Linked with Lync

Earlier this year my team started a pilot with a Microsoft technology called Lync. We had many customer demands for a messaging solution. We wanted to provide a solution contained on our internal network with integration features that would allow us to track and record messages. I had used Live Meeting for years as a web conferencing solution and heard that its successor was going to be Lync. After researching the basics and not being too excited about the tech, we decided to give it a try and contacted a partner that had experience in Lync deployment to assist us with the initial pilot.

Our pilots tend to be implemented within the IT team for a through understanding of the support requirements and end user experience. And besides, I like trying out new stuff. And in regards to Lync Im REALLY glad we did.

After a few months with Lync, I have realized it changes the way we communicate beyond simple IM. Through its connections to Exchange, Outlook and SharePoint it is a universal communications tool. I’ll give a brief overview of each in this post. Continue reading


Football and Tech support

So its football season and the NFL kicked off in all its glory today. After my Ravens were embarrassed last Thursday, I was looking forward to watching some games without too much pressure as to who was going to come out on top. After church, the wife and I get home, have a nice lunch and start the games. Since Windows 8 has released, I almost always have a Tablet or Ultrabook on my lap during TV witching and this was no exception. I had my Lenovo Thinkpad Tab 2 on my lap with the Football Pro app open keeping tabs on the other games.

Part way through the Falcons and Saints game I receive a Lync notification on my screen. Lync is a Microsoft product we recently rolled out to our administrative team. It provides presence awareness, Instant Messaging, Voice and Video communications. I had installed and configured the Modern UI version of Lync from the store onto the Tab 2 and configured it to connect in to our internet facing Lync server but had largely forgotten about it. Well, our VP of Clinical Service Lines was on site having an account issue and happened to see via Lync that I was connected and available. She IM’d me asking for some help. After assessing the need I was able to open my browser and log into our SharePoint Intranet. We have a web part within the SharePoint through which we provide access to some authorized users outside IT to rest user passwords. I could have opened Active Directory but this was quicker. I clicked into the web part and reset her password. I had her log off and on with the new password and message me back through Lync to confirm all was well. It all worked perfect and I didn’t miss a play!

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So how do you feel about Microsoft? I ask because we tend to consider products at an emotional level before a practical level. Advertisers have known this a long time. More on this later.

Me, I use Microsoft products every day in my personal and professional life. I fact, I’ll go so far as to say its because of Microsoft products that I am working in my current profession. Short history… Continue reading