4-page Case Study
Posted: 2/19/2013
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Tieto Corporation IT Services Firm Upgrades Communications Solution to Better Serve Customers

Based in Finland, Tieto is the largest computer services and software solution provider in the Nordic region of Northern Europe. With offices in 28 countries, Tieto project teams are often composed of employees from multiple locations. To facilitate effective collaboration using online meetings, Tieto deployed Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. To continue to provide employees with the latest voice technology and gain experience to share with its customers, Tieto has upgraded to the latest communications capabilities with Microsoft Lync Server 2013. With Lync Server 2013, Tieto will continue to reduce costs and improve internal and external communications through enhancements to conferencing and business continuity options.

Situation
Tieto is an international IT services company headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. One of Europe’s largest IT services providers, Tieto has offices in 28 countries and employs nearly 18,000 people. The organization delivers software solutions and consulting services to enterprises in the public administration, finance, telecommunications, forest industries, and other sectors. Its largest customers reside in Northern Europe, Germany, and Russia. As an IT services provider, Tieto must maintain an excellent communications infrastructure to help its dispersed workforce complete projects efficiently and to show customers that it can manage and deliver the latest communications technologies.

To provide unified communications capabilities that promote efficient collaboration for a distributed team, Tieto deployed Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. With the communications capabilities in Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Tieto employees could quickly and easily collaborate by audio, video, or web conference with their colleagues in competency centers around the world.

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* We have already reduced travel by 25 percent, and we have reduced total travel costs by 15 percent companywide thanks to our Microsoft communications solution. *

Ilkka Salomaa
Lead Service Architect, Tieto

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To take further advantage of its communications infrastructure, Tieto developed customer-facing applications using the Office Communications Server application programming interfaces (APIs) to create communications-enabled business processes (CEBP). “We do application development and business process consulting, so we are very interested in the APIs and CEBP,” notes Ilkka Salomaa, Lead Service Architect at Tieto.

One application that Tieto created was a web-based chat console for its extranet based on Microsoft SharePoint Server, where customers can sign in to the portal and view presence information for support staff and initiate a chat directly with the contact they need. Tieto also created a solution called Future Office, an information worker productivity solution. “Using Office Communications Server 2007 developer tools, we easily created a new office application that gives our workers voice capabilities,” adds Salomaa.

Tieto has expanded its Office Communications Server voice deployment to more than 11,000 employees, enabling the company to retire private-branch exchange (PBX) equipment and offer employees improved telephony service. Tieto believes its investments in communications have been a huge success. So when the company had the opportunity to be an early adopter of Microsoft Lync Server 2013, it moved quickly to deploy the solution.

With the Lync Server 2013 deployment, Tieto wanted to improve communications for its staff. Tieto wanted to make it easy for employees to collaborate and participate in ad-hoc online meetings with different devices and from any location.

Tieto also wanted to evaluate Lync Server 2013 to see how it could offer better service to customers. “Lync has changed the way we work here at Tieto, and we want to continue to take advantage of the latest capabilities so that we can share our experience with our customers,” says Salomaa. Through the early-adopter program, Tieto continues to participate in product development with Microsoft.

Solution
Tieto deployed Lync Server 2013 at two locations in Finland. It has enterprise pools deployed at its primary data center and its disaster recovery location. If the primary data center loses connectivity, Lync transfers employees to the backup site with no loss of functionality. Tieto is using Microsoft SQL Server database mirroring to provide additional resiliency for the back-end data. For its employees in Asia, Tieto will deploy two Lync Server standard edition servers to provide a local deployment with disaster recovery capabilities. All of the server roles are virtualized using Hyper-V virtualization technology.

Providing Enterprise Voice
To provide connections to the public switched telephony network (PSTN) in individual countries, Tieto will choose between Survivable Branch Server (SBS) deployments and using a gateway connected to the main data center in Finland. The SBS provides a local connection to the PSTN and acts as a backup to the primary Lync Severs if the network connection fails.

