Your Smartphone – the New Lync Portable Phone

With the recent release of the various Lync 2013 mobile clients a new wave of Lync desktop and portable phones have come into play. Yes – desktop and the concept of a portable phone – all available for Lync 2013. How you ask? Quite simply.

With the new Lync 2013 mobile client allowing you to hold VoIP calls natively and its ability to interact with the system, you end up with two calling scenarios.

1)      You are on a call using your laptop/desktop/Aries phones. You realize you need to ‘leave’ your desk and you have the Lync 2013 mobile client installed on your smartphone. From the full Lync client, you park the call, enter the retrieval code into your mobile client (i.e. within the Lync dialer itself) and it retrieves the call. Very nice – you can move any Lync call from your desktop Lync client or Aries phone to your smartphone.

2)      You use the smartphone as your desk phone. Assuming you have wireless (and who doesn’t) sign-in to the Lync 2013 mobile client. All incoming calls will ring on your smartphone as well – just answer it.

The second option is how we replace a desktop phone with your smartphone. You could also use a Bluetooth headset paired with your smartphone making it a complete mobile package. There are a few things to consider however.

1)      The smartphone is VoIP – that means data. If you are using the smartphone on your cellular data network, you are using your data allotment. That may or may not be a problem, but here in the US most mobile phones have unlimited calling/phone minute plans but the data plans are restricted.

2)      If you answer/transfer the call while you are using the corporate Wi-Fi, that call is tied to the IP and network of that Wi-Fi. Leaving the facility or range of Wi-Fi means the call would need to switch to cellular, IP would change, and call would drop. I would bet that something is done to address this by a third-party sometime soon – something like NetMotion offers on the desktop (if not a solution from NetMotion themselves).

3)      Unfortunately the Lync 2013 mobile client lacks the ability to transfer the call back to the call park service – something I suspect will come in time. So, once the call is answered or transferred to the smartphone that is where it lives.

For a desktop or mobile replacement within the office, the issues above are non-existent. Using the new client you have another means to answer your calls and remain portable (not to mention a single phone device). For those looking for a means to use the smartphone as a way to start in the office and then leave we have a workable yet restricted solution. The key would be to make sure your Wi-Fi is OFF prior to transferring the call. This way, when you leave the office you are already on the cellular data network (just make sure you have the cellular data MB available). The last option of course is to simply transfer the call over PSTN to your smartphone. The real cost there will depend on your cellular plan and remember, you are tying up two phone lines (and Lync resources) as the Lync server infrastructure is conferencing the outside call and your smartphone call.

Try it out – play with the new mobile client – make an audio and video call from it – it is simply amazing and it opens up all kinds of possibilities and scenarios.

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