Eden Springs, one of Europe’s leading providers for water solutions in the workplace, felt it was overly dependent on expensive international phone calls and conferencing services. It wanted to deploy a solution
that would reduce these costs and provide additional methods for communications. Eden Springs deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2010 to take advantage of its voice over IP capabilities to reduce call charges and begin to retiring its private-branch exchange systems.
Recently, Eden Springs deployed a pilot of Microsoft Lync Server 2013 and is looking forward to more robust conferencing, multiple mobile clients, and Skype federation to enhance its current communications solution.
Through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, Eden Springs has become a leading workplace water provider in Europe. Headquartered in Switzerland and operating out of more than 100 branches in 17 countries, the 2,000 employees at Eden Springs work
all over the world, so they depend on conference calls and phone calls to collaborate on tasks.
Eden Springs found that the conference calling solution it originally deployed was not ideal for its needs. Employees found calls complex to set up, and the service offered limited functionality for sharing applications. The service was also expensive for
employees calling into international conferences and making international calls between offices.
To provide less expensive solution with more communications options, Eden Springs deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2010 in the summer of 2011. It had several goals for the deployment:
Reduce international calling charges
Provide instant messaging to all employees to facilitate easy, rapid communications for problem solving
Install Lync enterprise voice as a full private-branch exchange (PBX) replacement wherever possible to reduce costs
Replace its current conferencing service with Lync Server
Eden Springs deployed Lync Server 2010 at its main IT offices in Israel. The company’s 1,500 office workers all received full voice, conferencing, and instant messaging capabilities.
Eden Springs deployed a gateway in each country to enable least-cost routing through Lync Server 2010. Calls are routed to Lync Server 2010 and exit to the public-switched telephone network within the destination country to avoid international toll charges.
The deployment varied from country to country depending on the number and size of the offices there. Some countries used a Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA), while others implemented a standard server deployment with a gateway. Eden Springs used AudioCodes
Mediant 1000 hardware for the SBAs and gateways.
For voicemail, Eden Springs is in the process of deploying Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging from its Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 solution. Exchange Unified Messaging delivers voicemail messages to employees’ inboxes and their Microsoft Lync 2010 client.
Though Eden Springs was happy with the cost savings it achieved with its Lync Server deployment, it had some requests from employees for additional capabilities that it wanted to provide. Some employees had asked about the potential for communicating with
Skype users. Employees using the Lync 2010 mobile clients were interested in making calls using voice over IP (VoIP) rather than over the cellular network to avoid calling charges.
Eden Springs was excited to learn all it could about the next generation of Microsoft communications solution, Microsoft Lync Server 2013, to see if it would address these needs. It began testing a prerelease version of the product and was impressed the results.
||Whether our employees are at work, at home, or at a hotel, as long as they have Internet they can always dial out from Lync. That means we do not incur any international calling charges.
| Lior Gal
Infrastructure Manager, Eden Springs Group
Lync Server 2013 provides improvements to conferencing, federation, and a better client experience that Eden Springs feels will benefit its employees. With the meeting view options, employees can also customize the view of their Lync 2013 client to hide the
contact list and video gallery if they want to focus on the presentation.
Eden Springs often invites external participants, such as partners, vendors, or customers to meetings. With Lync Server 2013, those participants who do not have the Lync 2013 client can join the meeting using the Lync Web App and have the full voice and
video experience over the Internet.
Federation with Skype users will also be a big benefit for Eden Springs when it deploys Lync Server 2013. By using Skype federation with Lync Server 2013, the company can simplify communications with some of its small partners who use Skype for communications.
Employees can also use Skype federation to stay in touch with their families when they are on the road.
With the Lync 2013 mobile client, employees can access nearly the full functionality of the Lync 2013 desktop client. Mobile employees can make and receive calls through Lync 2013 rather than over the cellular network. They can also join conferences from
their phones with voice and video.
Eden Springs is currently testing Jabra GO 6470 Bluetooth headset to use with Lync 2013. “The Jabra 6470 provides a great experience for our employees. It can connect to Lync 2013 and to employees’ mobile phones, and the voice quality is great,” says Gal.
Eden Springs plans to deploy Lync Server 2013 in the first half of 2013.
Eden Springs is currently enjoying significant benefits from Lync Server 2010 and fully expects those benefits to increase after it upgrades to Lync Server 2013.
Within six months of deploying Lync Server 2010, Eden Springs had completely eliminated its old conferencing service. It is now using Lync 2010 to complete more than 30,000 minutes of conference calls a month. “Our president told me Lync had changed his
life,” says Gal. “He travels a lot and frequently takes conference calls on the road. Now he can join from his laptop and use desktop sharing instead of just using his mobile phone. He is a lot more productive.”
Eden Springs has enabled Lync Enterprise Voice functionality for all of its employees and has started retiring its PBX equipment. It has retired the equipment from 15 branches in France and will soon retire its two PBX systems in Israel. Eden Springs has
also reduced international calling charges by using least-cost routing through Lync Server. Employees can call an Eden Springs office in any country at domestic rates.
Enterprise voice is a big bonus for employees who travel frequently. “Whether our employees are at work, at home, or at a hotel, as long as they have Internet, they can always dial out from Lync,” says Gal. “That means we do not incur any international calling
charges.” The new Lync 2013 mobile client will extend the Lync dialing capabilities even more.
Besides lowering costs, Lync Server has improved communications among employees. “We have more than 100 branches across Europe and employees constantly travel between them. Now we can find people with presence and just click to call them or send an instant
message,” says Gal. “Just having Lync presence and instant messaging has really sped communications because we can get an instant response to a question.”
For more information about Microsoft Lync Server 2013, go to: