A couple of years ago, Microsoft Lync was rolled out at work. If you’ve not used Lync, think “Skype for the Enterprise”. Lync’s key features are IM (within the organisation), screen sharing, video conferencing (best used on a 1:1 basis) and audio.
To call someone on Lync, I find their name in the directory (or select them in my Contacts) and click Call, which initiates a computer-to-computer call, or I can select their extension or mobile (if it’s listed) and initiate a computer-to-telephone call.
Lync can be used to call any external telephone number, so more and more I use it instead of a telephone, especially if I’m hot-desking without a phone in sight.
I also use Lync when I’m delivering virtual training. We don’t use VOIP for the audio. We have to dial into a telephone-based conferencing system and it makes sense to use Lync as the audio quality is better than if I used a telephone.
Whenever I use Lync to make an audio call, I use my Plantronics C310-M Headset as I don’t want all and sundry in the open plan office to hear both sides of the conversation (it’s bad enough that colleagues have to listen to my side without the other person’s voice (or voices if it’s a conference call) coming through my computer speakers).
The headset plugs into the USB slot on my computer. It has a small control box half-way up the cable, which contains 2 buttons. One button turns the mute on/off and the other button turns the volume up and down. The headset also features an integrated microphone.
The Plantronics C310-M Headset costs in the region of £28. For that you get a comfortable, simple to use headset which provides good quality audio from both the headphones and microphone.