I was at a Microsoft conference in Redmond earlier this week. While there, I was discussing some issues with one of our Solution Architects over instant messaging (we use Microsoft Lync). The instant messaging discussion reached the point that we both felt it would make sense to just talk through the issues. In addition, I had just reached a break in my schedule.
I pulled out my iPhone and called. Over the next 3 minutes, the call was dropped 3 times. It was quite frustrating as you can imagine. At this point, I thought I was faced with living with the dropped calls and trying again, or finding an available phone at Microsoft. Then the proverbial light went on in my head. I should just use Lync. In fact the conversation I was having with the Solution Architect was about our internal deployment of Lync.
Now decided on a course of action, I had to use what I had available. I did not have a USB headset with me. I plugged my iPhone headset into the laptop so that I could hear the conversation and not bother those around me with the audio blasting out from the laptop. Then I realized that the laptop wouldn’t allow me to use the microphone on the iPhone headset without an additional plug. This led me to try making the call using the microphone on the laptop.
To my pleasant surprise, this worked out really well. My Solution Architect and I had a 10 minute conversation over the Lync client that worked flawlessly. In addition, about halfway through the call, I wanted to see what he was seeing, so he shared his desktop with me through the Lync client as well. It was a fabulous experience that probably would not have happened if my cell phone had worked properly.
I can see this becoming a highly leverage solution in the future. There was no separate voice application (like a softphone). I did not have to VPN into the office. It just worked. The ability to go from an instant messaging discussion to a voice conversation and then to share a desktop was truly empowering.