Microsoft Lync has long been so much more than an answer to Windows Live Messenger or Skype geared to corporate requirements, and nor is video conferencing the only functionality offered by the software, with instant messaging and Voice Over IP also being central to its offering.
When integrated with other software, Lync can even offer such features as the ability to see if other people are working on the same Microsoft Office document, as well as the retrieval of contact lists from a local directory service like Microsoft Exchange Server.
Such a wealth of advanced features may make Microsoft Lync your go-to video conferencing service, but how can you extract maximum value from your organisation’s investment in the software?
Getting started with Lync 2013
Those wishing to use Microsoft Lync 2013 will require the Lync 2013 software itself, installed with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, in addition to an optional audio device and webcam. You will also need to check the settings of your audio and video devices to ensure that they are appropriately configured, before you use Lync to make or receive calls.
Another good step to take from when you first use Lync 2013 is setting up your meeting space options, with two options to choose from:
A new meeting space (I control permissions)
My dedicated meetings space (less secure).
Good tips for presenters using Lync 2013
In addition to setting up and testing their audio devices prior to starting, presenters making use of Lync are urged to issue clear and complete invitations – including a meeting agenda – to attendees.
It’s also a good idea to join your meeting early to free up time for preparing content. This is the perfect time to upload slides or documents to be shared, as well as to start applications that you would like others to view during sharing.
The best possible viewing experience can be ensured by setting your screen display to 1024 x 768 pixels – or 800 x 600 portrait if you are using a tablet PC. For larger meetings, it may also help to enlist an assistant’s help.
What if you are an attendee?
Those attending a video conference using Lync 2013 can also ensure a better experience by, for example, using a wired Ethernet connection wherever possible, while echoes or other audio issues can also be avoided by only using an audio device that Microsoft IT has recommended.
By taking these tips on board, you can achieve more productive and efficient meetings with this powerful communications technology.