Feeds

Microsoft links Skype to Lync

Now that's unified communications

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft has connected its consumer voice over IP tool Skype to its business grade unified communications tool Lync.

The upshot of the move is that Skype users can now call anyone with a Lync account, after the usual to-ing and fro-ing with invitations.

As most Lync users work inside a businesses big enough to either run a Lync server of a cloudified version of the product, that means the unwashed masses running Skype can now call businesses for free. Or as Microsoft nauseatingly puts it “we think it’s important to re-humanize technology so that consumers, professionals and decision-makers can interact with technology how and when they want – from the living room to the boardroom.”

Lync has a few million users so it may not seem like a big deal for Skypers to be able to give them a call. Telcos doubtless see it differently as yet another over-the-top service comes along to erode their revenues. Becoming a channel for Office 365 might be the only way for them to claw back some cash.

Other groups that may have a strong reaction to the link are Web marketing types and call centres.

The former have long lamented the fact that when shoppers go online they often abandon a purchase for lack of information about a product. A technique called “click to call” has been advanced as a fix to that issue, as it allows users to click a button on a web page to start a conversation with a customer service operative.

That's not worked well, because proprietary systems have either required download of a client or relied on a Skype-to-Skype connection. That's not hard to do, but is hard to integrate into a call centre environment for technical reasons and because volumes of incoming click-to-call requests never quite reached levels at which they justified dedicated personnel. That meant responsiveness to click-to-call was never particularly good, making the technology less than effective.

Skype-to-Lync intetgration could change that, because Lync is sufficiently sophisticated to allow integration of incoming Skype calls into the pool of calls being handled inside an organisation. In Microsoft's wider scheme of things, person-to-person Skype-to-Lync calls may therefore be of less potential importance than Skype-to-call centre calls.

That scenario works for messaging too: Skype and Lync both have instant messaging features and they now interoperate, which makes the Skype/Lync combination more attractive for another web marketing favorite, the live chat.

Microsoft says video chat is its next priority, and is coming real soon now. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.