4-page Case Study
Posted: 2/19/2013
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Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. Financial Technology Firm Upgrades Communications Solution to Improve Productivity

Founded in 1976, Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.® provides an extensive array of products and services for financial institutions and corporate entities. With 5,000 employees working across its three primary business units, the company has long relied on a Microsoft communications solution to help people work together better in real time. Most recently, Jack Henry & Associates deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013 to take advantage of enhanced conferencing, more robust high-availability options, and persistent chat capabilities, in addition to the instant messaging and presence that employees rely on to be productive in their daily jobs. The company expects to further improve productivity, increase collaboration between business units, and facilitate communications so that employees can work better from anywhere.

Situation
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc., headquartered in Monett, Missouri, provides solutions that help financial institutions process transactions, automate business processes, and manage business-critical information. The company serves more than 11,900 customers nationwide through three business units: Jack Henry Banking®, Symitar®, and ProfitStars®.

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* Lync 2013 provides an enhanced experience for employees who travel. We have our desks with us wherever we go, as long as we have an Internet connection. *

Michael Brittenham
Director of Corporate Systems,
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.

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When Jack Henry & Associates realized its employees were using a public instant messaging service to communicate in real time, it decided to bring the solution in house by deploying Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 to provide instant messaging and archiving capabilities. “We realized that we had an immediate need for communication that was faster than email,” says Brian Wiseman, Manager of Corporate Systems at Jack Henry & Associates.

The company has continued to upgrade its Microsoft communications solution and now takes advantage of the latest capabilities, such as presence, audio conferencing, online meeting, and desktop sharing in Microsoft Lync Server 2010. Most of the company’s 5,000 employees use Lync Server 2010 on a daily basis, in addition to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 for email messaging and Microsoft Office products, including the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client, for business productivity.

Jack Henry & Associates is always looking for ways to extend its Microsoft communications solution to help employees be more productive at their jobs. Call center employees must be able to locate subject matter experts quickly. Development and quality assurance teams need to communicate across the business units to ensure efficiency and help each other resolve issues. Help desk employees need to have ongoing conversations about internal issues to ensure that other groups can do their jobs. The company also needs a way for its smaller offices, people who work from home, and people who travel to stay connected to colleagues. Finally, it must also ensure that its communications solution is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because that is so critical to everyday business.

Solution
In an ongoing effort to provide the latest communications capabilities for employees, Jack Henry & Associates deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013, which offers enhanced conferencing capabilities, a unified client featuring persistent chat, and seamless interoperation with Microsoft Outlook 2010. Lync Server 2013 also provides more robust high availability options for disaster recovery. The company initially deployed a pilot program to about 100 employees, and finished deploying the full solution to all employees by the end of 2012.

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* With the enhanced contact cards, call center agents can quickly locate the right person to answer a question. *

Brian Wiseman
Manager of Corporate Systems,
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.

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Jack Henry & Associates runs Lync Server in a virtualized environment. It plans to deploy Lync Server 2013 in two pools. In the event of a failure at one of the sites, employee accounts are automatically transitioned over to the working pool to ensure employees have continued access to all Microsoft Lync 2013 capabilities. “We perform quarterly maintenance, and with this configuration we can ensure continuous service, which is important because our call centers need these capabilities to be available 24 hours a day,” says Wiseman.

Employees at Jack Henry & Associates already use the Lync client on the desktop for peer-to-peer calling and conferencing. One of the company’s goals for its Lync Server 2013 deployment is to provide a voice over IP solution for its smaller offices and for employees who sometimes work from home. “We have several small branch offices that only have four or five employees so they are too small for an office phone system,” explains Michael Brittenham, Director of Corporate Systems at Jack Henry & Associates. “With the deployment of Lync Server 2013 we can connect them to the corporate phone system.”

