Unified Communications for an on-the-go Workforce - by Michael Przytula


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Novel ways of working empower employees with the freedom to be productive anytime, anywhere. The Dell™ Unified Communications solution, based on the Microsoft® Lync® platform, stokes workplace creativity and collaboration while helping to cut costs.

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Unified Communications for an on-the-go Workforce - by Michael Przytula

  1. 1. Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2013 Issue 2. Copyright © 2013 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.44 2013 Issue 02 | dell.com/powersolutionsEvolving workforceThe modern-day workplace is evolvingas organizations adapt to highlymobile work styles and diverse modesof communication. Employees areseeking the freedom to collaborate and connectwith colleagues in real time, wherever they mayhappen to be: at the office, at home or on thego. Whether identifying colleagues with specificskills, freely sharing information with remote teammembers or responding quickly to customerdemands, workers need advanced collaborationtools to heighten organizational success intoday’s highly competitive marketplace.As a result, enterprises are looking forcost-effective ways to deploy comprehensivecollaboration tools that help optimize businessprocesses while minimizing IT expenses andoperational costs. These tools must boost theflexibility and efficiency of end-user connectivitywhile making it easy for IT teams to manage andmaintain multiple communication modes.To support changing workplace dynamics,many organizations are adopting a unifiedapproach to communications. By combiningemail, voice mail, telephony, conferencing andother common modalities into one integratedplatform, unified communications helps reducecapital investments and IT resource demandswhile enabling rich options for anywhere,anytime connectivity from any device. Adoptinga unified approach to communications alsohelps organizations secure information, enforcegovernance and meet business objectives fasterand at lower cost than before.Dell and Microsoft have worked together todevelop the Dell Unified Communications solution,which embraces a powerful but easy-to-use set ofcollaboration tools that support a broad range ofcommunication modes on a single platform.Foundation for unified workplaceconnectivityDell Unified Communications, a core componentof the Dell Flexible WorkStyle solution, centerson the Microsoft Lync platform. Lync integratesemail, group chat, voice mail, telephony, instantmessaging (IM) and audio/video conferencingwith core Microsoft® productivity tools, suchas the Microsoft® Office suite and Microsoft®SharePoint® collaboration software. It provides acommon framework that interconnects diverseenvironments for sharing knowledge, ideas anddocuments with employees located virtuallyanywhere around the world.Through the Dell Unified Communicationssolution, Microsoft Lync Server can beintegrated with an existing time-divisionmultiplexing (TDM) private branch exchange(PBX) or IP PBX system. Organizations have thechoice of a long-term coexistence between thePBX and Lync Server or a full migration to theunified communications system. Combiningmultiple communication modes in a unifiedinterface over an IP network enables innovativeUnified communicationsfor an on-the-go workforceNovel ways of working empower employees with the freedom to beproductive anytime, anywhere. The Dell™ Unified Communicationssolution, based on the Microsoft® Lync® platform, stokes workplacecreativity and collaboration while helping to cut costs.By Michael PrzytulaCreating ahighly mobile,agile workforceOrganizations can streamlineworkforce collaboration throughunified communications.Discover how Dell Serviceshelps organizations implementa flexible work style, enablingemployees to stay connectedanywhere, anytime.qrs.ly/dy3bu4y
  2. 2. Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2013 Issue 2. Copyright © 2013 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.Boosting efficiency and rapportacross a changing workplaceDeployed internally, the Dell Unified Communications solution gaveDell employees firsthand experience with the benefits of unifiedcommunications. Dell replaced many of its aging and costly-to-maintain private branch exchange (PBX) systems with the DellUnified Communications solution based on Microsoft Lync Server.Lync Server replaced PBX functionality for more than 18,000Dell employees with enterprise telephony capabilities, along withenhancements in features such as presence, instant messaging (IM)and conferencing. Today, more than 150,000 employees are usingLync to connect with colleagues worldwide. Dell employees wereimmediately impressed with the Lync Server user interface, whichintegrates multiple communication modes in one place. They alsohave taken advantage of additional communications options toheighten the efficiency of communication and collaboration.“Instant messaging has become the primary tool for teamcommunication,” says Kenneth Oballa, IT director at Dell. “Teammembers can find each other and connect immediately withinstant messaging. Many project tasks that used to take hours tocoordinate now take minutes.” No longer tethered to an officedesk, employees have the flexibility to work from a downtowncoffee shop, a hotel room in Chicago or a customer event in Taipei —whatever location lets them be the most productive.By embracing a comprehensive unified communicationssolution, Dell realized a number of key benefits. These includeavoiding costly maintenance on its aging PBX system and voice-mail appliances; slashing long-distance and roaming charges fortraveling employees; cutting web conference expenses by avoidingthe need for external services; and elevating employee morale byoptimizing work-life balance.dell.com/powersolutions | 2013 Issue 02 45business processes and helps boost theefficiency of employee interactions.After Dell replaced its own PBX and voice-mail systems with Lync Server, the companysignificantly cut expenses related to telecomsystems and outside services. At the sametime, Dell enhanced employee productivity.