Tieto has great flexibility in configuring its connections to telephony service providers. Lync servers can connect to multiple gateways and gateways can connect to multiple Lync servers. “We have 17 different countries to cover, and we now have many more options to route calls to ensure service availability through backup routes,” says Mikko Silonsaari, Lead Service Architect at Tieto.

To facilitate the evaluation of enterprise voice capabilities, employees running a pilot of the Microsoft Lync 2013 client on their desktop computers received new voice over IP (VoIP) phones optimized for Lync Server. Some employees received Plantronics Blackwire C420-M headsets, while others chose Aastra 6725 IP phones. “As a Lync-certified headset the Plantronics Blackwire C420 delivers great call quality and provides true plug and play experience for end users,” says Silonsaari. “The Aastra 6725 runs Lync Phone Edition, which is a great concept to enable a full Lync experience through the phone.”

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* The Lync 2013 gallery view provides a great user experience. It feels just like a regular meeting because you can see people’s reactions. *

Mikko Silonsaari
Lead Service Architect, Tieto

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Tieto also likes the implementation of response groups in Lync 2013. It already uses response groups extensively, especially the ability to place calls from the response group rather than from an individual extension. With Lync 2013, Tieto can delegate management tasks to a separate individual for each workflow.

Enhancing Conferencing
The enhancements to the video conferencing capabilities in Lync Server 2013 are very appealing to Tieto. “Having five video streams during a call makes the conference feel more like an in-person meeting,” says Silonsaari. Employees can see up to five video streams and see pictures of the rest of the participants. They can select a primary video stream of interest to keep pinned to the screen, see all participant names, and easily identify the active speaker.

The Lync client lets meeting participants change the view of the conference to see the video, or the presentation, or both. Lync also has a video preview feature, so employees can preview the view of their web cam before turning it on. “Lync video preview will help our employees feel more comfortable using video,” says Silonsaari. “We mostly work in open office spaces and it’s nice to see what will appear behind you before turning on the camera.” Tieto is impressed with the Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam with both high-definition video and a speaker phone.

For external partners and customers attending meetings with Tieto, Lync Web App provides a great experience. The Lync Web App is browser-based and runs in most browsers on PCs or Macs. It requires a simple browser plug-in that participants can install without administrator access. Meeting attendees receive full voice, video, and desktop sharing capabilities as if they had the Lync 2013 desktop client.

Unifying the User Interface
The Lync 2013 client provides a redesigned user-interface that employees can use to perform common functions. They can hover the mouse over a contact’s picture to display a colleague’s contact card. This dynamic card displays a contact’s high-resolution photo, their presence, status note, location, and organizational details. Employees can view contact cards from within any Microsoft Office application.

Through the Lync 2013 client, employees can access persistent chat rooms, which teams can use to meet and collaborate in virtual rooms in real time. The discussions are searchable and persist over time, so people can easily and efficiently share information. Tieto uses persistent chat for its support organization today, but plans to expand usage now that the Lync 2013 client provides access to persistent chat rooms.

Tieto uses the federation capabilities of Lync Server to connect with customers and partners. It also takes advantage of federating with public instant messaging services like MSN messenger and Google Talk.

Simplifying Deployment
Tieto has taken advantage of the deployment and management tools available with Lync Server 2013. Using the Topology Builder component, an application engineer can quickly define all the parameters required to design a new installation. Topology Builder then communicates with the servers to install the correct configuration. For management, improved Windows PowerShell capabilities and the web-based management console provide additional options for administrators.

Benefits
Tieto has achieved many benefits from its current Office Communications Server 2007 R2 deployment. It will continue to receive these benefits from Lync Server 2013, but it will also receive additional benefits as employees gain productivity from the enhanced user interface and conferencing features.

