solution, the single inbox functionality will be available to all voice mail users.
Lync 2013 will certainly transform business processes and open new communication paths. While you will still be able to communicate via a traditional phone conversation, you will likely find that with Lync there may be a more effective way to get the answers you need, when you need them. For a short video of the features in Lync 2013 click below:
Instead of doing business in a wait-to-hear-back approach, imagine doing business at the speed of thought. Stay tuned for more exciting developments with Lync 2013!