EPAM Systems employees communicate daily with colleagues, customers, and external partners, often while working remotely. The company’s disparate mix of communication solutions, however, degraded the user
experience for employees and customers alike. When EPAM decided to establish a unified communications environment by deploying Microsoft Lync, it reduced management costs and enhanced customer confidence.
EPAM Systems is a software engineering firm and Microsoft Partner Network member that maintains development centers in Central and Eastern Europe and serves customers in Europe and North America. EPAM employees need to communicate daily with customers, external
partners, vendors, and EPAM project teams working remotely at customer locations.
To meet this need, the EPAM IT team built an in-house IP telephony solution on Asterisk open-source software, and almost every company employee used Skype for presence, instant messaging, and screen sharing. The company used Polycom videoconferencing solutions
but only in a limited number of conference rooms, so many employees used third-party services, such as Citrix GoToMeeting or WebEx.
The disparate mix of solutions often created delays in remote conferences while organizers tried to negotiate which tools to use or combine tools to get the functionalities they needed. The situation was inefficient, lowered the quality of the user experience,
and increased total cost of ownership (TCO).
||It’s more than just unified communications; we are using Microsoft Lync to project a unified presence that delivers a strong message about the stability and scale of our business.
| Siarhei Harbukou
Project Manager, EPAM Systems
EPAM executives were concerned about the high cost of managing so many separate solutions, and IT was worried about its ability to adequately control or monitor the performance of third-party services. The company’s primary concern, however, was that inconsistent
communication experiences were eroding customer confidence. “If call quality is bad or a screen share is not working properly, it makes a poor impression on the customer,” says Siarhei Harbukou, Project Manager at EPAM Systems. “That can certainly affect sales
or even project results.”
The company needed a flexible, cost-effective unified communications system that would accommodate its geographically dispersed workforce and maintain a professional relationship with customers and partners. “We wanted to consolidate all our communication
tools into one unified solution with the best features on the market and the best user experience,” says Harbukou.
In March 2013, EPAM began a detailed review of available unified communications solutions and compiled a list of its top-10 choices. By May 2013, the company had narrowed the list to two options and began two pilot deployments, one for a solution that included
several Cisco servers and client technologies such as Jabber and WebEx, and one for Microsoft Lync. “The Lync pilot only took two IT engineers to deploy, which demonstrated to us high product readiness,” says Harbukou. “People started using it and recommending
it to other employees—we were getting requests to activate Lync accounts before the pilot was over.”
EPAM ultimately chose Lync because of its popularity with company employees, and for its deep interoperability with the company’s existing Microsoft infrastructure. “Because it offered us more complete integration with our infrastructure, we expected higher
performance and lower TCO with Lync compared to Cisco,” says Harbukou.
In September 2013, EPAM began introducing a unified communications system based on Lync in each development center, completing the companywide deployment in January 2014. Now, all 8,000 EPAM employees use one solution for enterprise voice capabilities, instant
messaging, web conferencing, audio conferencing, and Skype federation. They can also use Microsoft Lync Mobile to communicate and collaborate with developers, project teams, sales teams, partners, and customers anywhere in the world, from their mobile devices,
all with single sign-on access.
“Lync Mobile is the most popular feature of our communications environment,” says Harbukou. “Project teams often work in customer environments that are isolated from outside networks, but they can still use Lync Mobile to communicate with anybody from their
mobile devices, including Android, iOS, and Windows-based devices.”
By consolidating its communications environment into a single, cost-effective enterprise-level solution, EPAM improves customer and employee satisfaction while simplifying IT management.
Flexible, Seamless Communications
By using Lync, EPAM employees can easily communicate and collaborate across geographical or network boundaries. Whether they are communicating internally or with outside partners or customers, EPAM employees have the tools they need, all available
in a unified environment with single sign-on access.
“The field staff is always on the go, but now they can reach who they need anytime, anywhere, through voice, instant message, web conference, or whatever they need,” says Harbukou. “It all helps to turn around projects.”
Easier Management, Reduced Cost
Because Microsoft Lync Server 2013 is integrated into its existing Microsoft infrastructure, the EPAM IT team can maintain better control of the environment with less time and effort. “With Lync, we’re seeing fewer service requests, reduced maintenance
costs, and lower TCO,” says Harbukou.
Lync Server 2013 has built-in service monitoring to measure voice, media, and screen sharing quality, so EPAM can adapt to different networks without having to deploy a separate service-quality monitoring solution. “The visibility we have into service delivery
and the ability to adapt to changing network conditions have been critical benefits for us,” says Harbukou.
Better User Experience, Higher Customer Confidence
Through early feedback, EPAM has seen improvements in user satisfaction and customer confidence. The amount of audio minutes logged and the number of unique users has climbed steadily since EPAM deployed Lync.
“It’s more than just unified communications; we are using Microsoft Lync to project a unified presence that delivers a strong message about the stability and scale of our business,” says Harbukou. “Using a professional-level solution helps us look more professional.”
For more information about Microsoft Lync Server 2013, go to: