AOL Announces Direct Federation With Microsoft Lync and UC Federation Plans for AIM


Is Microsoft Lync the UC solution that consumer IM providers can not afford to not be connected to? But perhaps even more importantly: does AOL have plans to return AIM to relevancy via an enterprise UC federation exchange service?

Microosft has noted that its support for AIM and Yahoo on it’s PIC (Public IM Connectivity) service is “winding down”. While mindshare for AIM among general users is non-existent, there is a loyal following in trader/financial sector users.


In an interesting move that indicates AOL values Microsoft Lync federation, AOL is offering direct AIM federation with Microsoft Lync:

“AOL is pleased to offer Microsoft Lync customers the opportunity to continue their current federation with AIM and establish new federations if needed. For the first time, we are enabling companies with the ability to establish a direct relationship with AOL to provision and manage their connectivity to the AIM network. This will also allow you to have direct and immediate access to AIM technical support engineers who can quickly identify and resolve any AIM-related issues, thus making the transition to AOL is seamless with no disruption to your company and users.

It is interesting the AOL notes they are offering support from “a dedicated team of enterprise engineers…” and “federation with other companies currently connected to the AIM network”

“Our customers receive technical support from a dedicated team of enterprise engineers. In addition, AOL will soon offer other optional services that will extend the reach of federation with AIM to include federation with other companies currently connected to the AIM network.

Does this mean that AOL is aiming (no pun intended!) to become a Lync/UC federation exchange? Will AIM avoid fading into the sunset by becoming relevant again via some enterprise federation exchange service?

Does this indicate that Microsoft is the party not interested in continuing the relationship with their existing PIC service?

To read more including a detailed AIM-Lync FAQ: Click Here
Lync as the Most Connect UC Solution?: Click Here
Lync Federation Directory Project: Click Here



  1. The notion of a Federation Clearing house is certainly not new. Reuters attempted and NextPlane is has a service to connect disparate IM communities like SameTime and Lync. My feeling is that Lync and XMPP based networks will emerge as the standard and they will continue to federate as we can do today via Lync. I'm not certain Microsoft will deprecate support for AIM given the usage of it in the financial community. If anything, it helps them install Lync on traders desktops. Having said this, I don't know of a financial institution (at least here in Canada) that is not running Lync with Federation capabilities given to users. AIM was certainly popular on trade floors in NYC years back and quite possibly still is. Will watch this unfold with interest.

    1. thanks for that insight dino.

      unless msft changes course it appears aim on way out:

      "Federation with Yahoo! and AOL are both on a path toward end-of-life for customers of Lync and Office Communications Server. Microsoft’s ability to provide each of these services has been contingent upon support from Yahoo! and AOL, and the underlying agreements of these are winding down. For both Yahoo! and AOL, service will continue through June 2014."


      yes, will be interesting to see how this all rolls out.
      thanks again.

  2. I was always under the impression that the public provider services were being implemented/maintained by MS and Yahoo or AOL. Now it can be direct and MS can get out of the way of the occasional "issue" that would crop up. Good for AOL to step up and manage their own federation and not having a middle man anymore.


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