Microsoft’s Office 365 has a new service in Lync online; it is called Lync to phone although it is currently limited to the United Kingdom and United States, it will soon be available for users across the globe. With this service you can expand your Lync online word to mobile and landline devices. It lets you make and receive calls from Lync. Users can call on the gsm networks from Lync and all the other apps available in Office 365. The advantages of this are that you no longer need to worry about the online availability of the person whom you are trying to contact, you can access them anywhere and anytime.
Secondly since as we all know that Lync online is a cloud based service so you do not need to download and install any native software support in order to use this facility. This service is currently being provided by Jajah Telecom Company in the above mentioned countries for Office 365 users. So one no longer has to go through the hassle of searching your phone contacts once you’ve found out that your client is not available on Lync, all you have to do is right click the specific contact in your Lync and click the call button in the drop down menu. But you need to be aware of the fact that Lync-to-phone in Office 365 includes only a subset of the full enterprise Voice and PBX capabilities of Lync Server.
In order to set up Lync to Phone, the first thing you need is the license in Office 365 for Lync plan 3 or you can also try the 25 day trial period beforehand. This service requires purchasing a separate calling service from a Microsoft Office 365 partner. This calling service provides connectivity to the public phone networks (landlines as well as mobile service providers). The licensed plan costs $9.5 per month.
The setup for Lync to phone is simple and straight forward. It takes around 10 minutes to complete the configuration and get up and running with the Lync to phone service. The first step in this regard is to set up an account with a Lync to phone service provider. In case your service provider gave you new numbers, add them to the Office phone field of your user accounts. For this you have to go to the Admin tab and then users. Next update users with your Lync to phone provider. To do this, go to your Lync online control panel and click users, at the top of the user list, check the box next to display name and then click edit user. Now on the bulk edit user settings page, in the lync to phone drop down, click the changes requested tab and under the provider name and plan tab, choose the name of your Lync service provider and click next till you reach the finish button. Click it and you are done.