(See the sidebar, “Boosting efficiency andrapport across a changing workplace.”)Collaboration anytime, anywhereAs organizations adopt bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to accommodatepersonalized work styles, they alsocan stimulate collaboration across anincreasingly fluid workplace. The DellUnified Communications solutionsupports Microsoft Lync 2013 mobileclients, enabling on-the-go workers touse the solution on Windows Phone,Apple® iPhone®, Apple iPad® and Google®Android™ devices. Employees can viewcolleagues’ availability in real time, connectto conference calls with a single touchand send IMs from their preferred mobiledevice, regardless of location.In addition to presence and IM functions,Lync 2013 mobile apps provide the abilityto make voice and video calls over WiFi or acellular data network. By using the voice andvideo over WiFi capability, international travelerscan avoid cell-phone roaming charges.Microsoft also plans to implementconnectivity between Lync and the Skype™platform, allowing users to share presence,IM and voice across the two services.Whether through a mobile or desktopdevice, enabling employees to connectquickly and collaborate flexibly anytime,anywhere significantly advances workforceproductivity and innovation. Unifiedcommunications lets remote and mobileemployees share documents in real time,interact easily with customers and enjoysmooth access to the organizational network.(For more information, see the sidebar,“Strengthening business presence whileenhancing productivity.”)Streamlined, tailored implementationThe Dell Unified Communications solutionis part of the Flexible WorkStyle initiative,which is aimed at creating a highly mobileand flexible workforce. Dell Services ITConsulting for Communications andCollaboration works with organizations tocreate a Flexible WorkStyle environment,including design and deployment of a DellUnified Communications solution withthe right mix of technical architectures,locations and delivery styles. Based ontested methodologies and best practices,consultants can provide a custom unifiedcommunications strategy while helpingreduce the risks, costs and time associatedwith implementation.
  3. 3. Strengthening business presencewhile enhancing productivityMany organizations worldwide rely on unified communications as anapproach that enables their local, remote and mobile workforces tooptimize their productivity. Take the professional infrastructure andenvironmental services company Cardno Limited.Cardno implemented a unified communications approach to helpimprove its business communications. Working with Dell ConsultingServices, Cardno deployed Microsoft Lync across its Australian officesin Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Features such as instant messaging(IM), voice, video and web conferencing have helped Cardno boostemployee productivity for its geographically dispersed workforce.For example, its social infrastructure division often travelsto developing countries such as Papua New Guinea, whereemployees previously relied on costly international phone calls.Now, with the standardized Lync infrastructure, team memberscan stay in touch and collaborate through a combination ofvoice-over-IP (VoIP) communications, desktop sharing and videoconferencing — which helps reduce travel time and expenses andimprove business communications.Gazprom Marketing & Trading Limited (GM&T) deployed aLync-based unified communications environment to support rapidgrowth. In its first 10 years, the energy-trading business expandedfrom a single office in London, England, to a global operation witharound 600 personnel and offices in the United States, Europeand Asia. Expecting fast growth to continue, GM&T updated itscommunications infrastructure with the help of Dell consultants.Today, Lync enables the company’s workforce to completecollaborative tasks at a much faster pace than before. For instance,teams in different offices can now share, review and amendapplications during web conferences in real time. In addition, staff canpinpoint a colleague’s whereabouts using the presence awarenessfeature and launch an IM conversation, phone call or video conference.46 2013 Issue 02 | dell.com/powersolutionsEvolving workforceFurthermore, Dell’s extensive partner ecosystemenables a broad range of unified communicationsfunctionality that can be introduced into anorganization’s existing communications environment.Consider contact centers, for example. These criticalcustomer-engagement touch points representan increasing source of revenue for many largeorganizations. However, outdated telephonyinfrastructures may compromise the customerexperience, leading to lost sales opportunities and atarnished brand.Thanks to Dell’s relationship with customer-contactsolutions provider Aspect, organizations can obtain thetechnology, services and expertise required to implementa unified communications strategy for the contact center,all from a single source.Dell is also working with Polycom to integratetelepresence and video conferencing estates withLync through the Polycom® RealPresence® platform.RealPresence enables cost-effective, productive videoconferencing and voice collaboration in a unifiedcommunications environment. Organizations can usetheir existing Polycom RealPresence voice and videosolutions to directly communicate with Lync users.Integrated communications for flexible work stylesToday’s changing workplace demands top-flight connectivity.To sharpen their competitive edge, enterprises requireversatile, cost-efficient ways to expedite information sharingand provide employees with the flexibility they need tosolve problems from anywhere, in real time.The Dell Unified Communications solution enablesorganizations to be truly connected, with team membersfreely sharing insight and innovation. This flexible workstyle maximizes individual productivity and fosters teamcollaboration while helping reduce travel, communicationsand IT expenses.Learn moreDell Unified Communications:qrs.ly/dg3bu58AuthorMichael Przytula is the managing director of the GlobalCommunications and Collaboration Practice for Dell ITConsulting Services. He is a 15-plus-year veteran of Microsoftand communications technologies.Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2013 Issue 2. Copyright © 2013 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.