My first reader email of 2013 contained a question about receiving Instant Messages. Specifically, he asked if he could use Lync IM on his iPhone and his laptop at the same time.
He was asking if multiple simultaneous logins are possible for Lync – signing in with your account on more than 1 computer. And receiving IMs to both locations.
I told him that Lync Server 2010 does not support multiple logins. But I would check to see if Lync Server 2013 can support this. Here’s what I found.
Why would you want multiple logins in Lync?
Unless you have a mysterious power to be in two places at once, multiple logins for communications software like Lync Server seems unnecessary. Lync treats your latest login as the ‘active’ one, whether that’s on your phone on your desktop. Since, presumably, that’s where you are!
However, I can think of one *good* reason to want multiple logins: Conversation History. In case one client isn’t recording IM conversations properly, or you want multiple copies of a conversation.
(If one of your devices isn’t recording your IM conversations properly, this is a setup issue. Tell your systems administrator.)
Multiple Login Workarounds for Lync Server 2010
Sadly, I must repeat: Lync Server 2010 does NOT support multiple logins for one user. The reason is simple: each user can only have a single SIP address.
However, some workarounds DO exist to facilitate multiple connections.
While looking for reference links to show my reader, I came across this TechNet Forum thread: Lync Multiple & Simultaneous Account Login
Here we find a response from Matt Landis (if you’ve been reading Lync Insider, you know I’ve pointed Matt out as an excellent Lync specialist in the past!). He lists out some workaround solutions–and cautions that not all of them are supported by Microsoft!
What about multiple logins in Lync Server 2013?
We still have to wonder if Lync Server 2013 would support multiple logins. Many aspects of user management were updated in this version. Maybe an improvement to SIP addressing allows for multiple simultaneous logins?
After checking in TechNet and reviewing some fellow Microsoft bloggers, I have to say…no. Multiple logins is still a no-go for Lync 2013.
However, many of the workarounds Matt listed on the forum thread will work for 2013 as well. Personally, I think the best choice would be: Run a virtualized (second) copy of Lync on your desktop.
This would let you use a mobile client at the same time. And still be on Lync at your desktop. In terms of capabilities available, this seems the most promising.
PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a supported solution by Microsoft! You take your chances. (And do a backup first!)
Lync knows where you are…in one spot
I always hate giving readers bad news…especially when they take the time to email in! But, “one login at a time” is just how Lync was made. It does make sense, considering Presence is intended to track where you are and what you’re doing.
We’ll just have to see what updates & modifications 2013 will bring.
Would you like to modify how Lync handles user access? In what way?
EDIT: Please read the comments below if you’re confused. I referred to simultaneous login activity with this post, not just signing in on more than one client!