How Lync Online helps stop telephone tennis

Do you ever get tired of leaving messages for people?
When you hear someone say “I’ll just see if they’re around” or “I’m not sure if they’re in the office today” do you wish they got with the times and used Lync like you?

I generally add most of my customer contacts to my Lync contact list so that we can communicate in real time and get to an outcome faster. Plus sometimes it’s good just to say hi.

My latest post on BoxFreeIT talks about phone tag (I refer to it as telephone tennis).
I’m certainly not breaking any ground in raising this – as that has been part of the whole Communicator/Lync marketing pitch since day one. But now with Lync Online as part of Office 365 being as cheap as it is – I have to ask the question how can organisations NOT be taking up Lync Online?

New capabilities of Office Communications Online

I’m quite a fan of Office Communications Server (OCS) and have been for many years. So much so that I was one of the first 250 people in the world to be certified on it. While I love that Office Communications Online (OCO) gets the technology into more organisations I have been disappointed by the limitations imposed by having it hosted in the cloud. However with the release of Office Communications Server ’14’ impending, we will see some key functionality rolled out to OCO:

  • Audio/video across firewalls
  • File transfer across firewalls
  • Presence with pictures
  • Federation (!!!)
  • IM with Windows Live
  • Co-existence with OCS
  • Server-side IM archiving
  • Office Communicator is the unified client for conferencing (bye bye Live Meeting!)
  • Application & desktop sharing
  • Content presentation
  • Integration with 3rd party PSTN audio conferencing services
  • Client-side recording/playback

There are a few pieces of advanced unified communications functionality that will also be released, however these will only be available through select carriers and will have limited worldwide availability. In any case, these features are:

  • Single number for Office Communicator and your mobile phone
  • Common call controls
  • Unified voicemail