4-page Case Study
Posted: 2/19/2013
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EVRY Norwegian IT Services Company Improves Collaboration with Communications Solution

To meet customers’ IT needs, EVRY provides its employees with solutions to make communications easy. Whether for voice, meetings, instant messaging, or email, EVRY uses Microsoft solutions to connect employees and facilitate collaboration. EVRY recently upgraded to Microsoft Lync Server 2013 to enhance these communications capabilities with persistent chat rooms, expanded conferencing capabilities, and updated mobile clients. EVRY uses Lync Server 2013 to collaborate without traveling, quickly integrate new employees, and reduce its overall communications costs. The Lync Server 2013 architecture also provides business continuity capabilities that improve service reliability so that employees always have access to the tools they need.

Situation
EVRY is one of the leading IT companies in the Nordic region with more than 10,000 employees in 135 offices across 16 countries. It provides services to more than 14,000 customers. EVRY grew to this size through a series of mergers and acquisitions, successfully integrating new talent into the business.

To manage such a large, distributed business, EVRY depends heavily on its communications solutions. In 2010, the company deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2010 to provide instant messaging, presence, conferencing, and voice capabilities to its employees.

EVRY employees frequently use instant messaging to initiate conversations and then add voice and desktop sharing to collaborate on projects. Employees also use conferencing both for small ad hoc meetings and for large gatherings. For example, EVRY holds weekly lunchtime meetings at its headquarters in Oslo to discuss various company offerings or other company-related topics. Typically about 80 people attend in person and around 150 attend remotely using Microsoft Lync 2010. EVRY uses Lync to record these meetings so employees can view the meetings later.

Except for call center staff, employees at EVRY use mobile phones instead of desk phones. Many employees take advantage of a service from Microsoft partner Telenor to integrate their mobile devices with Lync Server 2010 through a SIP trunk. Employees can answer calls to their mobile number through Microsoft Lync Mobile, and calls they place using Lync display their mobile numbers to call recipients. Lync also displays a special presence icon to show when employees are on a call using their mobile phones.

The Lync Mobile client is very popular since employees all have mobile phones. Employees can show their availability even when they are out of the office and respond to instant messages. Because EVRY uses Lync federation to share presence information with customers, employees can respond to customer needs quickly.

Solution
To expand on its communications capabilities, EVRY deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013. EVRY wanted to take advantage of the enhanced mobile client, the integrated persistent chat rooms, and the high availability capabilities of the new release.

With the Lync Server 2013 deployment, EVRY implemented an architecture with a disaster recovery site. At the primary data center, it deployed a front-end pool with two servers and two back-end Microsoft SQL Server 2012 database servers that use database mirroring to provide a backup. EVRY also deployed a persistent chat server to deliver persistent chat rooms. Teams can use persistent chat to meet and collaborate in virtual rooms in real time. The discussions are searchable and persist over time, enabling efficient information sharing. All of the server roles are deployed on virtual servers.

The disaster recovery site has a single front-end server and two mirrored SQL Server instances. If a problem occurs at the primary site or during maintenance periods, EVRY can transfer Lync accounts to the disaster recovery site with no impact on service.

The Microsoft Lync 2013 client provides a clean user interface that exposes key functionality for easy use. Using tabbed conversations, employees can organize multiple chats in a single window rather than cluttering the desktop with a separate window for each conversation. Through the Lync 2013 client, employees can access persistent chat rooms and receive notifications about new content in rooms to which they are subscribed. It still provides location, corporate directory information, and employee pictures through the contact card.

EVRY implemented persistent chat rooms for its operations team. “The Exchange team might be working on a customer issue through the night. They document all of their activities in the persistent chat room, and when the next shift arrives in the morning they can quickly see happened during the night,” says Tore Gjønnes, IT Architect at EVRY.

EVRY believes that the Lync 2013 Mobile client will provide valuable enhancements for employees. Employees can make calls through Lync Mobile using wireless networks rather than using their mobile minutes. They can also use Lync Mobile voice and video for conference calls.

