Lync Federation Tool Makes it Easy to Find Lync-enabled Business Partners
Originally posted on VoIP & Gadgets Blog, here: http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/microsoft/lync-federation-tool-makes-it-easy-to-find-lync-enabled-business-partn.asp.
Who wouldn't want to join the Federation? No, not the United Federation of Planets, commonly referred as the Federation, though it would be cool to play on the Star Trek Enterprise's holodeck. No, we're talking Lync Federation here. Matt Landis has a cool WCF Tool (Who Can Federate) that will scan through your Outlook contacts and tell you which contacts have public Microsoft Lync or OCS federation enabled. The utility works simply by checking for a specific Lync DNS SRV record for each domain name in your Outlook contacts.
You don't even need Lync installed to try this tool. Companies evaluating Lync could use this tool to see just how they could reduce phone costs to their business partners and customers before deploying. Perhaps more importantly, the ability to directly call someone over Lync is a nice customer service value-add that could enhance business relationships. For instance, you can see your contacts' presence info (on phone, away, etc.), make HD audio calls, send an instant message, or even do a video conference, and do a presentation via desktop sharing! Anther benefit is easy to remember IDs like firstname.lastname@example.org instead of having to launch your contact database and search for their phone number. That could be a huge time-saver over the long haul.
Of course, one concern I have is the potential for Lync spam. Although, Lync federated communications only works from certificate authenticated servers so that should stop the majority of spammers if you open your corporation to federation.
I ran the utility on my PC and saw some interesting domain / company names, as seen here:
These are all Fortune 1000 companies I believe. You'll probably recognize them all - Dell, Verizon Wireless, CDW, Sylvania, Insight, and Gartner. I know from being in the media, that large companies rarely agree to disclose many of the technologies they are using internally, which makes it difficult for companies like Microsoft to get a case study, whitepaper or a reference for their products. Well, if these companies didn't intend to publish the fact they offer Lync federation -- and hence have deployed Lync - it's pretty easy to figure out with this tool!
Also check out Matt's Lync Federation Directory, which has a cmprehensive list of many domains using Lync.
Download WCF Tool here.
Tags: dell, desktop sharing, federate, federation, hd audio, lync, matt landis, microsoft, uc, unified communications
Related tags: outlook contacts, business partners, federation, companies, contacts, business
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