Unified Communications and Collaboration

How to Turn Office 365 into a Complete Phone System

Posted by CallTower Blog Team on Mar 8, 2017 4:21:23 PM

Skype for Business

With Skype for Business It is possible to turn one of the world’s most ubiquitous software packages, Office 365, into a complete enterprise phone system.


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Topics: Partners, unified communications capabilities, unified communications, team planning, collaboration, Microsoft Lync, online meetings, Office 365, Skype for Business

4 Tools Every Successful Business Owner Should Have

Posted by Shaun Chambers on May 3, 2016 3:30:00 AM

The goal with technology is to multiply yourself, multiple your employees, and enable everyone to work faster, better, and smarter.  The reality is that technology can have a negative impact on you as a leader of your business, slow you down, or simple gather dust because you don’t see the value. Executives and business owners must be in the know of all mission critical areas of their business with tracking tools to quickly reference for status.  It is not only impossible to manage and track everything, it is a recipe for limiting your company’s growth.  

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Topics: collaboration, video conferencing, Microsoft Lync

What does Skype for Business mean to Hosted Lync Users?

Posted by Seanna Baumgartner on Apr 13, 2015 8:46:00 AM

If you're used to using hosted Lync, you will be seeing an upgrade and face lift to Skype for Business. It's Microsoft's way of bringing two of their best technologies together. Using Lync online means an automatic update, so you won't need to worry about how to make the changes. You'll also be able to use more features with hosted Skype for Business. Most of the integration between the two platforms that took place between 2010 and 2013 paved the way for the merger, but Skype still wasn't fully supported. Any aggravation that came with that is about to be a thing of the past.

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Topics: Microsoft Lync, Voice-Enabled Lync, Office 365, Skype for Business

Turning Office 365 into a Phone System

Posted by CallTower Blog Team on Sep 9, 2014 9:40:00 AM

No, this is not a blog announcing a new Microsoft telephony service. 

Despite the software giant’s increased presence in the telecom market in the past few years, Microsoft only offers audio through voice over IP (VoIP) in its unified communications suite, Office 365.  But, there is a way to consolidate your business communications and turn O365 into a complete business phone system.  How, you ask? With Skype for Business, the communication platform included in many O365 licenses.

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Topics: collaboration, Microsoft Lync, Voice-Enabled Lync, Office 365, PBX Replacement, Skype for Business

Tips for Setting up your Lync 2011 Client | MAC

Posted by Seanna Baumgartner on Jun 3, 2014 1:42:00 PM

I’m in marketing and love design, so I am drawn toward all that the MAC offers.  This also means that most of my software looks completely different and behaves differently than it does on my colleagues windows based computers.  This includes my go to online conferencing tool Lync.  I was introduced to Lync about a year ago.  I run the Lync 2013 Client on my home based desktop PC and Lync Client 2011 on my laptop, which happens to be my MAC. 

Today, I am going to share a few tips for my friends who prefer Apple.   As you know with hosted Microsoft Lync 2011 and hosted Lync 2013, you are able to securely communicate with co-workers and customers in new and exciting ways in online meetings from anywhere in the world. 

You can instant message (IM) with your colleagues over a safe and encrypted connection as well as, see your colleagues’ ‘presence’ information within Outlook, SharePoint and Lync, so you know if they’re available at a glance.  

If your company had the Enterprise Lync client, you can start a video chat with one or more of your colleagues for a quick face-to-face meeting without leaving your desk.  You have the capability to share your desktop with your colleagues so that you can easily and efficiently collaborate on a document, get quick help on a task, finalize a group project and much, much more.  With the click of a button you can collaborate with one or multiple attendees around the world.  Lync offers web and video conferencing capabilities giving it a true face-to-face experience when presenting and sharing ideas. 

Getting Started - Lync 2011 for MAC

The 2011 MAC client download for lync takes a bit of time to upload and install.  Once the installation is complete you will be asked to add your user information provided by your IT personnel and you’re up and running. 

Your presence status displays your real-time availability for others to see.  You can change your presence status at any time by clicking the presence dropdown list and selecting your current status. You can also select “Reset Status” to let Lync set your availability automatically, based on your activity and Microsoft Outlook Calendar.

There are several ways to start an IM conversation with people or groups in your Contacts list. From your Contacts list or from the search point and click on a contact’s picture (this includes the default “blank” picture) and when the contact card opens, click the IM  icon or select a contact and then click the IM   icon at the bottom of the contacts screen to send a message to the whole group.

