Lync offerings with Office 365

Favad Qaisar 13 January 2012 0

Shedding a little light on the Microsoft office 365 won’t be a bad idea in the context of this article. Office 365 is Microsoft’s commercial software offering a set of products. Office 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications and hosted versions of Microsoft’s Server products (including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync Server), delivered and accessed over the Internet,  in effect, the next version of Business Productivity Online Suite.

Microsoft Lync Online provides communications features including presence information, instant messaging, PC-to-PC audio/video calling and online meetings that can include PC audio, video and web conferencing with application sharing, whiteboards, and other collaboration tools. Lync Online is accessed through the Lync client. Lync Online also supports presence information and click-to-communicate features inside Microsoft Office applications. Currently the Lync components of Office 365 exclude Lync’s Enterprise Voice feature set.

Office 365 is the next generation cloud productivity service. Office 365 brings Lync online together with the office desktop software as a cloud service. Lync Online is a key component of Office 365 and will give customers the opportunity to host a  Lync solution in the cloud.  Office 365 customers will also get a copy of the Lync rich client with their subscription.

Moreover, the feature sets of the Microsoft-hosted editions aren’t yet completely on par with their on-premises cousins, according to Miller. “Lync is probably the biggest gap,” he illustrated.

In contrast to the Lync on-premise server previously released by Microsoft, Lync Online will not include the integrated built-in telephony support that Microsoft’s Bill Gates foresees as ridding businesses of the need for PBXes and those pesky old-fashioned desktop phones that are still limited to voice calling only.

Instead, Office 365 isn’t anticipated to add this server-based telephony support until the end of this year, or even later — and even then, only in its most pricey package, which will be known as E4.

Through this server-based telephony, the “on-premises” Lync lets users collaborate through both voice and data from smart phones such as Apple iPhones, as well as from specially outfitted desktop phones.

Right at the outset, Lync Online will allow for both voice- and data-based collaboration, but only on a “PC-to-PC” basis, according to Miller. Yet the analyst also speculated that Microsoft might ultimately build in some new VoiP (voice over Internet protocol) capabilities obtained through its recent Skype acquisition.

All these features add to the capabilities of Lync and provide a cross platform integration that might give it the ultimate edge over its competitors.


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Favad Qaisar (51 Posts)

I am a Unified Communications Engineer. Over the last 3 years, I have been working dedicatedly on OCS/LYNC and Exchange 2007/2010. I was responsible for getting my Company Microsoft’s Unified Communication Voice Certified Partner status. Occasionally, I like to share my experiences on the latest developments in the Unified Communications industry.

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