Lync Online introduces privacy and mobility controls

Lync Online control panel

Undocumented upgrade adds options for shy workers.

The Office 365 team have rolled out some new features to Lync Online as part of the continual process of improvement to Microsoft’s cloud platform. Unfortunately there’s no official (publicly available) documentation yet to explain when this was actually implemented, but if you’re lucky when you look at your Lync Online Control Panel the additional functionality might be there.

The below screenshot shows the new menu option.

Lync Online control panel

So what are the new features? Two key enhancements:

  • Presence privacy mode
  • Mobile phone notifications

Presence and Notifications screen

Let’s have a deeper look at these two features.


Presence privacy mode

Did you know that if you have federation enabled by default, other Office 365 users can see your presence without requesting your permission? I personally don’t have an issue with this, however some may see it as an invasion of corporate privacy. The new privacy feature allows you to disable this functionality so that presence is only visible to your contacts.

Presence and Privacy mode

The great thing however is that while you can set this at an organisational level – users can still control it individually if they like.

Lync Mobile

If you’re like me then you may have installed the Lync Mobile client on multiple devices such as your phone and tablet (Windows Phone & iPad for me). One downside is that while the app remains in the background it sets your status to inactive, so messages can still be sent. Depending on your notification setup on the mobile device this can be relatively intrusive.

Lync Mobile options

The Lync Mobile setting in Lync Online allows you to disable this for either Microsoft or Apple devices. I’m not sure why Android is not listed there. My theory is that it may utilise the Microsoft Push service.

There also appear to be some improvements in the Dial-in Conferencing screens however for us in Australia it is not a function we can use so therefore I’m unable to document it.

Loryan Strant is a Microsoft Office 365 MVP (Most Valuable Professional). Follow him on Twitter @TheCloudMouth.


About Loryan Strant

Loryan Strant is the managing director of Paradyne, a leading Cloud Engineering company. He is also a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Office 365. You can follow him on Twitter @TheCloudMouth

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