We’ve been using instant messaging applications for going on 20 years. First it was with AOL Instant Messenger, then it was with Skype, and today it’s with Facebook. Not only has IM changed the way we consider discussing our lives and sharing our stories with each other, but it’s also adjusted the way we consider doing business with each other. Starting in 2015, Chapman University will be expanding the world of video calling and instant messaging by implementing Skype for Business, formerly Lync, from Microsoft.

Chapman has been piloting Lync, Microsoft’s current iteration of the software, for the past several months with a handful of administrators and faculty in an effort to determine whether the software will be truly effective for the University. Lync connects with your already established email on Outlook and gives other users the ability to see if you’re available or not available to chat based on your schedule. You can make video calls with up to 250 people and chat with anyone at any time – both of which include Screen Sharing, a feature exclusive to Lync.

“Our test committee has been putting (Lync) through a basic trial run for the past few months and we’ve been very pleased with the results,” says Richard Jenkins, the Manager of Telecommunications.

The real benefit for the University will come in the form of conversation between campuses, with Chapman’s Rinker campus in Irvine becoming a home for administrators. San White, an Operations Administrator for Crean Hall, has offices both in Crean and Rinker and says Lync/Skype for Business has revealed its true potential through allowing her to take meetings in Irvine. “We used Lync for our last faculty meeting and had someone log in from the conference room at Rinker and Dean Hill (the Dean of both Crean College and the Rinker campus) logged in here at Crean Hall. There was no delay or random pauses throughout the meeting and we were able to see one another through the camera,” White says. “It’s a great option for us since we have faculty and staff at both campuses… this made it more convenient for everyone.”

According to Jenkins, Skype for Business should start its roll out sometime during the first quarter of 2015, with Faculty, Staff and Administration all having the ability to sync it with their Outlook account.