Employees are geographically dispersed and most of the calls they place are international. To communicate with one another, they were relying heavily on email and phone conversations to discuss projects, along with an internally developed intranet site to share important organisational materials and information.
With 10 main or regional offices, as well as over 40 country and project offices across the globe, the customer needed a better, more cost effective way to communicate.
Our customer wanted to reduce the amount—and cost—of travel for employees. It had an expensive legacy audio-conferencing solution in place so employees could conduct remote meetings, but he wanted more capabilities, like the ability to share documents and applications, than that solution offered.
The other challenge it faced with this legacy solution was that the bandwidth requirements were too great for several of its offices where bandwidth availability was lower.
Finally, he wanted a communication tool that would let employees view presence information, locate contacts easily, and let them talk—whether through instant messaging or through VoIP—without incurring additional charges.
To help it find the better solution, the customer turned to Microsoft Gold Partner Lambert Consulting.
Lambert Consulting has successfully deployed Microsoft Unified Communications solutions at many international companies. Its services include planning implementations, implementing servers and networks, integration different telephony systems and SIP Trunk providers, and developing tools to support deployment and training.
Proof of concept
Lambert Consulting provided an internal proof of concept for 20 employees using Skype for Business to show the customer the benefits of this solution. It was pleased with the results and decided to deploy the Microsoft solution.
Our customer integrated its existing private branch exchange telephony system with Skype for Business to provide reliable voice over IP service.
The customer and Lambert Consulting began planning the deployment, with the goals of providing audio and video conferencing for all the staff-even those with lowerbandwidth connection-and implementing a communications solution that would not rely on a virtual private network (VPN) for connectivity.
Our customer also wanted to move away as much as possible from using its current PBX system for telephony, especially at newer locations, where it preferred to use VoIP to place calls. The Information Management Group of the customer and Lambert Consulting deployed the full solution and configured the deployment for high availability.
The work to configure the telephony solution with Skype for Business server began 3 months later. Lambert Consulting deployed five Skype for Business Servers. Interoute also deployed two voice gateways, one between Skype for Business and the PBX, and one between Skype for Business and the SIP trunk, which carries voice calls directly to Interoute (telecommunications and hosting services provider with worldwide coverage).
As part of the full deployment, Lambert Consulting also helped customer upgrade Exchange Server and implemented Exchange Unified Messaging. With Unified messaging, employees can receive and manage both voice-mail and email messages through the Microsoft Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client.
- Reduce telephony and travel costs by making calls from the laptop computers.
- Provide Unified, Security-Enhanced Connectivity: Provide highly secure service even in remote areas with low-bandwidth connections.
- Ease communication for global workers: Employees and volunteers can easily search for contacts through the application. After they have located a contact, they can view presence information and initiate a call or desktop-sharing session, whether the contact is a federated colleague or a co-worker inside the organisation. Now employees can be in touch wherever they are, they can still get messages in their inbox when they are traveling.
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