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Lync 2010 Office 365: Do you have to manually add contacts?

I am deploying a trial of Lync 2010 for 25 users for 30 days.  And I have me and one other person testing it and I had to manually add this person.  And I am deploying it so that they can like it and I can get the approval to deploy it throughout the organization.  

So if I integrate it with AD then people will just be able to go into their contacts or a message or whatever and say send this person a message and see the status but if I continue to go with the public IM version of jdoe@domain.onmicrosoft.com I will have to manually add all 25 contact for each of the 25 test users?  

And if that is so I would rather integrate it into active directory but then do I need a server to do that even if its office 365?  Just trying to find out the best way to deploy this for the trial.  
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Jian An LimSolutions Architect
Top Expert 2016

you can integrate it with AD but the easiest is to upload 25 users into csv and upload to office 365.

but with Lync 2010, you will only get a blank contact list.

in order to get 25 contact quickly to each of them, you put these 25 contact into Distribution group, and you only need to add this DL into your contact, then you will get everyone in.
If I am understanding this right, I think you are referring to two seperate things here:

Integrating it with Active Directory will allow you to see what accounts are in your domain.  From here you can enable them for use with Lync 2010.  there are scripts you can use to import them into Lync, otherwise it is a manual process to add.

Next is adding contacts.  thsi is a manual process.  To my knowledge there is no way to preload a set of contacts to show up on Lync.  Much like AIM, Sametime or any other client, it loads empty and you pick and choose who you want to add.

Now once a user is enabled in Lync (so setup as a user), there name should show up in the address book upon a search.  At that point the end user adds them.

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