Microsoft makes big change to unified communications platforms

3 June 2013

Users of Microsoft's collaboration tools, Skype and Lync, are now able to connect, making both platforms more inclusive than ever before. Microsoft recently made the announcement that account holders for both programs will be able to collaborate across platforms.

It's a major development for Microsoft Lync, which is geared toward businesses, as it will now be possible for workers to contact clients who may not have the enterprise-focused platform but do have a Skype account. Earlier this year, Microsoft reported that Skype users collectively spend more then two billion minutes per day making calls, showing how popular the service is. 

Connecting with users on the other platform will be fairly easy. Simply, users will be able to search for Lync accounts just as they would a normal Skype account. The only difference is that they need to search for the email address associated with a Lync account. Once an add request is accepted, users will be able to message and call each other immediately. 

According to The Next Web, Microsoft has been planning to integrate the platforms since February 2013. Upon announcing plans to bring the two together, Microsoft set a June deadline for the cross-platform initiative, which means the project has been completed just ahead of schedule. 

Lync can reduce costs
It's yet another development that makes Lync useful for businesses. For aspiring IT professionals, participating in Lync-centered Microsoft training programs may be useful. As companies start to recognize the benefits of Lync, it's possible that many will start to adopt the platform.

A recent case study conducted by Microsoft highlighted just how useful Lync can be in boosting productivity and cutting costs. According to the source, Advanced Sales and Marketing (ASM) recently partnered with Microsoft to provide unified communications solutions for its 4,500 employees.

From voice to instant messaging, the company was able to integrate useful collaborative tools into its operations, allowing workers to contact each other from remote locations. The source stated that the UC solutions provided by Lync enabled them to cut conferencing expenses by 70 percent. Also, the company noted that it experienced higher levels of customer satisfaction after implementing Lync servers.

Part of the appeal of the UC platform, ASM noted, was due to its easy to use interface. When first brought into the office, the company reported that it did not take long for most employees to become proficient in using the various technologies included in Lync. 

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