Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lync Online external meeting attendees

Lync Online allows you to invite anyone to a meeting you schedule. All you need to do is schedule a meeting as you would in either Outlook or the Lync Web Scheduler and send them the URL for that meeting.

When they receive this link and click on it they will gain access to the meeting. If they already have a Lync Online account and Lync client software (either from Office 2013 or Lync Basic) on their desktop, the meeting will be launched in these applications. If they don’t have a Lync Online account with Lync desktop software, a browser will launch and they can use the Lync Web App to connect to the meeting.

Here’s a video from Office 365 MVP Darrel Webster that steps you through the experience of connecting using a web browser:

The Lync Web App is a fully featured Lync client that runs through a browser. This also means you can run the Lync Web App on a Macintosh.

Here are some handy links on the Lync Web App:

Join a Lync Meeting form Lync Web App

Quickstart: participate in online meetings with Lync Web App

There are some slightly different limits on what Lync can do across the plans and you’ll find that information here:

Lync Meetings

Lync Online Service Descriptions

You can have up to 250 meeting participants and here a good guide on the best practices when it comes to a Lync Meeting:

Best Practices for a Lync Meeting

This makes Lync Online a really compelling tool for smaller businesses because it can:

1. Reduce the amount of email people have to deal with since they can now quickly chat

2. Allow them to host full blown webinars that can be recorded and used later

3. Provide the ability to see what every one is doing via their presence in Lync

4. Have the same Lync experience on their mobile device and where ever they are.

5. Allow them to remain in contact with their team no matter where they connect from.

So remember, Lync is for all users, even those without Office 365 whom you wish to involve in a meeting. For them access is as simple as using a web browser.