How Unified Communications Transformed This Business

2.12.2014

Delivering Business Value With Unified Communications

At the recent Future Decoded Event with Microsoft in London Jamie Wheeldon of Schroders delivered a fascinating success story on the Lync ( Skype for Business ) journey within their business. He described the benefits that Schroders are experiencing by extending communications abilities beyond the phone and enabling true collaboration.

The decision to deploy Unified Communications was to solve a number of problems they faced. Their users were overwhelmed with email volumes and frustrated with the delays caused by things like voicemail in their telephony due to a lack of updated presence information. Often the communication system being used was completely inappropriate for the task at hand.

They initially adopted Microsoft Lync for instant messaging and conferencing and then added telephony to utilise it as a total communications solution as you can see from the following illustration.

The Lync journey at Schroders

As with the introduction of any new technology there were challenges to overcome. Lync enabled a new way of working with the introduction of instant messaging and presence so they had to plan carefully  to support this cultural change. To get full buy in from users it was important for them to profile the usage of their old systems, target key users in the business, and fully engage with users early and repeatedly. The user experience was very different especially with the use of Lync as soft phones as opposed to the use of handsets with the traditional PBX. It was important to make sure the first impression was positive. IT/support champions played a key role and ensuring the right device woul be used in each case. Training was key together with gathering stories and promoting them. The use of Lync reporting to gather usage data and act on it were key to the process. You can see from this next graphic how successful the project has been.

Schroders UC Statistics

Schroders have identified the key benefits to their business with presence at the top of the list. From our own experiences with customers this is not surprising. If you are able to have updated presence information for all your users you will improve your communications and be able to streamline your operations so that you are able to respond more quickly to customers than your competitors. It also helps to improve team work and allows users to identify when the right time to communicate with a colleague is and what type of communication is preferred. No longer do you have to waste time by emailing to ask when someone is available for a call or by playing voicemail tag! Presence information means the entire operation is more efficient as many of the delays and barriers to communication are removed. The full list of benefits is pictured here.

Schroders UC Benefits

It is great to see Schroders taking this pioneering approach, but you might think that a deployment like this is beyond the reach of small and even many mid size businesses due to the scale and complexity of the resources required. After all Schroders is a large business with 37 offices in 27 countries and employs 3,5000 people.

So if you are in one of those smaller mid sized businesses and have similar challenges to those of Schroders what do you do?

Your current communications with mobile, office telephone, and computer systems from different providers are a barrier to the top benefit identified by Schroders as unified presence information. Even in more modern cloud based telephony presence is not truly integrated with the unified communication system. Added to that you have the complexity caused by mobility and flexible working. If only you could obtain all these services together from one supplier providing an integrated communications service delivering cost savings and giving you the edge over your competitors in speed of response, efficiency and productivity.

The good news is that you can!

At Benemen we have developed a solution that integrates communications across devices and platforms to give you a cloud based service that delivers all the benefits identified by Schroders and a few more.

If you would like a conversation about how such an integrated communications solution can solve many of your problems then contact me, Dave Clarke, via this link and I'll be in touch.