Configuring Lync Public IM Connectivity on Office365: But Can I Really Use It?

1 minute read

I use Office365 on an E1 plan to run my massive business of one. With that plan, I get Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync. It’s a fantastic deal for about $10 a month and works great for me.

I’ve sort of ignored the Lync component since there are so many other (somewhat better) options out there. But it seemed that I should at least get it set up so that I can do videoconferencing with my clients, primarily IM and screensharing. When I went to configure things, I ran into this gem of a help page (highlighting mine):

Public IM Connectivity Help

I feel like calling the documentation police on this one. I’ve read the two highlighted sections about 10 times each and they seem to directly contradict each other. Is it me?

If I can’t use Lync to do real work (IM, screensharing, audio, video) with anyone else who has Lync, then I’m not sure what the point of having it is. But from this documentation, I really don’t know!

One additinoal bote: I’ve got federation witrh external domains set up to work with all but blocked domains. In other words, I want this to be as open as possible:



  1. So Public IM and Lync with other O365 users are two different things mate… Public IM connectivity is connecting to Yahoo, MSN and AIM.

    If you add another O365 user with their domain you should be able to screenshare, audio chat, video chat without a hitch.

    The Lync audio/video and desktop sharing support that you’re referring to is more the fact that AIM/Yahoo/MSN wouldn’t know from a protocol perspective what it is that you’re sending them in terms of a request when you try to share or connect.

    • Dan:

      It amazes me that, for a service which is supposed to aim at the lower end of the market, the docs and config stuff is so unintelligible. It would seem to be a direct effort to support needing outside help for any small organization to get things set up. I don’t want to learn “admin stuff”, nor do I fell like I should to set this up.

      I’m just trying to open things up as wide as possible on my end so that I can communicate with clients who also use Lync. GoToMeeting, Skype, WebEx, etc. all make this fairly painless.


  2. If they’re on O365, then the Lync bit is a no brainer, just need to add the e-mail address, no configuration required.

    If they’re on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, then that checkbox is required and you’re working with reduced functionality :-/

    You’re right that the documentation could use a little love. Similar to the settings for Lync to work on a Mac… buried away a little.

      • If they’re on O365 Lync, you’re money. If they’re on their own infrastructure, setting up the Federation with O365 Lync servers may present a problem. :-/

        • So far, I’m money with the first client, who had little problem federating with me. They are a small shop, so can do what they need to do.

          for most large clients, it’ll still be one of the other providers.


  3. Is having the client install link unacceptable? Anyone can install the “attend a meeting” client (can’t remember the official name). It is similar to installing the WebEx or Go To Meeting client required to attend one of their meetings.

    I would be happy to test this with you!

  4. I’ve been trying to set up my new O365 account with my personal business domain and the documentation makes a normally sane, rational and intelligent person a quivering mass of frustrated angst. And I can see how it could be written more succinctly and cogently. The functionality, for the price, is astounding really but the process of integration is awful due to poor documentation.


Have a thought or opinion?