Microsoft Office System
                                            Communications-Enabled Business Process Case Study

Business Challenge                                                    CEBP Solution
The firm’s success is based on helping...
solution was a natural fit for the firm—it      Microsoft products. To make and receive
conferencing needs, with an annual fee of
                                          about $20,000. Microsoft includes this...
For More Information                                                                          Microsoft CEBP
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Microsoft cebp microsoft office system accounting firm case study


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Microsoft cebp microsoft office system accounting firm case study

  1. 1. Microsoft Office System Communications-Enabled Business Process Case Study Accounting Firm Cuts Costs, Increases Revenues with Unified Communications Overview “We expect that in the first year of using the Microsoft Country or Region: United States Industry: Financial services—Accounting Unified Communications solution, the increased services revenues will cover the cost of the technology.” Customer Profile IT Manager, Accounting Firm An accounting firm in Minneapolis provides a range of tax and business consulting services to more than a Controlling internal costs and keeping an accurate record of thousand companies in the city’s metropolitan area. billable hours are two of the most important pillars of success in running a professional services business. In Minneapolis, an Business Challenge The firm needed to replace an aging accounting firm was struggling with one major component of its Private Branch Exchange (PBX) telephone operations—its phone system. It chose to replace the system system, and it wanted to find a solution to help capture more billable hours. with a Microsoft Unified Communications solution using Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Microsoft CEBP Solution The firm deployed Microsoft Office Office Communicator 2007 R2, and Microsoft Exchange Server Communications Server 2007 R2, 2007. The firm also deployed Convergent TimeSweeper, an Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2, and the TimeSweeper application from application that helps to capture phone calls, meetings, and Convergent, an IT solution provider. other billable activities. The solution has helped the firm save ROI U.S.$30,000 compared with the cost of a more traditional phone • Saves U.S.$30,000 over traditional PBX system. Conferencing capabilities are included with the phone system • Captures more billable time, leading to technology, and the firm is also capturing more billable time— one-year return on investment enough to pay for the new solution in about a year. • Achieves greater employee efficiency
  2. 2. Business Challenge CEBP Solution The firm’s success is based on helping clients control costs and The company deployed Microsoft Office Communications Server improve revenues. The company recognized that it could improve 2007 R2 and TimeSweeper, an application that integrates with its own business by enhancing internal operations. Among its Office Communications Server 2007 R2 to efficiently capture all biggest challenges were controlling costs during the upgrade of an billable, customer-related activities such as phone calls and emails. aging telephone system and finding ways to capture more billable The solution also helped the firm migrate to a voice over IP (VoIP) hours. telephone system, which eliminated costs associated with moving to a more traditional Public Branch Exchange (PBX) network. ROI • Firm saves about U.S.$30,000 using the VoIP system compared with a more traditional PBX telephone solution. • Employees are able to find and capture additional billable time that used to be lost due to inefficient processes. Management estimates that employees are averaging between 30 and 60 minutes of extra billable time captured each week, which is producing greater revenue. • Employees can be more productive during routine tasks, such as finding client contact information. Business Challenge new Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system A Minneapolis accounting firm has built a was installing a voice over IP (VoIP) solution “A new PBX system strong reputation in the metropolitan region by providing customers with that could unify the firm’s communications. would be quite services that include tax preparation and “Whatever we purchased, we knew we planning, audits, and management would have it for many years,” says the IT expensive without consulting. The firm has been in business manager. “A new PBX system would be offering much flexibility, for decades and works with companies in virtually every industry and of all sizes, from quite expensive without offering much flexibility, while a unified communications while a unified small family businesses to large solution could help us integrate functions corporations. like voice mail, email, and phone calls from communications solution our PCs.” could help us integrate Part of the company’s success results from its own diligence in carefully managing While evaluating the possibilities for a new functions like voice mail, internal operating costs and continually phone system, the firm also looked for looking for ways to improve revenue, some type of solution that could help email, and phone calls including the efficient capture of employees track their billable hours more from our PCs.” employees’ billable time. In late 2008, the firm started evaluating its options for effectively. “During the course of the day, it’s easy, for example, to take phone calls IT Manager, Minneapolis Accounting Firm replacing an aging phone system—and, in from clients but forget to document them,” the process, realized that it had an the IT manager says. “Even only a few opportunity to capture more billable time. minutes a day adds up over the course of a year to lost revenue.” “Our phone system dated back to 1992, and it was beginning to fail,” says the firm’s CEBP Solution IT manager. “After experiencing two Following discussions with Convergent, a outages, we became concerned about Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, the continuing with the system, especially accounting firm decided to deploy a because we could no longer purchase communications-enabled business process replacement parts.” solution using Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and the The company began evaluating its options. Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 One alternative to simply updating to a client software. The IT manager says the
