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Lync: A collaboration tool for CERN

The Lync system provides collaboration features such as phone calls, instant messaging, a presence indicator and integration with Exchange calendar


At the CERN training centre this week, Pawel Grzywaczewski of the IT Operating systems and Infrastructure Services group presented the Lync system.

The Lync service provides collaboration features such as phone calls, instant messaging, a presence indicator, integration with the Exchange calendar, desktop sharing and more. People activated on the Lync phone system can use Lync IP phones, or connect through a computer or device with the Lync application installed.

The Lync application is also available on smartphones (iPhone, Android, Windows Phones). Grzywaczewski says he particularly appreciates the mobility. "Having Lync on a smartphone or on a laptop means having the CERN work number with me. I find a WiFi spot and I’m avoiding the roaming charges while abroad".

The system shares some features with Skype: you can call contacts with a single click, search for CERN people, or set your options to forward calls to other numbers, devices or voicemail. "It has really simplified the way I work," says Grzywaczewski. "In a few clicks I can talk to people, get an answer and take decisions much quicker than before."

Grzywaczewski's presentation covered the main features of Lync, including instant messaging, staying connected when you are on the move as if you are in your office, creating and participating in online meetings, sharing presentations or desktops with other people, and integrating with Outlook, the CERN phone book and more. In a demonstration, Grzywaczewski connected to his colleague Fernando Moreno Pascual by video call, sharing a Powerpoint document which they edited together onscreen.

Lync IP phones are recommended for new installations and to replace analog phones at CERN, but not for emergency services such as the fire brigade. (Critical services use special red phones that are dependent neither on the TCP/IP network nor on electrical power.)

All CERN people have a Lync account. Today, the system is deployed on all centrally managed Windows machines at CERN and is also available on Mac and Pidgin in Linux. Your profile information is shared across Microsoft applications, including Lync, Outlook, and CERN social.

To move from a standard phone to Lync, request a migration to the system through EDH. Lync handsets are now available at the CERN store.

For more information visit the official Lync service site and to take part in the Lync community at CERN visit the social site.