Roffey Park, a charitable trust specialising in leadership, organisational development and coaching, has upgraded its communications infrastructure to cut costs and make it easier for staff to communicate with each other and clients.
The trust, based in the UK and Singapore, chose IT consultancy bluesource to implement the Microsoft Lync unified communications platform as a fully managed, cloud-hosted system. It replaced a number of disparate and sometimes overlapping systems providing telephony, web conferencing or audio conferencing services. The systems also did not integrate with business applications such as the organisation’s CRM.
“Our traditional-style phone system had reached the point where it was just too old and too difficult to source parts to maintain its reliability,” said Tony Symons, ICT manager at Roffey Park.
“It was also very limited, in terms of its features and functionality flexibility, and did not effectively support our fast-growing business operations.”
Roffey Park wanted a system that would bring employees in the Singapore office closer to the UK organisation, as well as one that would be able to deliver calls to staff and consultants remotely as well as when they were in the office.
“We already use Microsoft technologies, from server to desktop to business apps,” said Symons.
“We had been aware of Lync for a few years, with a lot of our high-profile clients using it. When we looked for a replacement, Lync was the obvious choice - it has a high degree of credibility.”
The trust implemented Lync to benefit from a single platform with features such as Microsoft’s Instant Messaging, Presence, IP-based Web, Audio and Video Conferencing, IP telephony, mobility and point to point audio and video.
It integrated Lync with the Microsoft Exchange Server to provide a unified email and voicemail inbox, and with the trusts’ Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.
But the real benefits were improvements to business processes, Symons said.
"By removing the extra layers of administration users had to go through before, Lync offers massive potential for day to day productivity and time saving. This also significantly improves customer service. Users can choose where their calls are taken, which means no more excuses for a missed call from a customer,” he said.
Users can also now set up webinars and conferences themselves, resulting in cost savings as the trust is now able to cancel subscriptions to its audio conference and web conference providers.
Migrating from ISDN (integrated services digital network) to centralised SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunks has also led to cost-savings and lower call costs, Symons said.
Bluesource delivers the new unified communications system as part of its Lync247 service. This means that Roffey Park rents everything from the consultancy on a per user, per month basis, from server space to headsets. The system currently supports 140 users.