My previous company was like many organizations; we battled time zone barriers and needed to communicate with a mobile workforce. I used 5 different tools on a daily basis to communicate with my colleagues. In hindsight, especially as a Lync user now, it’s easy to see how much productivity was lost in those 5 disparate technologies. Setup hassle aside, the time my team lost trying to connect with each other was frustrating and took away from the time we needed to be collaborating and working. It became the crutch we blamed when things didn’t get completed. “I’ve been having trouble connecting with the London office this week,” or “Jimmy couldn’t get the web conferencing to work on his mobile phone.” But Lync has changed all that for us at PointBridge.
And although Microsoft Lync is less than a year old, it’s already made a strong impact in the UC market for those very reasons of productivity and cost savings. Gartner has rated Lync among the leaders in recent studies:
Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications August 2011
What makes Lync the top solution within the UC market is it’s all-encompassing integration capabilities, low price-point, and subsequent return on investment. Here’s a breakdown of the four key areas where Lync comes out on top:
A Mobile Workforce
Today, businesses continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on in-house telephone systems. Yet employees are spending more time on the road – working at home, in a coffee shop or with a client – and less time in the office. While investing in a PBX phone for each employee used to make sense, buying a costly piece of technology that is expensive to upgrade and sits alone in a cubicle unused the majority of the time is no longer a smart model for today’s businesses.Instead, a true unified communications platform allows employees to communicate through a computer and a low-cost and more mobile headset.Employees can call each other with one click and instantly communicate.Forrester Research highlights the cost savings using Lync for a composite company below:
Web conferencing is a staple in how we at PointBridge do business on a daily basis. Share your desktop or host a webinar; not only are your travel costs reduced, but it’s become a mission-critical component in how we work with each other and our clients. Lync web conferencing capabilities make impromptu meetings seamless. Users on a voice call can easily decide to share their desktop, documents or collaborate on a white board; all from within a single interface. Additionally, Lync has been shown to yield up to $675,000 in cost savings at the end of year three versus using a third party web conferencing system.
Forrester Total Economic Impact Whitepaper
One of my favorite features about Lync is the ability to call a colleague or client through my computer just by clicking on his or her name. With presence, I can see if my colleagues are available to talk, in a meeting, or “away.” Furthermore, I can leave a voicemail that is transcribed directly to my recipient’s email. The process is so hassle-free, I’m more likely to call a colleague to discuss a problem than send an email. E-mail is nice, but not when it turns a simple question into a longer exchange and finding a conclusion or answer is a more extensive effort. It’s also much more seamless to conduct a call with multiple participants. Lync integrates with Outlook making it easy to include call-in details in a meeting invite. It’s not necessary to set up a separate meeting using a third party and copy and paste the log-in details to your meeting invite. With one click, unique audio (and web) conferencing details are added to my meeting. I don’t have to worry about sending the incorrect log-in details or updating the details should the meeting time change.
Increased Productivity and Efficiency
Yes, hard ROI numbers are very compelling. But on top of the hard numbers, there are many soft ROI advantages to using Lync like increased productivity and efficiency. Does the date February 2, 2011 ring any bells to any Chicagoans? It was one of the biggest snow storms the city had ever seen. Businesses shut down, freeways closed and suddenly alley space was a commodity because there was nowhere to put the shoveled snow. Like many businesses, PointBridge closed it’s doors for the day and our employees worked from home. However, business continued as usual even though we were all at home or working elsewhere. Matt McGillen PointBridge’s Unified Communications Practice Manager, took a look at exactly how productive PointBridge was able to be and communication was up across the board thanks to Lync. This is just one example of how easy it is for employees to get work done using Lync. Every one of our employees was in a different location and our business didn’t miss a beat.
There are many other benefits of using a comprehensive unified communications platform, and certainly vary depending on your business. If you’re interested in seeing what kind of ROI your business can see from using Lync, let us know. We’ve created a calculator that can quickly and easily show you a snapshot of what life could be like with Lync.