ETH Expands Lync Communication

Microsoft Lync, which works on ETH workstations as well as on mobile devices, is available to all ETH members starting March 2014.

The ETH future is called „unified communications“

To increase accessibility and collaboration, real-time communication services are integrated with non-real-time communication services. Chat is just one of the Lync features. It makes communication between ETH members quicker and easier.

Activating Lync

The Lync service is available to all employees of ETH Zurich. Employees can activate Lync themselves. Just logon to nethz Admin-Tool and apply. You can also apply for the service via the ITS Service Desk or your own local support (nethz login).

ETH communication to suit every taste

With Microsoft Lync, the ITS provides a reliable UC platform which includes the following functions:

  • Instant Messaging
  • Status Information
  • Video Conference
  • Desktop, Whiteboard and Powerpoint Sharing
  • Peer-to-Peer calls
  • Virtual meetings
  • Integration with Exchange Calendar
  • Integration with SCOPIA
  • Collaboration with MS Skype

Additionally the following projects to extend Lync are currently planned:

  • Integration of Microsoft Lync in the telephone system
  • Exchange integrated answering machine
  • Voice access to the mailbox

History of „Ver – Lync –ung“ (Connection)

More than 10 years ago, the ITS started using the instant message solution „Microsoft Office Live Communication Server“ (LCS) in reduced mode. Its sequel „Office Communications Server“ (OCS) was tested and found to be unsuitable for ETH Zurich. Lync 2010 finally offered a complete platform which fully met our expectations.

Following the first test installation with Lync 2010, the ITS rolled out Lync 2013 as a pilot project. Productive use for ITS members and pilot participants began end of 2013. In order to make Lync available to all ETH employees, the ITS had to extend the minimal infrastructure. The new redundant infrastructure is now ready, so that the ETH Zurich can offer the product to all its employees.

Lync Advantages

Lync can be used to communicate quickly and easily with other ETH members as well as with outsiders. It is similar to familiar apps like „WhatsApp and Skype“ but has its own platform. It allows you to communicate and work with people around the world, talk from home without a phone via Internet and share your own desktop or presentation with colleagues. ETH employees can use Lync at the office as well as on the go, using a smart phone or tablet. All this can be done with the Exchange integration so that contacts are saved at both ends and chats can be found in the mailbox, etc. Lync allows you to widen the circle of contacts with whom you regularly connect. Besides Lync-enabled ETH employees, you can now easily contact other Lync-enabled users worldwide (other universities, the Swiss Confederation, etc.) as well as Skype users (with MS Live accounts).


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2 comments on «ETH Expands Lync Communication»

  1. Dear Adrian, there is no official Lync client for Linux. Our current recommendations are to use the mail web client – which has an imbedded Lync client – or Pidgin. With those two clients you will only have status information and chat.
    Some companies are currently working on Lync clients on Linux and we are already testing one of them:
    – Fisil, that we are already testing, is available for SUSE/RedHat/Ubuntu. It is a full client with all Lync Features. You can find the test version here:
    – Xavy, by Damaka, was a well-known client with previous Lync Versions but it was retired from market a year ago. Damaka announced a new version this year that should be Microsoft approved.
    (Carmen Alonso, ID Basisdienste)

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