Lync 2013 also delivers new federation capabilities. EVRY is looking forward to integrating Lync Server 2013 with Skype because many of its smaller customers use Skype for communications. Employees can chat and hold video conferences with these customers from their Lync 2013 client.

Employees can also hold conference calls with customers using the Microsoft Lync Web App. With the Lync Server 2013 release, the Lync Web App delivers voice, video, and meeting content over the Internet to popular browsers. Customers only need a browser plug-in to attend meetings—they do not need administrative access to their machines to install a meeting client.

Benefits
By using Lync Server for communications, EVRY has experienced many benefits such as reduced travel and improved communications. EVRY expects these benefits to increase as it migrates to Lync Server 2013.

Avoid Travel
Before employees used Lync, they would frequently travel between locations to work together on projects. Now employees can connect and collaborate using Lync without having to travel. “Desktop sharing has made much of that travel unnecessary, and now we can use Lync to easily work together on projects from different locations,” says Gjønnes. Reducing travel not only reduces costs, it saves time as well.

Reduce Communications Costs
With the wide adoption of Lync meetings at EVRY, the company retired its audio and web conferencing services. Transitioning these calls to Lync provided a significant reduction in annual costs.

By using the Lync 2013 Mobile client, EVRY expects to reduce costs even further. EVRY employees must still travel to customer sites and to EVRY locations in India and Ukraine. Currently these employees are incurring charges for their mobile phone calls. “When we adopt the Lync 2013 Mobile client and are able to make Lync calls over wireless networks, many of our international calling charges will be avoided. That will be a really big savings for us,” says Gjønnes.

Integrate New Employees
Lync has also made it easy to integrate new employees by providing location and corporate directory information in addition to presence information. Lync also displays employee pictures, which helps build familiarity with new employees. Since EVRY was formed in 2010 when the two largest Norwegian IT companies merged, integrating new employees has been very important to the company. “Lync definitely helps with mergers. Employees can easily find new team members and see their presence. People are much more likely to initiate a conversation with new employees when they can see presence,” says Gjønnes.

Improve Service Delivery
The enhanced business continuity capabilities of Lync Server 2013 will help EVRY to improve the availability of communications for employees. “The failover between Lync front-end pools is very easy to manage and we’ve never had any issues with it,” says Gjønnes. “Since the transfer works so well and is transparent to employees, we can use the backup site during maintenance periods and avoid any downtime.”

EVRY also likes the failover capabilities of the SQL Server database mirroring. “Database mirroring is easy to manage. It makes it much easier to have a fully redundant Lync solution,” says Gjønnes.

Virtualization also simplifies the management of the Lync solution. “We have virtualized all of the Lync servers and they run perfectly,” says Gjønnes. “Virtualization lowers the cost of the Lync solution by enabling us to use more efficient servers that use less power and required less space in the data center.”

Microsoft Lync Server 2013
Microsoft Lync Server 2013 ushers in a new connected user experience that transforms every communication into an interaction that is more collaborative and engaging—and that is accessible from anywhere. For IT, the benefits are equally powerful, with a highly secure and reliable communications system that works with existing tools and systems for easier management, lower cost of ownership, smoother deployment and migration, and greater choice and flexibility.

For more information about Microsoft Lync Server 2013, go to:
www.microsoft.com/lync

For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about EVRY visit the website at:
www.evry.com

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 7500 employees

Organization Profile

With more than 14,000 customers and 10,000 employees, EVRY is one of the leading IT companies in the Nordic region. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, EVRY has 135 offices in 16 countries.


Business Situation

To make the most of the skills of its large, distributed workforce, EVRY relies on solutions to make communications and collaboration easy.


Solution

EVRY deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013 to enhance its communication capabilities with updated mobile clients and enhanced conferencing capabilities.


Benefits

  • Avoid travel
  • Reduce communications costs
  • Integrate new employees
  • Improve service delivery


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • Microsoft Lync 2013
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
Norway

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Unified Communications
  • Team Collaboration

IT Issue
Personal Productivity

Languages
English

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