Changes coming: Skype for Business is replacing Lync

May 17, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Health Information Technology & Services — or HITS — will be making changes to Lync, the non-clinical business communication and instant messaging (IM) service used throughout Michigan Medicine.

The changes include:

  • CoreImage devices using Office 2016 will be upgraded from Lync 2010 to Microsoft’s Skype for Business.
  • CoreImage devices still using Office 2010 will retain Lync 2010, but the Lync Group Chat feature will be retired.
  • CoreMac users who did not previously have access to Lync are now eligible to download and use Skype for Business.

The upgrade to Skype for Business will occur on a rolling basis between Sunday, May 21 and Thursday, May 25. Core Windows devices will receive the installation during this period. CoreMac devices will need to “pull” the app from the Michigan Medicine app store, and this can be done starting on May 21.

All current functionality will remain the same, including:

  • Instant messaging
  • Presence
  • Screen sharing
  • Audio and videoconferencing (online meeting)
  • Contact connections from the Outlook global address book
  • Ad hoc and scheduled online meetings (a new icon in the calendar for Skype meeting will replace the icon for online meeting)

What will change:

  • Skype for Business’ “Persistent Chat” will replace Lync’s Group Chat. As with Lync, this functionality will allow a group of users to communicate regularly within a “room” that is set up ahead of time for their collaboration.
    • Any users of Lync Group Chat rooms have been contacted and, if applicable, will be migrated to the Skype for Business Persistent Chat room function which is now part of the application and not a separate “client” or system.
  • The icon for the client version on desktops and laptops will change.

It is important to note that Skype for Business is a separate application from what many of us may be familiar with as “personal” Skype or “consumer” Skype, which is available online. Because Skype for Business is a secure internal communication system compliant with PHI, there is no connection between these two systems. You may have both on your workstation, but if you are logged in to one, you cannot chat with someone in the other. Likewise, Lync users will be able to IM with Skype for Business users.

Visit the Skype for Business webpage for more information.