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  • Lync is helping to change how KU communicates. And, it's got a familiar new name.

Lync is helping to change how KU communicates. And, it's got a familiar new name.

Lync is now Skype for Business.

KU faculty, staff and students will see the change on computers in campus computing labs and offices beginning on April 28. Microsoft issued the update on April 14, so some users may already see the change to Skype for Business on their personal devices and some campus computers.

The Skype for Business interface has the same look and feel as Skype, a benefit for everyone who already enjoys using Skype to make video calls. Although the look has changed, Skype for Business will retain all the features and functionality of Lync.

The change to Skype for Business does not affect Lync for Macs. So, Mac users will continue to experience Lync largely unchanged. Microsoft has not announced when Lync will change to Skype for Business on Macs.

For more information, see the Office 365 Library article Lync Online is becoming Skype for Business.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the campuswide rollout of Lync at KU. We’ve already seen how Lync/Skype for Business is helping to change the way we communicate at the University. From Oct. 2014 through March 2015, KU faculty, staff and students made more than 2,000 video calls, participated in more than 6,000 online meetings and sent approximately 1.6 million instant messages via Lync. We expect use of Lync/Skype for Business to keep climbing as more and more KU employees and students discover the benefits of instant messages, audio calls, video calls and online meetings using Lync/Skype for Business.

While Lync/Skype for Business is already changing how we connect with each other, what’s coming next will revolutionize communications at KU.

The Skype for Business phone service will allow you to make traditional phone calls from your computer and receive calls to your KU work number anywhere you have an Internet connection. For the first time, KU will enjoy a fully-integrated and unified communications system that allows faculty and staff to collaborate via voice/phone, video conferencing and chat to anyone, anywhere. New features in Skype for Business phone service include:

  • Make and receive calls to/from your office phone number using your computer, tablet or smartphone, anywhere in the world
  • Receive your voicemail messages as an audio attachment in your email
  • Automatic transcription of voicemail messages in an email
  • Advanced call routing functionality, such as call forwarding

These features join the list of benefits already available in Skype for Business, such as instant messaging, video calls, online meetings and integration with all the emailing, calendaring and meeting functionality of Microsoft Outlook.

KU IT will begin rolling out the Skype for Business phone service sometime in the next year. The unit-by-unit rollout process will proceed in a similar fashion to the basic Lync rollout last year. We expect this phase to be a multi-year process. KU IT will work with each campus unit to acquire the necessary information to move faculty and staff work numbers from the current Avaya phone system to the Skype for Business system.

We look forward to providing more details and timeline information for the full audio call service via Skype for Business as we progress. Keep an eye out for updates via KU Campus Technology News and emails from KU Information Technology. 


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Skype for Business Information for PC Users

Skype With The World

Do you have friends or family that use Skype for Business at other universities or organizations?

KU has open federation for Skype for Business, which means you can connect with friends and colleagues at more than 850 organizations around the world that also offer open federation. You can add a non-KU person at an open federation site to your contacts list and immediately begin a chat or S4B-to-S4B voice or video call. Check the Skype Directory to find organizations that have Skype for Business open federation.

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