Partnersphere, I could not be more excited to relate to you this very important news. If you have not heard, you have heard it now. Lync and Skype integration is available now for both Lync Online and Lync Server 2013!
This represents a great opportunity for you to sell Office 365 into small businesses that want to interact with their customer base from one communications platform. Email, IM, and Audio Chat all enables through one compelling solution, Office 365. The global reach of Skype is amazing and Lync Online and Office 365 just got a lot better in my mind. Please read the posts on these two blogs for more details:
Giovanni summarizes not only the vision behind the integration, but also includes step by step instructions on how to do the configuration in Skype.
The requirements are simple. To quote Giovanni:
All you need to connect with your contacts on Lync is the latest Skype client, available from Skype.com, and a Microsoft account. Connectivity is currently supported by Windows and Mac desktop clients, with more options coming soon as other clients are updated.
From the Lync point of view, I would direct you to the Lync Team Blog article:
Lync-Skype connectivity available today By BJ Haberkorn, Director Lync Product Marketing
BJ provides some great technical guidance. The most important points to me are the functionality that we launch with:
This initial set of features includes:
- Adding Skype contacts to Lync and vice-versa, enabling presence sharing
- Audio calling and instant messaging between Lync and Skype users
- Management settings for Lync administrators
Note that video is not included as of yet.
BJ does an excellent job of explaining the significance of this integration so I will not bore you with my attempt, but it is safe to say this is key to the way people want to communicate, and having it in your tool bag is a definite plus.
Another important point I thought worth mentioning is
Lync Online setup is easy as one,
For Lync Online, connectivity can be turned on from the Lync admin center within the Office 365 portal. If you already have Windows Live Messenger federation working, no additional steps are necessary to enable Lync-Skype connectivity.
Many of you probably have enabled it for accounts already!
BJ also includes screenshots of Lync / Skype integration in action. I have stolen a few below:
Notice that the main dialogue shows Gregory as a Lync contact (just right of contact photo box)
One last screenshot that I took. In the Lync Admin Center in Office 365:
Notice the textual change to public IM connectivity.
That is all I have for today. Check it out!