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The Power Of Mobile Instant Messaging

Lync 2010 offers mobile phone users many benefits such as on-line presence, instant messaging (IM) and conference calling. In this article, we examine the benefits of the Office 365 Lync provision of instant messaging over standard mobile text messaging and the strong points of the Lync IM offering over other IM offerings.

Instant messaging (IM) on a mobile phone has many benefits over text messaging.

  • IM is free Unlike text messages users and businesses don't have to pay for IM communication or sign up for long mobile contracts to get free or unlimited text messages.
  • Multiple Communications Users can have several text conversations at the same time (think Skype, Facebook IM, or Windows Live Messenger)
  • Presence Users can tell whether someone is available for a conversation or not.
  • Real Time Conversations Many text messages are sent without knowing the state of the person (i.e. whether they have their phone or are available for a text conversation. IM technology allows a user to set a status to let people know whether they are on-line and can accept an IM conversation whereas texting doesn't.
  • Group Chat Text messaging only allows a one to one conversation. With mobile IM, users can have a group chat with three or more friends and colleagues.

IM is free - did we say that already? If not - IM is free, however IM on the phone is nothing new, for example, BlackBerry has had BlackBerry to BlackBerry IM via its BlackBerry Messenger and Apple's iPhone has iPhone to iPhone messaging via iMessage. The downside of both IM clients is that they cannot IM a phone of a different manufacturer. There are however mobile phone apps such as WhatsApp that can be freely downloaded and run on the majority of mobile phones available.

So why use Lync 2010 instant messaging? Here are several reasons.

IM a Computer User

Text messages can't be sent from a mobile phone to a computer user. A huge benefit of using Lync 2010 is that it allows instant messaging to occur between the mobile phone and someone sitting at a computer.

When a desktop computer is configured to used Lync 2010, it can be set to be always on and active by default.

How often do we call for help or directions from a colleague but haven't been able to get through to their mobile phone? Lync 2010 IM instantly allows users to see which of their colleagues are available to answer their cry for help whether via a mobile phone or a computer.

IM Email Integration 

Should a user have an IM conversation that contained great information or requests to resolve issues, Lync 2010 enables these threads to be forwarded on as emails.

IM Contacts at Your Fingertips

One great advantage with Facebook (FB) IM, is that your FB friends can instantly IM you without the need for a separate invitation and approval process. In addition the FB IM works in a protected environment so that you aren't continually bombarded to IM with unknown users. Lync 2010 has the same ability, except that Lync mobile users don't even need to invite people to be their friends (like Facebook). Because of the integration between Lync 2010, Exchange 2010 and Active Directory - users can IM any colleague and external contact with a Lync Client without the need for any setup.

IM Communication from Applications

IM communication with mobile phones can also come from within applications. For example, when looking at emails in outlook, an IM session can be created to discuss the contents with the sender. The Lync 2010 SDK (Software Developers Kit) provides the means for other applications to function similarly.

Although instant messaging for mobile phones is nothing new, the Lync 2010 IM component for Office 365 users, provides significant, additional business and user benefits.