I have been in the fortunate position over the last two years to have successfully delivered many transformation initiatives for Calyx. However without doubt there has been one initiative above all others that has brought significant improvements in the way Calyx staff are able to collaborate and communicate while also showing a clear and demonstrable ROI—our Microsoft Lync deployment.
Microsoft Lync is a Unified Communications (UC) solution that brings together a wide variety of functionality including:
- Presence and Instant Messaging
- Collaborative functions that include desktop & application sharing, presentation delivery
- PC to PC Voice calling
- PC to PC Video
- Audio Conference
- Enterprise Voice
The business case for UC Solutions will vary based on the current commitments that you are able to offset and the deployment choices with your Microsoft Lync Service. However, advantages include savings in travel and related expenses, legacy voice maintenance, call charges, mobile costs, and audio conference costs. With its many additional soft benefits, Microsoft Lync enables far more flexibility in ways of working which helps enhance personal productivity.
Calyx’s own Microsoft Lync deployment saw an immediate reduction in travel costs of 27% which helped achieve payback on initial costs within 3 months.
While, for many, embracing UC is seen as a natural step in the current social media driven age, it may be an alien concept to others. This brings a challenge of adoption and education in some organisations. For example the notion of 'presence'—always on visibility of your current availability and status—may be seen as intrusive. Instant messaging, equally, is not a comfortable medium initially for some. Nevertheless, as individuals do embrace the technology, these aspects become commonplace and UC very rapidly becomes a business critical application that your organisation will look back on and wonder how they managed without.
UC is essentially “communications integrated to optimise business processes”. Microsoft positions UC as a discipline in the broader context of Business Productivity. With integration into MS Exchange, MS SharePoint, MS Office and clients available for most platforms, Lync extends its use from the desktop to tablet and many mobile devices.
A deployment of Lync integrates with these applications out of the box. The presence indicator, for example, lights up in many different locations including Outlook and SharePoint, with the ability to send a file immediately via instant message to the co-author of a document direct from within Word. Many applications use the contact card to enable Lync features to be both visible and activated from within that application. Instant Message conversations stored directly in your Outlook Mail and Voice Mail are stored in your mail too. With an extensive Lync eco-system there are many third party created extensions for specific requirements including contact centre functionality. It’s also possible to extend functionality into other line of business applications.
Calyx can simplify the adoption of Lync as part of an organisation’s Unified Communications strategy by implementing a pilot for a small team or department. Microsoft Lync is licensed based on the functional blend required with various deployment options including:-
- Dedicated on Premise
- Dedicated Calyx Hosting
- Join Calyx Shared Platform
- Lync as part of Office 365
To find out how Calyx can support your business, please contact us at email@example.com