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What is Skype for Business (Lync) Federation?

One of the features of Skype for Business (Lync) is Federation - which is the ability to  connect and communicate with Skype for Business (Lync) users in other organisations. Federation is an agreement between organisations to connect using Skype for Business (Lync).

For example, Deakin is federated with Microsoft (another Skype for Business user). This means that you can:

  • Search for a Microsoft contact in Skype for Business (Lync) using their email address
  • View their contact card.
  • Add them to your contact groups and Favourites.
  • Communicate with them via instant message or desktop video conferencing.
Note: Deakin has chosen Open Federation, which allows us to automatically federate (connect) with other organisations that use Skype for Business (Lync) and have open federation.

Skype for Business (Lync) to Skype Federation

Skype for Business (Lync) is the enterprise application available to all Deakin staff and students using their Deakin account. Skype is the public version that is available for free download to anyone worldwide.

Skype for Business (Lync) to Skype federation allows Skype for Business (Lync) and Skype users to connect and communicate using a limited set of features:

Available with Skype users Not yet available with Skype users
  • Presence (availability)
  • Person-to-person instant messaging
  • Person-to-person audio calls
  • Find and add Skype for Business (Lync) contacts from Skype
  • Video-chat*
  • Group IM or audio calls (more than 2 people)
  • screen sharing

 *feature expected to be available in the future

To connect with a Skype user 

You can connect and communicate with a Skype user using Skype for Business (Lync). To establish a connection, Lync and Skype users must add each other as contacts.

Note: There are currently some limitations when connecting with Skype users. These limitations will be removed when Deakin completes the full upgrade to Skype for Business. Until then:

  • Lync and Skype users must add each other as contacts. 
  • The Skype user must use a Microsoft account to login to Skype
See also:
How to add a Skype Contact in Lync
How to add a Deakin Lync contact in Skype

To connect with a person in another organisation

 You can connect with a Skype for Business (Lync) user in another organisation if that organisation is already federated with Deakin or also chooses Open Federation. 
  1. Open Skype for Business (Lync)
  2. Click the Add Contact icon

    add contact icon 
  3. Select Add a Contact Not in My Organization, then Skype for Business

    add a contact not in my organisation
  4. Type the person's email (or IM) address 
    type the persons email address
    If the email address is in a valid format, a 'green tick' will be shown.
  5. Select a Contact Group and Privacy Relationship for the contact
  6. Click OK

    Skype for Business (Lync) will commence validating the contact. If the organisation is already federated with Deakin, you will be able to communicate with the contact as soon as they are validated and federation is confirmed. 

To federate with another organisation

 We have already federated with many higher education institutions in Australia. We can also request federation with other organisations, such as government bodies and partner organisations that do not have open federation. 

  • If an organisation is not yet federated with Deakin but chooses Open Federation, Deakin will automatically federate with this organisation when any contact is made by any staff member or student.
  • If an organisation is not federated with Deakin and chooses to verify federation manually, you can you can request federation by contacting the IT Service Desk

To find out if another organisation is available for Federation, you can view the Lync Federation Directory.

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