The other day we went through a list of hardware approved for Lync use. (Lync Add-On Hardware for Client Enhancement and Server Capability: 10 Examples)
But third parties don’t just make hardware for Lync. There’s a whole host of third-party software too!
Thanks to Shaun, a reader, for sending me his Lync experience and this URL:
Qualified Lync Applications – Office TechCenter
On this page is a list of third-party software applications Microsoft has approved for use with Lync Server. They are designated as “Qualified Lync Applications”.
What do these applications provide?
- New Attendant Consoles
- Billing and/or better reporting tools
- Extensions for Lync 2013 clients (including mobile)
- A Contact Center
- Persistent Chat enhancements (these particularly interest me)
- Recording tools
- Software-defined networking
And a few more. Let’s go through the list and see what we find.
A new attendant console for Lync. Very easy to install – I had a free trial downloaded and running in less than 5 minutes. Setup takes a little bit longer, as it appears (at least in the trial version) that you must enter contacts yourself, instead of relying on Active Directory. Samroxx did grab my account information from Active Directory though.
As you see from this screenshot, the Samroxx interface is very clean, and options are clearly listed. If you opt to use a third-party attendant console with Lync Server 2013, this is a pretty good choice.
Another attendant console. This one seems beefier though – it has more features, like calendar updating and statistics.
Plus it works for both Lync Server 2010 and 2013. This in itself could provide a useful transition from 2010 to 2013–the interface for reception wouldn’t change.
No demo option I saw. But they do offer a product sheet: Zylinc Attendant Console Product Sheet (PDF)
Call Recording add-on for Lync Server. While Archiving Server does some of this, it does have its limits Extending recording capabilities is a huge benefit – not only does it protect against lost productivity from confusion, but it helps with legal & regulatory compliance.
Two things I particularly like about Verba:
- It records all calls, IM conversations, and videos – media Archiving Server doesn’t record.
- It’s a server-side solution. Nobody has to install software on their PCs, which means everyone is recorded by default.
I’ll book a Verba demo and report back on my findings soon.
Persistent Chat is one of my favorite Lync tools. However it suffers from one notable limitation – mobile access. Or lack thereof.
MindLink extends Persistent Chat onto mobile devices (phones and tablets). It also works on Mac and Linux computers, extending Lync’s chat capabilities across pretty much all platforms. MindLink even integrates with email and SharePoint.
I’m signing up for a MindLink demo too. Watch for a future post on this too.
Many More Third-Party Applications – Have You Tried One?
These are only a few of the 95 total “Qualified Lync Applications”. I’ll revisit the page later, go through more software, test the ones I can, and report back. Feel free to do the same (and let me know what you find)!
The idea that Lync Server 2013 would need “extending” might make some think the software is incomplete, or immature. Not so. One software application isn’t perfect for all situations. That’s why so many release APIs and work with third-party developers to create extensions. Firefox has its Add-Ons. WordPress has its Plugins and Themes.
Lync Server has Qualified Applications. Use them to make Lync run like you need it to.
Does your business use a Qualified Lync Application? Please comment or email me with the details. I’d like to hear about the application, what you use it for, and how well it works.