With the introduction of Lync 2013, Microsoft launched the concept of the Lync Room System (LRS). The LRS is a concept of porting the Lync experience into a pc connected to a single or dual screens. Microsoft has found several hardware vendors to partner with:
- Crestron (known from executive controls of AV equipment in the boardrooms of multinations)
- Polycom (OEM of Crestron)
- SMART Technologies (known from touch screens in the education sector)
- Lifesize originally joined the program but stepped out.
The advantage of the LRS is that the Lync experience can be extended to a group of people in a room. They can share their screen with touchscreen technology and collaborate with people remotely in another office, at home or people on the road or on their mobiles.
A great session (note in Dutch) is at the SES Lync day in the Netherlands. Link to session of SES Lync end-users session last September 2013. You will see here how Dennis Berkes, Solution Sales UC of Microsoft demos the LRS system. He uses the system of SMART technologies to show this.
Here is a collection of resources of the LRS vendors
- SMART – Youtube movie
- Crestron RL
- Polycom CX8000 – (OEM Crestron) and combined with CX5100 HD Roundtable (link Jeff Schertz)
On the 18 February 2014 at the Lync Conference in Las Vegas all the vendors were finally able to show their systems together. Some very interested upcoming features coming up in the next release are described by (i.e. the new VIS role):
- Microsoft – Lync Conference Key Note
- Jeff Schertz – Microsoft MVP at Polycom
- Harm Jan van Tiel from Wortell
The Lync Room System can be excellently combined with global inbound contact numbers (see blog Global Microsoft Lync 2013 roll-out and audioconferencing)
Combining that all together will give you the following:
- a Group of people with the LRS
- other companies with a LRS (via federation)
- users on their mobile with the Lync 2013 mobile clients
- users on the road via Wifi (i.e. in a hotel) with Lync on their laptop
- users at home with Lync 2013 on their home pc
- mobile or fixed phones dialing in via PSTN
All together joining in a single session and share voice, video and desktop sharing and collaborate with a single experience.
Video interoperability between Lync and Room based Videoconferencing.
So you will ask, what about my videoconferencing systems? I don’t want to throw away my investment I made earlier. You don’t have to, but expect them to be used next to each other in stead of combining them. In current release of LRS, it is not possible to dial-out, so it’s not possible to dial into a video Multi Conferencing unit or single system.
There are rumors that this will be solved in a next release, but expect and I would advise to keep it to a single Lync only experience.