Simply, right-click on the contact and select “Send an Instant Message,” to invite additional people into an IM conversation.  Once you add a third contact or more; notice that the Lync Window changes to “Conversation” and your contact/s will receive an invitation notification in the lower-right corner of their computer screen.  You can choose to accept a conversation invitation or decline when you are invited to a conference call from the incoming conversation invitation notification that is displayed in the lower-right corner of your computer screen.

Personalize your Lync 2011 Client

Using the Lync “Options” screen, you can enter your location, phone numbers, profile picture, how you are alerted, call forwarding, and more. While running Microsoft Lync, click on the Lync Menu and select Preferences.  You can configure each feature as desired in the window.  When you have finished close the window to save the changes.

Add Voice to an existing instant-messaging conversation

To add voice to an existing instant-messaging (IM) conversation, simply click the call button.  The recipient will receive a notice of your call in the right hand corner of their screen.


Start a Video Call

You can easily start a video call by selecting a contact and then clicking on the Lync Video Call  icon.  When answering a video call, your video is not automatically started. This is in order to allow the person you’re speaking with to see your video, click the play  icon on the bottom right corner of your picture. When there are more than two users in a video conference, Lync automatically detects who is actively speaking and displays that person’s video.

Desktop Sharing

To share your desktop with others click the monitor icon under your name.  You will be able to choose to share your desktop of show your stage.  If you would like to have another person present information you can select “show stage” and then give them permission to share information within your meeting room. 

Accept a sharing invitation

To accept a sharing invitation click “Join” you will then see the presenter’s shared desktop.

Stop sharing your desktop

When you want to stop sharing, click the “Stop Sharing” button on the sharing bar at the top of your screen.

Displaying a participant’s desktop

A participant can share their desktop (replacing the presenter’s shared desktop). For a participant to share their desktop, click “Share Now” on the recipient’s shared desktop screen. The recipient’s desktop is now displayed as the main shared screen. 

Schedule a meeting in Outlook 

In any Outlook view, create a new “Meeting” and add the people you want to attend.  In the “Meeting” tab, click on the “Online Meeting” icon and then select “Create Online Meeting.” Notice that the meeting request has all the information necessary to join the meeting.

Anyone who clicks on the “Join online meeting” link will connect to the meeting and be able to send an IM, “Share” their desktop or “Send” a file to everyone in the meeting at once.

Please see the video below for a quick “How to Schedule a Lync Meeting in Outlook for Mac” demonstration.

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Topics: collaboration, video conferencing, Microsoft Lync, Conferencing Questions, Skype for Business

Why is web conferencing important for business today?

Posted by CallTower Blog Team on May 30, 2014 8:04:00 AM

All businesses are the same in the sense that they all want to maximize their profitability. One way to ensure that this happens is to continually increase your outreach to consumers. Today, technology is a major component of how businesses operate. Everyone is using the most up-­‐to-­‐date smart phones and tablets to conduct their business on the go. These products allow you to always be connected to your job and give you the ability to follow up on things at any moment or any destination. A part of this technology craze that has taken over business is online conferencing. Web conferencing can cater to any type of business transactions, whether it’s, business to consumer, business-­‐to-­‐business, or internal affairs.

Web conferencing allows a business to reach out to a massive amount of clients across the globe. The term ‘web conferencing’ is a wide term that encompasses a wide variety of ways to deliver their message to a consumer. They can vary from a webinar, which is the online version of a seminar, to a live video conference, which allows you to see your business partners from anywhere on the planet.


You’re probably asking yourself, well this seems cool, but why do businesses need these? Well the answer isn’t a simple one because depending on the specific business’s wants and needs it can vary extensively. For example, maybe one company just started to use Microsoft Skype for Business, a webinar session will give you the training on the software to make sure that the transition your company has is seamless. All the information that you need in order to train your company on how to use the software is right on your fingertips in a webinar. Furthermore, it is a lot more convenient to watch a webinar from anywhere on the planet then to have to either go through the hassles of learning something new yourself, or having to pay traveling expenses to go to a seminar. All that you have to do is pay a small fee for the webinar, even if you just want to learn how to use this software on your own, you are entitled to the power of information through the Internet.

Video Conferencing

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Topics: Web Conference, web meeting, online meeting, team meeting, collaboration, video conferencing, web conferencing, Microsoft Lync, online meetings, audio conferencing, online event, mobile conferencing, webinar, mobile web conferencing, Web Conferencing Blog, web conferencing video

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