Communication servers are a new way to provide internal communication in an organization. It provides various kind of communication like mail, chat, conference, etc.

Microsoft Lync Server was previously known as Microsoft Office Communications Server and as it names suggest it was originally designed to provide communication related solutions to business and corporate. It supports all kinds of organizational communication like, peer-to-peer, file transfer, instant messaging, voice and video calling, etc. All these functions can be used within and outside the organization.

Since the inception of this product, Microsoft has been adding new features and update on this product. In February 2009, Microsoft launched the R2 version of the server which introduced the new feature of Group Chatting.

The server alone cannot solve the communication problem, you need to have the client software installed in every machine of your office and Microsoft Office Communicator and Live Meetings are two major client software which are used for the same purpose.

Advantages

  • Smooth implementation:
    Microsoft Lync provides the ease of switching and configuration. The major competitor of Lync is Cisco and IBM but they are very complex and expensive. Lync does not require high end machinery and configuration all you need to have is some client machines and a set of servers.
  • Better Bandwidth management:
    One of the major problems in such configuration is the bandwidth allocation and management but it is not the case with Microsoft Lync. It provides better bandwidth configuration.  It splits the bandwidth in way that it allows IT admin to decide what goes to Wan and what goes to over to internet.
  • Better Price:
    One more benefit of Lync is the low cost. It is provided in various subscription plans which come with $31 per user. It is very economic in comparison to the $250 price for voice bases basic license provided by Cisco and Avaya.

Disadvantages

  • Bandwidth Issues:
    The server still uses a lot of bandwidth even if it has been launched with better bandwidth management. In result companies will need to spend money to get higher internet connection and setup.
  • Complete IT evaluation is required:
    Lync cannot be implemented before you evaluate your company’s complete IT structure. It is very difficult for any company who is in business for more than 2-3 years. The setup is already configured and it is next to impossible to change the setup completely or even make a minor change in the existing setup.
  • Can be interrupting for the Workforce:
    In some point in time, this tool can be very interrupting and disturbing for the workforce. No one wants to be disturbed during any important work and instant messages and meeting request can distract the professional.

It is very important to evaluate any product before implementing it in your business and when it is related communication then it becomes more important to evaluate all the pros and cons of the utility.