Reduced Costs
Tieto has significantly reduced its costs related to long-distance calling and off-site meetings. “We have already reduced travel by 25 percent, and we have reduced total travel costs by 15 percent companywide thanks to our Microsoft communications solution,” says Salomaa. With the Lync Server 2013 solution providing an even better videoconferencing experience through the video gallery, Tieto expects this cost savings to increase. Tieto will also implement least cost routing to reduce its international toll charges by routing telephone calls to the destination country over its network.

Improved User Experience
With the upgrade to Lync Server 2013, Tieto is delivering on its goal to provide state-of-the-art communications capabilities to its employees. The 11,000 employees who are using Lync for voice and conferencing have reported that the user interface is well organized and that they can easily set up and join ad-hoc or planned conferences. “With Lync, it’s easy to join a meeting. You can join from the Outlook reminder without opening the meeting invitation or even from the IP phone calendar with just one click,” explains Silonsaari.

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* Lync Server 2013 disaster recovery was easy to configure and easy to use. With only a few entries in the command shell, we can have everything fully recovered. *

Mikko Silonsaari
Lead Service Architect, Tieto

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Videoconferencing is easy to set up and available with one click from the contact card. “The Lync 2013 gallery view provides a great user experience. It feels just like a regular meeting because you can see people’s reactions,” says Silonsaari.

The integration of persistent chat capabilities into the Lync 2013 client is a big improvement for Tieto. The company now plans to roll out persistent chat functionality beyond the existing support groups. Now employees across the company will benefit from the knowledge repositories that can be created.

Lync federation has dramatically improved communications with partners and customers. “We have a totally new way to communicate with partners and customers. We can see presence, begin a chat, and escalate to voice or desktop sharing as needed, all at no cost to either organization,” says Salomaa. “It has really helped us to resolve issues faster.”

The Future Office application is helping to boost productivity for Tieto employees. Because it has a user interface similar to widely used Microsoft Office applications, Tieto employees quickly learn how to use it. The familiar user interface means that these employees can spend less time training and more time working. Tieto plans to leverage the Lync 2013 APIs to incorporate Lync presence, voice, and video into other applications as well.

Increased Availability
By taking advantage of the business continuity options for Lync Server 2013, Tieto can ensure that this mission-critical solution is available for its employees. One important benefit is that all Lync functionality is now supported from the disaster recovery site so that employees still have contacts and full conferencing capabilities. “Lync Server 2013 disaster recovery was easy to configure and easy to use,” says Silonsaari. “With only a few entries in the command shell, we can have everything fully recovered.”

Better Solutions for Customers
Tieto plans to put its experience with Lync to use for its customers. With Lync Server 2013, Tieto can enhance its extranet portal with capabilities like Skill Search, so customers can search for the customer service representative who can help resolve their issues. The topology changes will make it much easier for Tieto to offer its customers fully redundant solutions with Lync Server. “The front-end pools no longer need to be connected by high bandwidth connections and now provide full redundancy,” says Silonsaari. “Using database mirroring instead of clustering also makes it much easier for our customers to deploy database redundancy.” Knowing how great Lync 2013 has been for its own organization makes Tieto feel comfortable recommending Lync Server 2013 to its customers.

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 Tieto Corporation products and services, call +(358) 207 2010 or visit the website at:
www.tieto.com

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 18000 employees

Organization Profile

Finland-based Tieto is a large, global IT service provider founded in 1968. The company, which creates software for enterprises in many industries, employs close to 17,000 people.


Business Situation

Tieto wanted to ensure that its employees receive the latest communications technology to improve business processes and drive productivity.


Solution

Tieto deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013 to take advantage of improved options for high availability and improved conferencing capabilities.


Benefits

  • Reduced total cost of ownership
  • Improved user experience
  • Increased availability
  • Better solutions for customers

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • Microsoft Lync 2013
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Outlook 2010
  • Microsoft Hyper-V

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
Finland

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Unified Communications

IT Issue
Personal Productivity

Languages
English

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