Jack Henry & Associates plans to use Lync persistent chat for its internal help desk. By using persistent chat, help desk employees can meet and collaborate in virtual rooms in real time. Discussions are searchable and persist over time. “We have about 50 help desk employees, and they plan to use persistent chat every day to track company issues and major outages as they occur,” says Wiseman. The company also believes that other groups across the business units can use persistent chat to brainstorm and share ideas, and to communicate about ongoing projects to ensure no duplication of effort when developing new products.

Employees have found that enhancements to the instant messaging and presence capabilities in Lync 2013 make those critical capabilities easier to use. With tabbed conversations, employees can keep track of all their conversations in one window. They can also view enhanced contact cards by hovering over a contact’s name with the mouse. The contact cards show a contact’s picture, presence, organizational information, and status notes—and the contact cards appear in both Lync 2013 and in other Office applications, so employees can view the same information no matter which application they are using. In addition, Lync Server 2013 provides a unified contact store, so employees can view and manage a single contact list through Lync or any Office application.

Benefits
By upgrading to Lync Server 2013, Jack Henry & Associates ensures that employees can communicate and collaborate across the business units, whether they are working at the office, from home, or on the road.

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* With capabilities such as persistent chat, online meetings, and desktop and application sharing, groups across the company can communicate about what projects they are developing. *

Brian Wiseman
Manager of Corporate Systems,
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.

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Increases Productivity
Jack Henry & Associates believes that many of the enhancements available in Lync 2013 will help to increase employee productivity. In its call centers, agents can quickly route calls to the right group for faster issue resolution. “Our call centers manage calls for many different products,” explains Wiseman. “With the enhanced contact cards, call center agents can quickly locate the right person to answer a question. If that person is unavailable, they can see organizational information that helps them determine who to contact next.”

The company also believes the interoperation across Office products is helping employees be more productive. Wiseman explains, “If I am working in Outlook or in Microsoft Word, I do not need to leave that application to start a chat session or make a quick call to someone. I can see presence information everywhere, and I can easily escalate a chat session to an online meeting or desktop sharing session.”

Improves Collaboration
One goal Jack Henry & Associates has is to help the business units work better together to decrease duplication of effort; it believes Lync Server 2013 is helping it achieve this goal. “With capabilities such as persistent chat, online meetings, and desktop and application sharing, groups across the company can communicate about what projects they are developing,” says Wiseman. “By sharing ideas and information across groups, we can ensure that the business is not creating extra work for itself and instead focusing on innovation.”

Help desk team members can also use persistent chat to collaborate on resolving internal issues. “Through persistent chat, anyone can join the conversation at any time and see the conversation history, the status of an issue, and what steps have been taken, so they can work better together to fix problems,” says Wiseman.

Facilitates Communication from Anywhere
Through Lync Server 2013, Jack Henry & Associates can provide employees working in small branch offices, at home, or on the road with the communications capabilities that they need to stay in touch and be productive from anywhere. About 35 percent of the company’s employees are mobile, going between offices or to client sites. “Lync 2013 provides an enhanced experience for employees who travel,” says Brittenham. “We have our desks with us wherever we go, as long as we have an Internet connection.”

He continues, “Communication is essential to our success. Lync 2013 gives us the ability to communicate from anywhere, and that is immensely helpful.”

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 Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. products and services, call (417) 235-6652 or visit the website at:
www.jackhenry.com

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 5000 employees

Organization Profile

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. was founded in 1976 as a provider of core information processing solutions for community banks. It provides products and services for more than 11,900 financial institutions and corporate entities.


Business Situation

Jack Henry & Associates wanted to provide a unified communications solution to help employees collaborate and be more productive in the office and on the road.


Solution

Jack Henry & Associates deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013 to provide capabilities such as online meetings and persistent chat to its 5,000 employees.


Benefits

  • Increases productivity
  • Improves collaboration
  • Facilitates communication from anywhere


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • Microsoft Lync 2013
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Microsoft Outlook 2010

Vertical Industries
Banking

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Unified Communications
  • Team Collaboration

IT Issue
Personal Productivity

Languages
English

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