Now that Lync Server 2013 will Archive them…

Whiteboards are a handy tool in Lync Server. Anyone can draw or write on them during the meeting, making the whiteboard a great visual aid for common understanding.

But Lync Server 2010 had a serious disadvantage when it came to whiteboards: They were not archived via Archiving Server.

Problem: Whiteboards Not Archived. You could lose all the understanding!

Why Whiteboards were not included in Archiving Server for Lync 2010, I couldn’t say. Maybe the visual medium just didn’t lend itself well. Or maybe the data couldn’t be effectively stored without mangling it.

Either way, Microsoft decided not to archive whiteboards. Everything you wrote on them would be lost once the conference ended.

(Unless someone saved the whiteboard to their computer. But how often did you close the board…and suddenly realize no one did that?)

Fortunately for all of us who make good use of Lync Conferencing, the next version of Lync (2013) comes to our rescue. Whiteboards will be included in Lync Server 2013 Archiving.

Everything you draw – diagrams, idea maps, schematics, doodles. Everything attendees write on them – notes, reference numbers, URLs. Saved for later. Yay!

Thinking about this for a few minutes, I realized that this actually magnified the value of a Whiteboard. With their information preserved, other uses become available to Lync users.

4 Alternate Whiteboard Uses (Thanks to Lync Server 2013)

What extra value would an archived Whiteboard bring? Here’s 4 ideas I came up with.

1. Project Stage Reports.
Meetings are often called to discuss where everyone is on a customer project. Use archived whiteboards as “snapshots” of where a project is at the time.

2. Compliance Documentation.
Archiving is near-priceless to legal compliance. An archived whiteboard provides a canvas on which you can draw visual aids to your documentation.

3. Support Archive.
Since boards are archived, a support team can collaborate on solutions for one problem, and then archive the discussion (automatically) for later reference.

4. Questions Time Post-Presentation.
After you give a presentation using a Whiteboard, share it with participants who have questions. They can ask their questions, you discuss answers–and it’s all archived for you. So if someone asks a similar question later on, and you’re sure you answered that one in the presentation but it’s not in your notes…

If you aren’t using the Whiteboard, start when you move to Lync 2013

I think of Whiteboards as a visual complement to conference discussion (audio). They’re a great way to capture thought flow and ‘ideas as they come’.

Now that Lync Server 2013 will archive them, they’re even more useful. How will you use the Whiteboard next time?

Another Use for Lync Whiteboards
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