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Here's the skinny:

  • My company uses Exchange and people within the company communicate via Lync. So far, so good.
  • Client A with whom we're working is switching from an old instant messaging system to Lync.

We want to be available to our colleagues at our own company via Lync but we want to be available for our clients as well. Is there any way to do this?

Based on a quick search, I couldn't easily see any way to use multiple Exchange accounts in Lync (the way we currently can, for example, with Outlook accounts using Outlook 2010 - there are only minor annoyances with accessing both our company Outlook email and our client Outlook email account via one instance of Outlook 2010).

Is there really no way to do this via Lync?

If so, what is the least objectionable workaround?

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Lync is not desiged to support multiple accounts. What is the old messaging system? – Ramhound Sep 30 '13 at 13:54
@Ramhound thanks - yeah, that's the message I've been seeing everywhere I look when I search for a solution to this. The specific old messaging system isn't particularly important because it's getting disabled a few months after the changeover. We can delay having to answer this question by using it for a while, but eventually we need a solution. – Whisker Sep 30 '13 at 14:02
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Lync works with the Pidgin SIPE plugin.

You could run Pidgin and keep both Lync accounts in there, or run Lync and Pidgin with each having one account.

According to that site it also works with Adium (OSX-only), Miranda and Telepathy (pretty much linux-only). So you have other client options as well.

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Thanks! Any fellow travelers who happen upon this answer note of course that it works for Lync messaging but not for some more advanced features, like screen sharing. – Whisker Apr 11 '14 at 15:13

Here (so far) is the least objectionable solution I have found:

It involves running an instance of Lync in a VMWare virtual machine, then to minimize the annoyance that that brings with it, you run VMWare in "Unity" mode, so that the virtual machine instance of Lync appears in a normal window as if it's running on your host OS (like the initial instance of Lync is).

Hopefully someone out there knows of or can find something a bit less onerous, but if not, this is at least one potential way to do it.

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