30 Things I Love About LyncSo I’ve been talked into speaking my mind.  Typically I don’t have a problem with this.  But in a somewhat public forum such as this – maybe I should watch what I say. But instead, let me say now… the views expressed below do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisation (Olympic Software NZ) and I make no apology for any unintentional offence that many occur as a result of reading these posts.
Right, now to get opinionated!

So to start with I’d thought I do a series of posts about Lync – One of my all-time favourite Microsoft products.  If you don’t know what Lync is consider the following:

Lync is a “play” on the spelling of Link.  The Google dictionary definition of Link is:

  • A relationship between two things or situations
  • A social or professional connection between people or organizations
  • Something that enables communication between people
  • A means of contact by radio, telephone, or computer between two points

These epitomise what Lync is all about – and that’s probably what the marketing people were aiming for.

Think MSN Messenger, or Yahoo messenger – but for the business! I.e. all 100% encrypted, and without those pesky little adverts.

So here’s the start of my 30 things….

1)      Jelly Beans!

Not just because they show people what your status currently is – but because I get to demo the product a lot, I get props.  (No prizes for guessing what these could be)

Available Lync status is for – Hey I’m “available”, I’m at my desk just waiting to be interrupted assist in whatever way I can.

Busy Lync status is for – I’m at my desk but a tad “Busy”, either in a meeting or looking busy

Away Lync status is for – I’m not at my desk – haven’t been here for 5 minutes or more.  Probably off showing someone another cool Lync feature.  But I’ll “Be Right back”

Do Not Disturb Lync status is for – Oh boy the pressure’s on, I need to focus.  “Do Not Disturb”

Offline Lync status is for – I’m “offline” – Gone for the day, Signed out.

2)      Mug Shots

New to an organisation, don’t know what someone looks like, check out their photo published with their status.

Lync Mug Shots

3)      Instant Alerts.

Need to get an answer from someone in another office, or on another floor but they’re never around when you want them.

“TAG” em and wait.

Next time they move their mouse or touch their keyboard you’ll be notified they’re back at their desk in a little toaster pop-up.  One click and you’re getting the answer you need from them.

Lync Instant Alerts

4)      The time savings…

I don’t need to go looking for someone now.  Just check Lync.  If they’re Green, then the chances are fairly good they’re at their desk.  If its yellow – I don’t go looking – I wait till they’re back and then I go eyeball em.

5)      Instant Access from the system tray

Need to change your status – two clicks and you’re done!

Lync instant access from system tray

6)      People respect your status. 

It’s amazing how behaviour changes because of a little coloured icon.  Before we had Lync and I didn’t want to be disturbed I had to send an email to all staff or make a sign for the desk, too bad if they didn’t see the email, and by the time they show up at your desk – it’s too late they’ve already disturbed you.

7)      It works from anywhere

Install the Lync client on your computer at home (yes you are allowed to do this), or take your company laptop home and as long as you’ve got a connection to the internet, you can be online.

8)      Lync knows where you are – now this is clever!

I’ve got a company laptop.  When I’m in the office it knows I’m in the Office.  But when I take it home it knows I’m at home and updates my location to say Home, and because everyone can see this – they know not to come looking for me.

Lync knows where you areLync still knows where you are

9)      What’s happening today?

Want to keep people up to date with what you’re working on, or just want to post a though for the day… simply use the comment section (and your imagination)

Lync - Whats happening today?Whats Happening?

10)      Use your Exchange email groups to automatically add people to Lync

One of the many ways Lync integrates with your other software (there’ll be more on this later) is to allow you to use the email groups from your Exchange server, Simply add a group to Lync and watch as everyone magically appears.  When your IT team update the list on the server as people join or leave the organisation the list is automatically updated. – Pure Magic!

Lync and Exchange email / distribution groups