What Is Microsoft Lync Server?

Lync Server is the latest incarnation of a product line dating back to 2000. Microsoft has made a substantial commitment to providing a single integrated communications suite that enables users to communicate with each other more easily. Lync Server represents a fundamental shift in how telephony is handled. Lync Server attempts to remove telephony from dedicated systems such as Private Branch Exchanges (PBX) and places them in a software based infrastructure that can more easily adapt to changing needs and so they can be extended to provide new functionality as technologies change.

Picture a world in which users are no longer tied to a single device for their communication endpoint. They can choose to use a traditional style desk phone, a headset attached to a laptop, or a mobile device to place and receive calls. Not only do they have these choices, but these choices also don’t need to be static. Rather than being assigned a phone and a phone number, a user can log into any supported phone with his own identity and that phone becomes his phone. Calls to users are routed to this device or other devices that they have requested and ring at the same time. Rich presence information in the system enables a user to know whether another user is available even before picking up the phone to call the user.

Lync Server attempts to enable users to alter their forms of communications seamlessly as the situation demands without having to make drastic changes. For example, Andrew might have a question for Sean. Andrew looks at his Lync Server client and sees that Sean is listed as available. As such, Andrew sends Sean an Instant Message via Communications Server asking him whether he has a moment for a question. Sean replies, “Yes.” After a few messages, Sean determines that Andrew’s question is a little complicated to handle over IM and suggests they speak by phone. Andrew is able to convert the IM to a point-to-point voice chat with a single click. Now Andrew and Sean are able to speak directly. After a few minutes, Andrew determines that he still doesn’t quite understand what Sean is explaining and asks whether Sean could show him what he means. At this point, Andrew converts the call to a video conference with application sharing. Sean is able to draw out his explanation via his favorite application and explains it as he goes by simply talking.

In this scenario, everything can be accomplished by two people on beaches over laptops. Lync Server doesn’t require participants to reserve video conferencing resources ahead of time, to schedule conferences, or even to use specific hardware. Through these functions, Lync Server is able to make the world a much smaller place by enabling users to dynamically control their own communications and to be available almost anywhere at most any time.

Source of Information : Pearson-Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Unleashed

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