How Unified Communications can transform your business


Following Dave Clarke from Benemen UK, 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 story can be easy adapted to SME needs.

Real benefits of Unified Communications

The decision to deploy Unified Communications in Schroders was to solve a number of problems they faced. The most important was those related to communication. 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 (Skype for Business) for instant messaging and conferencing and then added telephony to utilise it as a total communications solution as you can see from the illustration at the end of this article.

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 would 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 the second graphic how successful the project has been.

Schroders 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 at the and of this article.

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 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.

What about SME?

Don’t worry! What Schroders done every company can do, because this solution suits all size organizations. If you use Benemen cloud based solution offered by Comtrust than you benefit as the biggest organisations without need of investments in licences and infrastructure.

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, which Comtrust represents in Poland, 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.

With Benemen you transform your company towards social enterprise creating the network of communications and relationships, which leads to faster and adequate decisions. Thanks to the new approach to Unified Communication – staff, customers and partners easier interact and communicate. Organizations whose employees frequently move and need access to their mail/voice box, work remotely and need contact with his group task-prisoners, benefit the most.

Transformation which includes mobile communications opens new opportunities to increase company productivity and competitiveness. If you use Bemenem based on MS Lync you significantly reduce costs of meetings, empty working hours and phone calls.

Dave Clarke from Benemen UK presents transformation of using MS Lync in Schroders and gives benefits from this change. SME can take the same advantages from Benemen cloud solution as Schroders does.

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