Microsoft Lync Server vs. Lync Online

By: US Resources

Microsoft Lync 2013 is a Unified communications platform for businesses in Vienna, VA. Microsoft Office
Lync has seen popularity recently due to the quality of service that it has
currently been providing. It provides an entire infrastructure to facilitate
communication through peer to peer file sharing, instant messaging, presence,
multi party calling and conferences.

Microsoft Lync may provide two different kinds of communication environments; Lync
Online and the Lync Server. Lync Server is the on-premises version of the
software whereas Lync Online is cloud-based. Lync Online also referred to as
the Office 365 solution costs significantly lower than Lync Server and is paid
for on a monthly basis. The difference in price however comes with a cost since
Lync Online does not have all the features of the Lync Server.

The Microsoft Lync server is built installed and maintained directly on Windows
servers in their data centers. Lync online is more convenient in this regard as
it is only hosted at the servers and does not require the user to know about
the technical details of the hosting. They can simply subscribe to the services
and log in to access their account.

Lync server offers a full service VoIP, PSTN calling,
interoperation with PBX and Call Admissions Control (CAC). The amount of
investment required may pose a problem for some businesses that would rather
pay on a monthly basis as compared to a bulk up-front payment. The Microsoft Lync Server is
usually preferred by businesses which have heavy communications needs on all
platforms especially for external communication.

Lync Online on the other hand includes features required for
instant messaging and Audio Conferencing. It does not provide the same features
as Lync server such as Group chat, IM Federation, PSTN calling and IP phone
support. Microsoft Lync Online is optimal for small businesses that focus more on internal
communication and don’t have a need for third party connectivity. Lync Online
is a good way to facilitate communication within the organization while on a
budget.

Lync Online however cannot be considered inferior to Lync
Server since it has some additional features which make up for the loss of
features from the Lync Server. Lync Online’s Web app enables users to launch
Lync Online through an HTML-5 based browser and run Lync from within. It allows
multi-party conversation, HD video, instant messaging and PowerPoint sharing. The
Web app can be run from PC, Mac, Windows phone, Androids and Apple devices.
Multi-party HD video is enable in a grid-like manner where multiple streams of
video are displayed in the form of a gallery. One Note is also integrated into Microsoft Lync online and
can be accessed directly from the app. One Note can be used to take notes of
the conference.

The choice of a communications platform depends entirely on
the needs of the company. Although recommended that a company with internal communication
needs should install Microsoft Lync Online and vice versa, there are multiple factors such as the
process of setting up a server, cost of installation, transitioning from
previous systems to a newer one and others that affect the choice of a Unified
Communications system.