Microsoft Lync 2010 Federated Communications and Public Networks

Your organization’s support team may decide to create a federated relationship with other companies, which is a virtual alliance that allows identification and authorization across organizational boundaries.

In this article


What is federation?

Lync 2010 federation lets you communicate faster and more effectively with others outside your organization, such as partners, suppliers, customers, or vendors.

When enabled, federation allows you to:

  • Add users from other organizations to your Contacts list.
  • Send instant messages to your federated contacts.
  • Invite contacts to audio calls, video calls, or conferences.
  • Exchange presence information.
  • Escalate person-to-person instant messages to multi-person conferences.

Lync 2010 also supports federation with public instant messaging networks, such as Windows Live, AOL®, Yahoo!®, and, through a gateway, Google Talk. This lets you use your corporate identities to connect to customers and partners.

 Note    Some of these features might not be available to you, depending on your account’s configuration.

What features are available?

  • Lync conferencing is available to federated and non-federated users. However, by default, your invitees cannot join a meeting as presenters, if the option is enabled for internal employees only. If you need to give presenter permission to an external participant, you can promote them to presenters during the meeting.
  • Federated users can participate in IM conversations and access presence information, as well as participate in web conferences and audio/video conferences.
  • Public IM users can participate in peer-to-peer IM conversations and view presence, and Windows Live Messenger users can also join audio/video conferencing.
  • Some features, such as file transfer and application sharing, are not available for public IM users.
  • The availability of features to public IM users depends on their public IM service provider. For example, audio/video conferencing is available to public IM users only if they have Windows Live.
Features Federated User Public IM Connectivity
Presence Yes Yes
Peer-to-peer Instant messaging (IM) Yes Yes
IM conferencing Yes No
Collaboration (such as screen or PowerPoint sharing) Yes No
Peer-to-peer audio/video communications Yes Yes - for the new version of Windows Live Messenger. Be aware that only audio is supported.
Audio/video conferencing Yes No
File transfer Yes No

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