  3. 3. solution was a natural fit for the firm—it Microsoft products. To make and receive already uses Microsoft products, including phone calls, the firm’s employees use Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft several different IP telephony hardware Office Live Meeting, the Microsoft Office products. These include the Polycom 2003 Editions, and the Windows XP client CX700, a full-featured desktop phone that “We estimate that we operating system. plugs directly into the firm’s network; the achieved an immediate “Products from Cisco System were one Polycom CX200, a smaller desktop phone with more-limited features; and the savings of about $30,000 obvious choice, but they had a significant Plantronics Savi Go, a USB headset that drawback for the firm. They are really plugs into users’ PCs. All voice mail goes by installing the expensive,” says the IT manager. The firm into Exchange Server 2007. Users receive Microsoft Unified plans to upgrade to Microsoft Office Professional 2010 and the Windows 7 notifications of voice-mail messages in the Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 messaging Communications operating system by the end of 2010. and collaboration client, and they can listen to their messages by simply clicking the solution instead of The choice was also driven by message icon. purchasing a PBX TimeSweeper, a solution from Convergent that integrates with the Microsoft Unified ROI system.” Communications products to efficiently By choosing to implement a Microsoft capture many different types of Unified Communications solution that IT Manager, Minneapolis Accounting Firm communications that can be converted into includes the TimeSweeper application from billable time. TimeSweeper gives the Convergent, the accounting firm was able accounting firm’s employees a simple, to achieve significant cost savings and calendar-based view of how much time is increase its revenue. The firm saved money spent in activities such as phone calls, in both immediate and long-term expenses conference calls and web-based by deploying an IP-based communications conferencing, instant messages, and email solution instead of a traditional PBX system. and voice-mail reviews. With TimeSweeper, It also is capturing more billable time users can select single or multiple days and because of the TimeSweeper application. In apply filters to sort through different types addition, employees can work more of communications. After the employee efficiently because of the tight integration selects an entry, TimeSweeper uses of the communications tools. Exchange Web Services to extract information about the date, duration, and Saves U.S.$30,000 over PBX System activity type. This data is then sent The deployment of the Microsoft Unified automatically to the firm’s client billing Communications solution led to immediate system. cost savings for the firm, as well as long- term savings. The firm also installed ESTOS PhoneTools for Communicator, which employees can “We estimate that we achieved an use to highlight any phone number within a immediate savings of about $30,000 by Windows application—including their installing the Microsoft Unified Microsoft Office software or web browser. Communications solution instead of They can then press a hot key on their purchasing a PBX system,” says the IT keyboard to dial the number. manager. “Additionally, there is a substantial savings associated with the The firm began implementing the solution Microsoft conferencing capabilities, in July 2009 and completed the including the easy telephone-based deployment in September 2009. It conferencing and Microsoft Office Live completely replaced its PBX system, so all Meeting. A Cisco solution would have communications are now handled with the required a WebEx contract for our
  4. 4. conferencing needs, with an annual fee of about $20,000. Microsoft includes this functionality as part of its solution, which means we can eliminate an expensive and ongoing annual cost.” “With the TimeSweeper software and its Captures More Billable Time, Leading to an Expected One-Year ROI integration with the With the innovative TimeSweeper application integrated into its Microsoft Microsoft technology, I Unified Communications solution, the am seeing between 30 accounting firm is able to capture more of its billable time. This, in turn, is helping to and 60 minutes of achieve a quick return on investment in the new technology. additional billable time captured each week.... “With the TimeSweeper software and its integration with the Microsoft technology, I [When] you multiply that am seeing between 30 and 60 minutes of additional billable time captured each by every employee over week,” says the IT manager. “That doesn’t 52 weeks, the increased sound like a lot at first, but when you multiply it by every employee over 52 revenue is substantial.” weeks, the increased revenue is substantial. We expect that in the first year of using the IT Manager, Minneapolis Accounting Firm Microsoft Unified Communications solution, the increased revenues will cover the cost of the technology.” Achieves Greater Employee Efficiency Deploying the Unified Communications solution has delivered a benefit that was not obvious when the firm was evaluating its options: greater overall efficiency. “It is simply easier to do common tasks all day long,” says the IT manager. “In the past, the process of looking up a phone number and then going to the phone to dial would typically take about 30 seconds, and if you’re interrupted by someone, you start all over again. With the Microsoft Unified Communications solution, I can simply right-click a number and dial it. It’s almost instantaneous. Throughout the day, that time savings of 30 seconds or more per call really adds up. The Microsoft technology makes our employee communications faster and more efficient—and it is more cost-effective to deploy and maintain over the long run.”
  5. 5. For More Information Microsoft CEBP For more information about Microsoft Communications-enabled business products and services, call the Microsoft processes (CEBP) based on the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426- Unified Communications platform offer 9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft businesses three ways to increase Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- productivity: 2495. Customers in the United States and • Contextual collaboration. Helps users Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing communicate efficiently by providing can reach Microsoft text telephone context about their communications. (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. • Business Process Communications. Outside the 50 United States and Reduces human delay in businesses Canada, please contact your local processes, so people can contact Microsoft subsidiary. To access decision makers when they’re needed. information using the World Wide Web, • Anywhere-access capabilities. Users can go to: interact with computers via natural speech, using the telephone or IM in a fully automated way. For more information about Convergent Solutions products and services, call (952) For more information about the Microsoft 303-7100 or visit the website at: Office system, go to: Software and Services • Convergent TimeSweeper • Microsoft Office • ESTOS PhoneTools − Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Hardware − Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 − Polycom CX200 and CX700 desktop R2 phones − Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 − Plantronics Savi Go headset • Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Partners Standard Edition • Convergent This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published June 2010