Microsoft’s announcement that Unified Communications (UC) platform Lync is becoming Skype for Business represents a significant step to unite both consumer and business services under a single brand. This is the very essence of Unified Communications.
Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President Gurdeep Pall summarised it well: Microsoft Lync is about “simplifying and unifying all of the different tools people use to communicate.”
Evidence of the potential business benefits can be seen in a recent case study published by Forrester and Polycom. Titled The Total Economic Impact of Polycom Voice Solutions for Microsoft Lync, it demonstrates the large-scale returns possible with the right deployment strategy.
The company in question is a global biotech organisation operating in 25 countries with a workforce of 28,000. The financial benefits from the migration are clear – over £10 million saved and a return on investment timeframe of 21 months – but the qualitative business outcomes are just as important:
Simplified collaboration between global staff, partners and customers – business success is directly linked to efficient communication, which means providing an intuitive toolset that drives collaboration across a business, especially if a workforce spans multiple continents and time zones. Easy-to-consume technology like Microsoft Lync offers a flexible solution that can break down geographical barriers for organisations of all sizes.
Always-on device connectivity – flexible working will only succeed if employees have access to the same knowledge and expertise as in the office. Real-time presence and mobile device integration helps overcome these challenges, as insight into people’s status and availability can help speed up decision-making and reduce unproductive communication for those working remotely.
Standardised IT infrastructure – unifying cloud services, communications platforms, VoIP, visual communications and content sharing quickly reduces IT complexity and ensures an IT estate that can meet the demands generated by business growth.
A more reliable user experience – connectivity issues during an important meeting are frustrating, but poor network performance can have a direct effect on general productivity because of unnecessary delays and confusion. Time is precious and the IT department does not want to be spending time resolving connectivity issues caused by unreliable solutions.
Microsoft Lync regularly demonstrates its credentials as a leading Unified Communications platform. Other benefits for the company profiled included 20 minutes a day saved by ‘power users’, a 25% reduction in managed services costs by the third year due to reduced IT complexity, and 29% saved on purchased technology when compared to legacy devices.
Ultimately this means a business that has saved time, reduced costs and created a more efficient workplace. More detail on the above case study can be found in this infographic.