I’ve seen a rise in new visitors to the blog lately. Welcome!

Sometimes I forget that many people still have no idea what Lync Server does. They’ve heard that “it runs your phones” or “it’s an IM system” and that’s it.

The good news is: it does both, and more! For those of you who are new to Lync, let me take a half-step back and give you some ideas about its capabilities.

I’m doing so through parallels – illustrating how Lync Server and its clients mirror (or in some cases simplify!) your everyday communications. Like phone calls and texts.

Everyday Communication Methods, and How They Work in Lync

Making a phone call
EVERYDAY: Pick up the phone and dial.  Or scroll through contacts.
LYNC: In your Lync client, click the dial pad, enter the number.  Or scroll through your contacts list.

Sending a text
EVERYDAY: Texting via phone. Hunched over, thumbs flailing.
LYNC: Use an Instant Message. Type and send from your computer or phone.

Listen to voicemail
EVERYDAY: Dial your voicemail on your phone, listen in.
LYNC: Listen to your voicemails on your phone’s Lync client. Or on your desk phone. Or listen to the voicemail recording delivered to your inbox.

Hold a conference call
EVERYDAY: Set up a call via a third-party conferencing provider like WebEx or GoToMeeting. Arrange a good time for all parties.
LYNC: Start an Online Meeting, and email attendees the URL. No third-party needed.

Manage calls from the front office
EVERYDAY: Use a PBX phone system, often specialized, to hold & route calls. Or a third-party reception service (sometimes resulting in long hold times and calls lost in limbo).
LYNC: Use the Lync Attendant Console on the front office computer. Route, hold, forward, all from Attendant.

Forward calls according to priority
EVERYDAY: “Let me put you on hold (while I scramble to find someone who might be here today)…”
LYNC: Response Groups automatically forward to other team members you delegate ahead of time.

Skype calls (with/without video)
EVERYDAY: Turn on the webcam and run Skype.
LYNC: Turn on the webcam and run Skype! (Skype and Lync are friendly with one another. And heading for further integration.)

This should give you a nice overview of Lync Server 2013’s voice and text systems. (And I didn’t even mention its video or presentation capabilities!)

Now, if our newest Lync Insider readers would kindly answer a question for me…
What’s the first objection you’d have to using Lync Server?

Please leave a comment, or email me. Exploring Lync Server and its uses in the office is why this blog exists!

How You Communicate Now VS. How You'd Communicate Using Lync Server
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