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By Staff Writer 7 March 2011

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In response to today’s changing work styles and the need for real-time collaboration, organisations are looking for integrated productivity tools that enable users to communicate from anywhere in a cost-effective and secure manner. 
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 delivers a fresh, intuitive user experience that brings together the different ways people communicate in a single interface. This unified experience facilitates rapid user adoption, while the ability to support a full range of communications from a single platform reduces both capital and operational costs. Lync and the power of software connect people virtually anytime and anywhere, across the PC, phone and browser.
Lync is a single platform that integrates instant messaging, presence, audio, video, web conferencing and voice to bring people together in the ways they communicate best, with one interface that works with the applications businesses know and use today, including Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange. 
Microsoft recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact study that found that for a composite organisation Lync 2010 offers a risk-adjusted ROI of 337%, including $6.35 million in hard cost savings over three years, with a payback period of 12 months. (More below)

Bill Gates on Lync
New Connected Experience 
• Find and communicate with the right person, naturally. 
With native Active Directory integration, Lync Server 2010 helps users find the right person to connect with, view their presence, and then communicate with them in the most effective way—via voice, video, or sharing an application or PowerPoint. If desired, users can initiate these connections directly from the new Contact Card. With Skill Search powered by SharePoint, users are also able to search for others based on skills, expertise, and group information. 
• Stay connected from virtually anywhere, with just a standard internet connection.
Microsoft Lync 2010 offers the same rich functionality and security features outside the firewall without requiring a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, and enables mobile and web access across leading browsers and platforms. 
• Build social connections and stay up to date on colleagues’ activities.
Lync 2010 encourages closer social connections with a new Activity Feed that shows updates from contacts when they change status note, picture, title, or office location. 
Integration with Microsoft Office 
• Communicate with context from Microsoft Office applications.
Lync Server 2010 works with Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, and Microsoft Office applications for a richer collaborative experience with consistent presence, click-to-call options, and a new Contact Card. 
• Office Backstage integration.
The new Office Backstage view integrates various communication options so users can share documents and presentations via instant messaging (IM), share the application itself, or click to call directly from the application. 
Product Availability
Microsoft Lync is the new family brand for the products formerly known as Microsoft Communications Server, Microsoft Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Communicator. More information about Lync is at http://www.microsoft.com/lync.
Watch this video for a clearer understanding of what Lync can do for you. 

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