I think we all agree that having a CEO that not only encourages the use of social media within the corporation but also leads by example goes a long way when it comes to company-wide social media adoption. While without a doubt a company’s top man or woman will be followed and fanned by many, the impact of getting the rest of the u...
Authors: Jennifer Carole
Transcend is a leading provider of clinical documentation solutions for healthcare organizations. Located in Atlanta, GA, Transcend Services is a public company serving more...
Authors: Debra Chrapaty
As a young executive working for the German media company Bertelsmann, I was part of a team that was asked to make some substantial organizational and technical changes in our New York City office. In mid-December we brought all the employees together for a big holiday party and end-of-the-project celebration....
Authors: Lync Team
Interoperability (sometimes also shortened to just “interop”) is a topic that the Lync team pays a lot of attention to. And interop isn’t just a focus for us—it has been a huge topic in the unified communications industry as well. At the Enterprise Connect conference in March and the Lync sessions at...
Authors: Lync Team
The Lync marketing team continues to see the value of Public IM Connectivity (PIC) capabilities as a fundamental part of the Lync federation experience. With PIC, Lync users can connect to customers & partners and friends & family who are on public IM networks such as Windows Live, AOL, and Yahoo!. This is a great feature...
Authors: Lync Team
In this blog post, I want to talk about how, when nature disrupts our lives, technology can help us keep things going. A couple of years ago in Seattle, where I live, our city shut down when it was hit by a powerful snowstorm. Because I had Office Communicator (now Lync with the 2010 release) I was able to conduct meetings and...
Authors: Lync Team
Today I have the pleasure of blogging about the final engineering milestone for Microsoft Lync 2010 - the next release of Office Communications Server and Communicator - also known as Release to Manufacturing, or RTM. We're incredibly excited about this release as it's really the culmination of a five-year journey to
Authors: Julia White
What a fun week on the UC Blog! We saw lots of spirited comments from the Notes community, especially in response to my Monday post. Certainly, there is a lot of passion among Notes users. There is
My first week on the Lync team was back in the beginning of March. With VoiceCon in Orlando happening that week, it was a great chance to jump right in with both feet. When VoiceCon was over, the comments I’d heard in many customer conversations inspired me to post my first blog in the new role.
The last eight months have been a whirlwind of excitement and learning for me as the Lync team prepares for our global launch of Lync on Wednesday November 17th in the Big Apple. Recently, I’ve had time to reflect on the momentum and increasing demand that’s been building for this important release and what I have seen and heard has been nothing short of remarkable. So the challenge here is, how do I explain it to you in a way that makes it real, beyond just citing some of the studies and statistics that others have shared over the past few months?
What I settled on was sharing with you a few anecdotes that highlight why I’m excited going into launch this week. There were many, for certain, but here are some highlights…
In March, in addition to being the talk of the show at VoiceCon, our team in the UK presented Lync (then called Communications Server “14”) at the UC Expo in London. ZDNet’s David Meyer was there to report, but he could not even get into the event because it was so over-subscribed. Good reason to do a virtual launch!
The summer is traditionally a season of events for Microsoft, and this year we started in June with TechEd in New Orleans. TechEd is a technical education event for customers with lots of product sessions, hands on labs and workshops. I had a chance to mix and mingle with many customers and every single conversation either started or ended with, “when can I get the [Lync] bits?” I hope everyone who asked knows that the RTM bits will be available for evaluation next week at this location: www.lync.com. A similar thing happened at TechEd in Berlin last week, where the Lync overview session was packed with hundreds of people more than we had anticipated.
After TechEd New Orleans, Brent Kelly from Wainhouse Research wrote a comprehensive review of Lync, and we heard a lot of feedback on his post, including a hint that it was one of the most viewed posts in the history of the No Jitter website.
Then in July, Microsoft hosted the annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington D.C. The overview session again became overflow only, and Jamie Stark’s session on deployment options nabbed triple the number of attendees we’d planned for. Even after a room move, attendees still spilled out into the hallway on either side. A smaller group ended up staying for a full hour beyond the original hour of the session (during a 5pm timeslot!), even after the coffee had run out.
