11 Jan.

Got Lync Online? Federate!

I’ve been using federation for a long time. So long in fact that several versions before we had Lync Online there was a product called Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 (LCS).
Personally I started my Microsoft cloud journey with BPOS (the predecessor to Office 365) as one of the components was Office Communications Online – the cloud version of Office Communications Server 2007 (the upgrade to LCS).
Hopefully I haven’t lost you yet. :-)
So one of Lync’s most powerful features is the ability to federate with users outside of your own organisation, however customers of Office 365 are generally only told about this feature during the sales process and possibly post-migration training.

Today’s article on BoxFreeIT is about a fantastic free tool which searches your Outlook contacts and lets you know who you can communicate with via Lync. Read on here: http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Productivity/discover-who-else-uses-lync-online.html.

 12 Sep.

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