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How Did Snowpocalypse Affect Your Productivity?

February 2nd, 2011 was a great day in weather punditry. A lot of the country was blanketed in snow; Chicago was no exception. Businesses and schools closed, people were sent home, weather commentators and the blogosphere were busy generating nicknames:

  • Snowpocalypse
  • Snowmageddon
  • SNOMG!!
  • The SNOWotorious BIG

(I think that I lean towards #4, for what it’s worth) Regardless of what you call it, most businesses probably assumed a large dip in productivity.
So how did this affect PointBridge?

I was curious about the effect on our company. And because we’ve migrated ALL communications to Lync, I actually had an easy time of measuring exactly what happened on 2/2. Through the beauty of the unified reporting in Lync, I was able to determine that we in fact saw huge increases in communication among employees, even though the doors to the office were locked and probably snowed in.
In every category of communication – we were up across the board. The major highlights are:

  • Audio Conference minutes: up %120
  • Total audio conference participants: up %54
  • IM Conference messages: up %235
  • Peer-to-peer audio: up %57
  • Peer-to-peer application sharing: up %140
  • Peer-to-peer Instant Messages: up %39

It was business as usual.
For a small consulting company: this is huge. What would have been an entire day of not billing, especially in a short month like February, would have been killer to profitability. The fact that we just all picked up and worked from home/coffee shops/libraries and kept right on going is a real testament to what Lync can do for your business. This is not a squishy, touchy-feely general feeling of Lync maybe helping; this was real. Lync will have made the difference between a profitable month and a break-even month for us.
To that end, my post title, “How Did Snowpocalypse Affect your Productivity”, is probably unfair. Most people don’t have a way to drill down and measure what people were actually doing. But having all our communications unified on one platform let us actually measure the effect. Try doing something similar with an “un-Unified” solution!! It would be a nightmare of marrying PBX Call Detail Records with hosted web conference reports with Audio Conferencing provider minutes with IM logs, ad nauseum. It would be an all-day affair. The Lync reports took me a little over 60 seconds to run.
I used the Lync Monitoring server to run the reports and export them to Excel. I did the math on the “average” and “percent change” calculations on my own. You can see the data for yourself below:
Conference Activity

Peer-to-Peer Activity

Now there is a downside to all this: Lync 2010 certainly kept us profitable… but it did ruin my plans to go sledding that day.

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Matt McGillen

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