A Federation Directory is a global list of organizations who run Lync Server, and who have enabled federation. I’ve come across two – http://bit.ly/lyncfed and http://lyncdirectory.com/.
(If you know of a third, please put the URL in a comment.)
Should you join one of these directories? Or is it an unnecessary risk?
Federation’s Positives – Keep in Touch Easily, Save on Calls & Conferences
In a nutshell, federation lets your users communicate with another organization’s Lync Server. Said organization is considered a “federated partner” within Lync.
Any enabled organization can federate with another, if they so choose. Federate with partners, clients, suppliers, branch locations, etc.
Federation conveys a lot of benefits to both sides. It’s really easy to keep in touch via IM, with Presence to tell you who’s available. Turning a conversation into a conference happens with a click.
And best of all, this is all done on one Lync Server’s connection to another Lync Server. No phone lines used. No extra costs.
Distraction: The Drawback of a Federation Directory
Imagine you had a big phone book on your desk. Inside is a list of organizations you’re able to call. You can talk to them about anything – including your business.
They’re not expecting your call. But you have their number, so it must be okay to call, right?
That’s the big drawback of a Lync Federation Directory. It acts like a Lync-specific phone book…and it’s publicly accessible.
People you don’t know can find your organization and try to federate. If they’re successful, they can bother your employees. Spam via Lync IM, bleh!
This is the risk I see in adding your name to these lists.
I DON’T think distractions like this happen often. Maybe not at all. But with any technology, the more it’s adopted, the more potential for abuse exists.
Now, that doesn’t mean directories are a bad idea! Far from it. Federation IS a useful part of Lync. And the number of organizations using Lync Server won’t stop growing any time soon. If you want to benefit from Lync Federation, choose a directory and sign up!
Microsoft Lync Federation Directory
Lync Federation Directory Project – Windows PBX & UC Blog
P.S. – Try the Who Can Federate Tool to See…Who You Can Federate With!
One way to see if signup on a Federation Directory is worthwhile, is to see how many of your contacts use Lync Server. Matt Landis at the Windows PBX & UC Blog has created a tool to do this for you.
This tool tells you how many of your Outlook contacts have federation enabled. You can then add those contacts to your Lync contact list.
If the number is high, then maybe signup on a Federation Directory WOULD benefit you!