The partners that came to WPC often ended up hosting similar packed sessions themselves over the following months. For example, I recently received a note from our partner Dimension Data. In their Sydney Australia office, they host a monthly technical talk called Techspresso (I imagine they serve coffee for that too). Ordinarily they get about 40 attendees, but for the Lync Session, they had 100 people turn out. This has been a story repeated by many partners over the past several months as they did early demo sessions with customers around the world.
Getting this kind of reaction from customers and partners has been just one many terrific things about working on the Lync business over the past eight months and has only reinforced my own excitement going into launch. Hopefully we can share some of this with you during the worldwide virtual launch event this week on Wednesday, November 17th, 8am PST/11am EST – visit this link to attend: www.microsoft.com/lync/launch.
It’s a pretty big day for the Office Communications team here at Microsoft. I’m excited to share that we’ve met a major milestone and are making the release candidate of our ‘wave 14’ communications products available for anyone to download. In addition, there has been much speculation on what the new name for the release would be, so I get to officially announce that here too – the new name is Microsoft Lync.
Let me provide a little more detail on both the release candidate and the new name than you’ll hear in the press release.
First the new name. For those of you who have followed the Office Communications business over the past several releases, you’ll know that this is an important milestone in a journey that started more than five years ago with a vision to transform communications with software. This vision, set out by leaders like Bill Gates, Jeff Raikes and Gurdeep Singh Pall, included bringing together various and “siloed” real-time communications systems and creating new ways for people to connect with each other. Lync 2010 is the release that delivers on this vision by unifying enterprise voice, instant messaging and web, audio and video conference – all within the same user experience and back-end infrastructure, as well connecting people in new ways through things like integrated expect search and interactive contact cards throughout Office.
As we watched Lync 2010 develop into reality, we wanted a new name that reflected the major product transformation. In that sense, Lync – a combination of “link” and “sync” – is about connecting people in new ways, anytime, anywhere. Beyond simplifying and shortening the current branding, customer research found that the name Lync appeals to end users and IT pros, even more than descriptive options like Communicator. If you’ve ever worked on a branding process, you know how personal it can be. Everyone involved has their favorite name (and of course none of them are the same!). So we were pleased that most people in research and internally gravitated toward Lync. We hope you like the name as much as we do.
With the 2010 release, we will use Lync as the ‘family’ brand and within each of our communications products:
|Product||2010 Release||2007 Release|
|Family||Microsoft Lync||Microsoft Office Communications|
|The server||Microsoft Lync Server 2010||Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2|
|The client||Microsoft Lync 2010||Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2|
|The service||Microsoft Lync Online||Microsoft Office Communications Online|
|The web client||Microsoft Lync Web App||Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access|
Now about the release candidate. With nearly 20,000 people inside Microsoft and more than 100 enterprise customers already using the Lync 2010 beta, the R&D team is on track to deliver the product to market before the end of the year. I’ve been using Lync 2010 for about six months now, both in conjunction with a beta IP phone from Polycom, as well as via my laptop on its own (primarily when I’m traveling or at home).
Some of the new ways of communicating that I’ve grown attached to over the last six months include:
Switching between my head-set and laptop or speakerphone, in the middle of a call with device switching.
Selecting multiple people in my contact list and initiating a group call. If I need to add someone else, I can ‘drag’ their name from the list to the call.
Leaving the office and taking my call with me on my mobile phone.
Having Lync test my network connection before I start a video call or meeting.
Going from IM, to voice, to video to app sharing, all within the same client experience.
The R&D team has gathered and incorporated tons of great feedback in the release candidate, including many suggestions from previous releases (check out the new dial-pad in Lync 2010 as just one example). After testing, we essentially freeze the code, and make this near final cut of the software – i.e., the release candidate – available for broader use. As of today, you can download it here, as well as get more information on the release here.
We hope that many of you will take a look and like Lync 2010 as much as the early beta testers have.