With any investment in technology, a company seeks to realise a number of identified benefits that drive value to the organisation. The primary benefit will typically be around the prospect of cost-savings, closely followed by operational efficiency and increased revenues. In these cases, the decision to invest in technology is therefore a ‘no-brainer’ – there is no compelling reason NOT to invest in it.
We at The Inform Team however believe that many companies are ‘missing a trick’ in exploiting less immediate benefits, which can significantly increase the value realised by the investing organisation.
Typically, organisations investing in Microsoft Lync will focus mainly on the potential savings that telephony replacement can achieve for them which is the immediate ‘big win’, however Lync can deliver ongoing benefit through significant savings on travel if the organisation works hard to communicate to and educate their people. The value this can deliver can be significant – one of our clients’ annual spend on travel was £21million; the introduction of Microsoft Lync enabled them to target a 15% reduction.
In a recent ‘adoption study’ we undertook for one of our clients, we found that just 21% of people who had received a presentation-style overview of Microsoft Lync felt that they would be able to organise online meetings back in the workplace. Four-weeks after attending a more focussed 2-hour hands-on Lync training session, 100% of the participants claimed they had organised more than six online meetings showing a 79% increase in uptake of this specific functionality and 68% of people claimed they had instigated an online meeting rather than travelling to a meeting – directly benefiting the organisation’s bottom line.
Lync can also help organisations reduce costs by ceasing services with external conference facility providers, typically around license or rental fees as well as ongoing support, network provision and usage. Where services remain for a time after the introduction of Lync, it is important that usage of these tools is monitored to understand why they are still being used and a plan put into place to ease those users onto Lync.
There are a number of benefits associated with Lync which are not focused around direct cost-savings, one such benefit being around employee productivity. A study with one of our clients who had deployed Lync over 3-months prior, found that trained people were able to exploit certain functionality that made them 61.5% more efficient versus those who received no training. For professional services organisations where ‘time is money’ and every minute is accounted for, this is a compelling statistic.
Further benefits include:
- Organisations can be more responsive to customers if Receptionists are equipped to take full advantage of call routing and presence features.
- Organisations can instantly share their work with a customer, partner or colleague using real-time collaboration rather than having to convene in person or rely on the latency of email responses, contributing to less rework and more satisfied customers.
- Mobile workers can be productive while out of the office by using Lync while on the move.
The sum total of these potential benefits can be huge, but they are not achieved by magic. The common theme across all of these potential areas of saving is that they require hard work by the investing organisation to devise, communicate and establish new policies to maximize the use of Lync. People also need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to take full advantage of the functionality that can deliver these huge savings; not only educating them in how to use the technology, but also providing ‘softer’ skills such as best practice and how to run successful online meetings, which requires different skills to those needed for face-to-face meetings. A Lync adoption programme combining recommendations around communications and training is therefore an essential component of any Lync deployment, the cost of which can be recouped manifold in the long-term and ongoing return it delivers, helping the IT function maximise the value it delivers to the organisation.
Are you missing a trick?