PSTN dialling coming to Lync Online


This is a big one. It’s been announced at this year’s Lync Conference that Lync Online will soon have the ability to make and receive calls to/from the PSTN network.

PSTN is the Public Switched Telephone Network – the “normal” phones rather than VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phones. This update will enable Lync Online users to make/receive calls directly to the regular phone network – will open things up to a huge number of users and companies.

I can’t see much more info than this at the moment – Twitter lit up with the news that this had been announced but that seems to be the extent of it! As I hear more, I’ll post again!

JaJah Voice for Office 365


Here’s an interesting bit of software I came across earlier:

Jajah Voice for Office 365

which extends the voice capabilities of Lync Online including:

  • Make and receive phone calls from your Lync online contacts
  • Click-to-call from IM conversations, Outlook, SharePoint and other Office apps
  • Find me/Follow me: set incoming calls to be forwarded or simultaneously ring personal mobile phone
  • ‘Call via work’: make outgoing calls from your smart phone using work number
  • Mid-call transfer to your mobile phone or any other number or user.

I’m really quite excited about this. This takes Lync Online into the world of mobility very well, being able to make/receive calls via Lync Online will surely speed up the adoption of both Lync & Office 365.

The service is currently in closed beta and is expected to go live this month (July 2012)

Jajah’s MS Pinpoint page can be found here:

http://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-us/applications/jajah-voice-for-office-365-12884930736

and their main site here:

http://www.jajah.com/

Tabbed Conversations in Microsoft Lync


If you’ve been using Microsoft Lync for any length of time you’ll that, while it’s a great product there’s one slight issue with it…you end up with IM windows all over the place.

For some, that might not be an issue but it winds me up quite often and now it seems it’s not just me as Microsoft have made a Tabbed Conversations download available.

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I’ve been using this for a few days and I like it…it reduces the clutter on the desktop and keeps it all tidy.

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It’s a small download to run and install the add-on & the tabs will appear when you restart Lync. Grab it here:

http://lync.microsoft.com/Adoption-and-Training-Kit/tools-and-apps/Pages/Tabbed-Conversations.aspx

Lync Mobile & Office 365


Lync Mobile is out for Windows Phone and other platforms right now. If you can’t find it in the marketplace on WP, hit this link:

Download Lync 2010 for Windows

I’ve been using Lync for a few months now and LOVE it, it makes connecting with people at partners so much easier. I use Lync Online via Office 365 (as I also love the cloud) and was very keen to get this all hooked up.

I downloaded the app this morning but couldn’t get it working at all so I turned to my greatest friend in times if tech support need, Twitter. Lo & behold, the ever awesome @bibbleq came through and I was up & running within 5 or so minutes!

All the info I’d seen online concerned adding CNAME records to DNS servers but, as it’s in the cloud, I didn’t have access to that…so I was a bit stuck. Turns out that MS just need to update the DNS at their end but if, like me, you’re impatient to get start then follow @Bibbleq’s advice:

Add

https://meet.lync.com/Autodiscover/autodiscoverservice.svc/Root

as the “External Discovery address” and you’ll be all sorted.

Head over to his blog for more details on the above:

http://www.bibble-it.com/2011/12/12/office-365-basic-plans-quick-config-for-lync-mobile

and also a deeper look at Lync for WP7:

http://www.bibble-it.com/2011/12/12/overview-of-lync-mobile-for-windows-phone-7

Lync Online & Lync Translator


I’m sure you already know what Lync is but just in case you don’t:

Lync is $1,000,000,000.

Lync is On-Premise.

Lync is Online.

Lync is Awesome.

Lync is Multi-Lingual.

It does:

  • Instant Messaging
  • P2P Voice Calls
  • Presence (are they free, in a meeting, on lunch etc)
  • Video Conferencing
  • Web Conferencing
  • Desktop Sharing
  • Presentation Sharing
  • VOIP Calls

and loads of other things too, like collaborative whiteboards & polls.

Microsoft Lync 2010.png

However, this post is about a specific add-on for Lync and what to do if you’re having problems with it & Lync Online.

Lync Translator:

This is a great feature that I saw demoed at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) this year in LA and it does what it sounds like – it translates your Lync IM’s from 1 language into another!

You choose your language:

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Then choose the recipient’s language:

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Then Voila:

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It of course will translate when they reply too, allowing 2 people without a common language to have a conversation, be it personal or business.

It companies with offices across the world this could be invaluable. Not only that, as Lync allows you to federate (i.e connect) with other companies this could be used for communicating with customers and partners too!

Getting it working with Lync:

Translator is an add-on for Lync which can be downloaded from:

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=26136

and a quick, simple install to get you started.

However I ran into this issue:

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I thought this was due to me using the Office 365 Lync Online but I was told via Twitter that it does work. It was a Snr Program Manager with the UC team in Redmond, Tom Laciano AKA (@TomLCSKid) who had tweeted me and he was also kind enough to help me further with some troubleshooting.

It turned out to be quite a simple step but I’d never have come up with it myself:

· Look in IE’s Trusted Sites (Tools/Options/Security/Trusted Sites/Sites) and make sure there’s an entry for http://ConversationTranslator.cloudapp.net.

That was it. I added that in and BOOM – I was off IMing in various languages with ease Smile

So if you get a similar error – make sure that step above is completed first off…

Hope that helps someone out there…

Skype will come to Microsoft Office 365


Microsoft’s recent $8.5 billion purchase of Skype is close to being officially completed (pending international anti-trust go-ahead) and it’s first appearance will be in Office 365, Microsoft’s just launched cloud offering.

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Kurt Delbene, MS Business Division President said:

“Office 365 will be the lead offering along with the client that should drive parity”

Client, in this case, means Office so does that mean there will be a separate “Skype” component in Office 15 or, more likely, will “Lync” simply connect to both?

Talking of the next version of Office, Mr Delbene had some info on that too.

Talking about when we can expect the next version of Microsoft’s desktop productivity suite, he said:

“We’re typically in a 2 1/2 year cycle”

which would put Office 15 (as I’m calling it for now) at June-December 2012. I’m not too sure about that as it is likely that will be the release schedule for Windows 8 too…I feel that trying to promote new versions of their 2 biggest products at the same time could be tricky.

Although if my prediction that Windows 8 will have a much bigger consumer focus is right,that could make it easier for Redmond’s marketing teams. Predominantly push Windows to consumers and predominantly push Office to enterprises…do you think that could work?

Wikipedia, via Neowin, also tells us that:

“notable changes in Excel include a tool for filtering data in a storm, the ability to convert Roman numerals to Arabic numerals, and the integration of advanced trigonometric functions. In Word, the capability of inserting video and audio online as well as the broadcasting of documents on the Web were implemented”

For more info, head over to the Seattle Times sites here.

Lync Online & VoIP


Microsoft are readying Office 365, the new version of their Online Services offering, to be released within the next 3-4 months and one of the new features over it’s previous iteration, BPOS, is the inclusion of VoIP (Voice over IP) Audio.

However, due to certain licensing restrictions, it isn’t currently available in all countries that can use the Office 365 service. Below is a table showing the current standing for VOIP availability across the range of countries who have the beta.

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I assume this is down to specific country laws as to what services you can provide before you’re classed as a Telecommunications Provider…surely an area MS don’t want to get into!

I have to say I’m surprised it will be available in the UK Smile