I recently ran into this issue with a few customers. Clients running Lync Online were not able to add users from other companies that run Lync on Premise. When they would add the users to their Lync, they would see the user as ‘Presence Unknown’ and all communications to they would bounce back.
Logically you would think that they are not open to automatic federation. The problem is that they are and they are able to communicate to other OCS and Lync on premise users.
The problem is that because Lync Online (Office 365) is a true multitenant environment, they have to be added as a PIC provider like AOL, MSN and Yahoo! (the default three). One would assume that since this is Microsoft it would just work, but it doesn’t.
Lync Control Panel with the default three providers
You must Add Lync Online as a Provider, which is done simply through the Lync Control Panel or Lync Management Shell.
Lync Control Panel
Lync Management Shell command
New-CSHostingProvider –identity LyncOnline –ProxyFqdn sipfed.online.lync.com –Enabled $True
Lync Control Panel when complete
Once you give the CMS time to replicate the changes to the Edge server, you will notice the presence of the Lync user will change from ‘Presence Unknown’ to the current presence of the user.
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Office 365 MVP