To promote collaboration among its global work force, BancTec began deployment of a third-party unified communications solution. However, the solution was not well received by users, and it failed to achieve
the company’s goals. BancTec halted further deployment and switched to Microsoft Lync Server, which provides comprehensive, reliable collaboration features and has resulted in improved employee productivity and lower costs.
Founded in 1972, BancTec has become a major player in business process outsourcing. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company also operates in 14 other countries. Over the years, keeping its dispersed work force connected became a big challenge.
||By switching from our previous solution to Microsoft Lync Server, we get more features, they work the way they should, and it’s easier for us to work together—plus, we save a bunch of money on IT maintenance.
| Peter White
Director of IT Infrastructure, BancTec
Over time, different offices implemented different communication software, such as Microsoft Office Live Meeting and Citrix GoToMeeting, among others. Additionally, many employees had installed software for instant messaging and video calls. To help employees
better share their ideas and expertise, in 2010 BancTec developed a strategy to adopt a standardized solution for unified communications.
To implement the strategy, BancTec researched several solutions, and ultimately made a decision based on functionality, reputation, and cost. However, the company quickly found that this third-party product did not meet its needs. Project planning, testing,
and a limited deployment took several months longer than expected. “On paper, it met our specifications and offered the functionality that we needed,” says Peter White, Director of IT Infrastructure at BancTec. “But the reality was that we couldn’t get much
of that functionality to work. It was a difficult time for the IT team.” He notes that the client software was particularly onerous, often requiring an IT technician to assist users with the lengthy installation.
With mounting technical and functional issues, BancTec halted deployment. The company needed a reliable solution that it could deploy quickly and cost-effectively.
In 2011, BancTec revisited the analysis that it had conducted in 2010, which meant reviewing unified communications products from vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco, and ShoreTel. This time, BancTec confidently chose Microsoft Lync Server 2010—the unified
communications solution that supports a single client experience for presence, instant messaging, voice, video, and desktop sharing. BancTec also connected Lync Server with its existing Microsoft Exchange Server environment for unified messaging, which includes
voice mail in employees’ inboxes, along with speech-to-text transcription of messages.
“Lync was a pivotal part of us signing an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft in 2011,” says White. Now, with renewal of the company’s Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, previous cost analyses no longer applied. “With Lync rolled into our Enterprise Agreement,
it became the obvious choice.”
||I can already see that Lync is revolutionizing how we communicate as a global business. We can put the most qualified workers together on a project, regardless of where they are.
| Peter White
Director of IT Infrastructure, BancTec
For help with installation, BancTec worked with Microsoft Partner Network member Netrix, LLC, which has expertise in unified communications. After a brief proof of concept and a successful pilot program that took less than two weeks, Netrix helped BancTec deploy
Lync Server over the next several months to 10 offices across seven countries. “Once the previous solution was uninstalled, there were no major technical challenges with Lync, except the usual issues working with local telecoms to get circuits set up and making
sure dial plans are coordinated,” says Greg Theisen, Director of South Central Regional Sales at Netrix.
White adds, “Deployment was a complete success. We’re on Lync 2010 worldwide now, except in Sweden where we recently upgraded to Microsoft Lync Server 2013.” The company expects to standardize on Lync 2013 in the next few months.
By deploying Lync Server globally, BancTec streamlined IT and communication management, implemented reliable tools promoting collaboration, and reduced costs.
Simplified IT Management
Thanks to Lync, the IT department no longer has to support collaboration software from multiple vendors. “Lync is smooth, predictable, and reliable,” says White. “And that benefit is amplified because Lync integrates so many different unified communications
features into one solution.”
Lync is also easy for users to work with, so little IT involvement is required for ongoing user support. Says White, “Users download the client software, see a quick one-minute introduction, and then are good to go.”
With Lync being easy to manage, and part of the overall Microsoft application stack, White believes that it allows his team to more efficiently manage the global telco platform, compared with previous applications.
Increased Productivity and Collaboration
With Lync now in place, employees are able to work more effectively together than ever before, enterprisewide. As an example, White says, “We have development groups based in London, Montreal, and Irving, Texas. We can now brainstorm collaboratively
in real time on a shared screen or whiteboard—that’s more than we could ever do by phone or email.” White doesn’t know the labor-hour savings for the entire company, but he sees qualitative improvements. ”I can already see that Lync is revolutionizing how
we communicate as a global business,” he says. “We can put the most qualified workers together on a project, regardless of where they are.”
White says that many of his users have commented that filtering through unsolicited sales calls is now much faster with the voice mail transcription feature. They often do not need to listen to the message at all. This and many more subtle features help
everyone to work more effectively.
BancTec is using Lync to reduce costs in several ways. IT and employee productivity benefits translate directly into avoided labor costs. Also, consolidating enterprise agreements and switching to Lync from third-party products such as GoToMeeting
reduce licensing costs. Maintenance costs for former telecom solutions are now almost zero. Finally, the company’s Lync network sharply reduces its historically large international telecom charges. With all of this in mind, BancTec estimates the solution paid
for itself in less than two years.
White concludes, “As an IT Department, our job is to provide tools to help our business be efficient and effective. With something like Lync, not only have we dramatically enhanced how we collaborate, we’ve also saved money.”
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