Browsing the blog archives for August, 2011.

Redirect Live Meeting Users to Lync: 20 Tasks Every Lync Administrator Should Know

Conferencing, lync server 2010, Microsoft Lync, Unified Communications

Live Meeting’s functionality was absorbed into Lync Server. Since Lync had Web Conferencing (and the Dial-In Conferencing service!) built in, it made sense to equip the software with Live Meeting’s anyone-can-join capability too.

With Live Meeting, people wanting to join a conference (as guests, outside your network) would join in by downloading the Live Meeting Client. In Lync Server, you have two new choices: Lync Attendee, or the Lync Web App.

Meeting Option #1: Lync Attendee

Lync Attendee is a downloadable client for external users to join Lync meetings. In other words, it operates just like the Live Meeting Client.

However, it doesn’t allow for Presence, or scheduling meetings on its own. (You need the full Lync client for those.) Attendees can enter a meeting as a Guest or as an Authenticated User, with their own corporate credentials.
Download Lync Attendee here.

Meeting Option #2: Lync Web App

The Lync Web App is a Silverlight-based app for people who don’t have Lync 2010. It enables remote connection as a guest – same functionality as Live Meeting, just in a Web-based app.

The Web App doesn’t allow for Presence either. But it *does* include IM. And all the collaboration features you’d find in Lync 2010 or Lync Attendee: PowerPoint presentations, the Whiteboard, polls, etc.

(Using these features may prompt attendees to download a plugin. Warn them beforehand.)

NextHop has a thorough run-down of the Lync Web App here.

So Which Should You Use for Meetings?

If you’re reasonably sure attendees are on newer computers, use the Lync Web App. Silverlight is newer technology; the latest systems will support it easily.

Also, use the Web App if you’re inviting people on Macs and/or smartphones.

Otherwise, go with Lync Attendee. It’s a good all-around client for meetings, and it’s easier to use than Live Meeting.

A Note About Conference Scheduling

Scheduling a web conference in Lync is pretty easy. Lync users can begin a meeting anytime (what’s called an “ad-hoc meeting”) by right-clicking on another contact.

However, when it comes to scheduling meetings, the Conferencing Add-In I mentioned will likely get more use. Being integrated into Outlook, it’s literally right there.

You’ll see a “New Online meeting” button (with the Lync logo) under Calendar. Click that and enter the meeting details.


This should clear up a little confusion. I’m sure there’s a lot more to discuss when it comes to meetings in Lync though.

Have you had trouble scheduling or attending one? Let’s hear about it!


Know Where to Go for Help: 20 Tasks Every Lync Administrator Should Know

lync server 2010, Reference, Unified Communications

Admit it – sometimes we just can’t figure out what the heck Lync Server is doing. It’s not behaving and we don’t know why. We need help.

Every Lync administrator should have good documentation & support material around. (Like this blog!) It’s a necessary part of day-to-day practice. And even more crucial when something breaks.

I’d planned to save this post for the last of the “20 Tasks” series. But, a newly-published guide made me decide to go ahead. It’s #1 in the following list, so check it out!

The rest are all resources we’ve used at PlanetMagpie for Lync troubleshooting. These are all excellent places to go for help. Read and enjoy!

1. Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit

Always check the documentation first. And as of yesterday (August 16th), we have brand-new Lync documentation! Download the new Resource Kit here and keep it handy. Yes, Microsoft released the Resource Kit for free! (Thanks to DrRez for the announcement.)

2. Lync Server 2010 TechNet Library

This library has been partially supplanted by the Resource Kit (which is more up-to-date). But the library is broken up into more subtopics, so it’s easier to find helpful material at a glance. Check here while you’re browsing the Resource Kit; you’ll double your chances of running into a solution.

3. Lync Love – Lync Server & Unified Communications Blogs

Check with bloggers. If you’re having a problem, chances are someone else has too. Start with my Lync Love post for some good blog links.

4. Microsoft’s Lync Server Forums

THE forum for Lync (and OCS) questions. Every area of Lync Server has its own section, and hundreds of users sharing information. If you still have a question, ask it here. Chances are you’ll have an answer in no time.

Even a few minutes’ digging will show you how much information is contained within these resources. The Resource Kit alone is over 30MB of documentation!

Do you go someplace else for Lync help? What’s the URL?

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Microsoft May Position an Integrated Skype-Lync as the SMB Communication Platform of Choice

lync server 2010, Microsoft Lync, Unified Communications, Voice over IP

In May I wrote about Microsoft’s Skype acquisition. I speculated a little on 4 ways Skype could affect Lync Server.

Microsoft gave us some answers at the WPC conference in late July. (Yes, I’m late to the party here. I was on vacation!)

Looks like my “all of the above” thought was on the right track. Lync will “thoroughly integrate” with Skype once the acquisition deal is final. We don’t have a lot of details beyond that. But the WPC announcements did shed more light on Microsoft’s goals.

See Steve Ballmer’s quote in the article:

“One of the great motivations in acquiring Skype is to enable the enterprise to have all the control it wants in communication and collaboration through Active Directory and Lync, and yet be able to connect people within enterprises to consumers, businesses and trading partners around the world. Lync … with Skype is a strategy that will allow the consumerization of IT to really proceed with full vim and vigor.”

Take another look at that last statement. (Not the ‘vim and vigor’ part, that’s just Ballmer trying to sound British.)

“Consumerization of IT.”

That makes me think. About the connectivity options available at different levels of business.

And my thinking makes me want to place a bet.

Bet on SMB Positioning for Lync

I’m betting the Skype-Lync integration will create a composite app that gives Lync functionality to the SMB level of business.

Lync’s highest adoption rate came from enterprises. They (for the most part) know what it can do.

But smaller businesses?

The SMB market is more familiar with Skype, not Lync. But there’s functionality they could use that Skype doesn’t have – UC connectivity with Office apps, for one.

I could be off. Heck, I could be restating an obvious development. But it still strikes me as a good bet to make. A blended Lync-Skype application would bring Lync capabilities to the small-business and mid-market business spheres.

Plus, it would make “Lync in the Cloud” easier to adopt.

Will the Positioning Hurt Current Skype Users?

Thousands of businesses already use Skype as a low-cost phone system. Does the Lync integration hurt them?

Maybe. Depending on how MS conducts the software integration, they might have to buy Lync Server (in some form) to use full UC capabilities. A composite app could be a middle-of-the-road…or a required upgrade.

It’s all speculation right now. We’ll have to see how right I am–eventually!

What do you think? Am I on-target with these integration speculations?


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    The Skype4B Insider is a blog about the technology we use to communicate in business today. Here we talk about Microsoft's Skype for Business Server 2015, Lync Server 2013, Unified Communications, Voice over IP and related technologies like Exchange Server. Written by Chris W., MCSE in Communication and PlanetMagpie IT Consulting's Tech Writer.
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