What is Lync Group Chat?

  • Persistent topic-based discussion forums support dispersed teams
  • “Channel dock” makes participation simple and efficient
  • Multiple content types enable flexible information sharing
  • Customizable notifications and alerts control interruptions
  • User-defined filters enable “intelligent consumption” of information
  • Backchat search transforms chat into a knowledge asset

Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Group Chat enables users to participate in multiparty, topic-based conversations that persist over time. Lync Server 2010, Group Chat can help your organization do the following:

  • Improve communication between geographically dispersed and cross-functional teams. By using Microsoft Lync 2010 Group Chat, teams can efficiently share information, ideas, and decisions with one another. The messages posted to chat rooms (discussion forums) can be persistent (that is, available over time), so that people from different locations and departments can participate, even when they are not all online at the same time. When a user connects to a chat room, a configurable number of chat-history messages are automatically loaded in Lync 2010 Group Chat to give the user a context for the conversation.
  • Improve information awareness. By using filters, users can define conditions, such as keywords in message content or the value of the “from” field in a message, to receive notification when those conditions are met in Group Chat instant messages or chat room messages.
  • Improve communication with their extended organization. By using the federation capabilities of Group Chat, business partners, customers, and vendors can join chat rooms and participate in shared, group discussions.
  • Reduce information overload.
  • Increase dispersion of important knowledge and information. Documents and links can be included within conversations for access by all the team. By posting questions to a broader team, users can benefit from responses by subject matter experts. Integration with other information systems allows for important organizational data to be easily communicated to large groups.

Some combinations of Lync Server 2010 and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 can coexist. For details, see Migrating Group Chat Server in the Migration documentation.

Both Microsoft Lync 2010 and Lync 2010 Group Chat support instant messaging (IM) and presence. The content of IM is not persistent. Lync 2010 Group Chat IM and presence features and functionality are the same as those provided by Lync 2010, except that Group Chat IM does not support multiparty IM. For details about IM and presence support available to Lync users, see Planning for IM and Presence.

Archiving of instant messages in Group Chat is available if Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is set up to support archiving. For details about archiving, see Planning for IM and Presence.

If your organization must follow compliance regulations, you can deploy Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Archiving Server to enable archiving support for Lync Server 2010 IM, conferencing, and Group Chat content. Chat room archiving requires deploying the Group Chat Compliance Server.

To enable chat rooms in Lync Server, deploy Group Chat. For information about enabling chat rooms, see the Group Chat Help at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=209000. If users are enabled for Lync Server, and Lync Server support is deployed, users can install and use Lync Server to provide chat room support.

Group Chat Server supports federated user access. Using Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Group Chat Admin Tool, it is possible to explicitly provision federated users for access to specific chat rooms.

 What are some use case scenarios of Group Chat in education?

  • Class chat rooms - students join a class chat room and collaborate with other students, professor and grad students. Can also be used for office hours.
  • School topic chat rooms - School district creates a chat channel such as ‘Civil War Discussion’ and then all the students within different schools in a school district can collaborate and discuss topics.
  • IT helpdesk peer to peer
  • End user helpdesk chat room
  • Tutoring chat rooms
  • Teachers, Professors chat rooms – a school district could setup a History Teachers chat room and teachers could share thoughts, lesson plans, best practices, collaborate
  • Graduate students – projects, etc.
  • Research - campus research working on a cancer research,etc.