Microsoft New Zealand's Maria Martinez-Torres outlines some key milestones on the roadmap for Lync.
Ask any CIO what the secret is to a successful business, and they’ll tell you that technology that enables effective communication and collaboration between employees is at the heart of it.
Enabling communication and collaboration is the underlying principle of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of tools.
With Lync, Skype, Yammer, Outlook and SharePoint utilised together, these tools aim to enable enterprise social capabilities, HD video conferencing and document collaboration as part of a highly secured, reliable and extensible platform.
Within this suite, Lync clearly stands out as the tool which is making perhaps the most significant impact on business productivity around collaboration.
Consider that more than 90% of the Fortune Global 100 companies are Lync users, and that more small businesses across industries from healthcare to the public sector are increasingly choosing Office 365 with Lync Online to better communicate and collaborate
The future roadmap for Lync
Earlier this year, Microsoft laid out some key milestones on its future roadmap for Lync. The most notable was the announcement that Lync and Skype will now be able to connect to deliver IM, presence and voice communication.
The advantages of this for business are significant, in that it will allow Lync users to connect and collaborate with customers, business associates and partners across any device or platform with just a single mouse click.
Microsoft also unveiled the Lync Room System, which aims to make it easy to use Lync with conferencing system hardware supplied by partners.
Other improvements include the addition of a 'join meeting' tile on the touchenabled screen or controller installed in a conference room, which will streamline how people participate in meetings with video and content.
Understanding the importance of mobile scenarios, Microsoft also recently launched Lync 2013 mobile apps for Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android.
The addition of VoIP and video over IP is an important asset in how customers stay connected wherever they are, while the added ability for iPad users to view shared desktop and application content in a Lync meeting supports the trends around device proliferation.
Lyncing for success
Whether at work or at home, workers need to make meaningful connections with one another to get business done, and done well.
Compounding the need for communication and collaboration are the realities of the world we live in where instant access to information is expected, friends and coworkers are scattered across geographies and many workers are juggling multiple mobile devices.
However, technology isn’t the problem to these complexities; it’s the answer. The issue that faces CIOs however, is instilling the capabilities in employees to help them make sense of it all and to do so in a way that is intuitive, barrier free and agnostic to the devices on which they rely.
Clearly, Lync can be that vital link in the chain for delivering communications and collaboration results, as it helps employees be successful, at work, at home and all points in between.
Maria Martinez-Torres is Business Productivity Group manager at Microsoft NZ.