“When new employees start we save a lot of time, because once they’re connected to the system it’s completely intuitive, and many of them have used Lync before.”
Bart Tuteleers, Head of Infrastructure, Goodman Limited
Goodman Group is an integrated property group with operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, North America and Brazil. It is the largest industrial property group listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). As an early adopter with
a smart approach to business, Goodman was keen to give their 950+ staff more flexible work options, but had been held back by a legacy PaBX system that made it hard to collaborate away from their desks. What Goodman needed was a unified communications solution
that made it simple to work anywhere and communicate more effectively with co-workers and customers overseas.
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 gave Goodman and its team the flexibility they needed, while being easier to use and better integrated than any of the alternatives explored. They were impressed by the single-client platform, leading to tight integration between
presence, instant messaging (IM), audio and video conferencing, voice telephony, and collaboration functionality. But more importantly, the greenfield installation has allowed the company to move beyond PaBX, freeing Goodman from their desks. Now, the team
are better connected, in control of their workflow, and can collaborate easily, whether they’re on the other side of the office, or the other side of the world.
|| We need our contractors to hit the ground running. That means connecting them straight away. With a traditional PaBX, that's a lot of work.
| Bart Tuteleers,
Head of Infrastructure,
As a company with over 950 staff globally, Goodman’s innovative approach has helped it become a global market leader – and the organisation’s flexible culture means they’re always looking for new opportunities to improve their customer service and productivity.
“Space to Work” is one such opportunity, and the new name for Goodman’s activity-based working model. As an evolving concept tailored to suit the operations of Goodman’s businesses, Space to Work is freeing staff from the traditional constraints of cubicles
and desks, giving them flexibility in how they work, increasing their collaboration, productivity and efficiency, improving job satisfaction and breaking down silos – all while reducing power, paper and real estate costs.
It was clear, however, that Goodman’s existing PaBX set-up wasn’t an ideal match for Space to Work; and Head of Infrastructure, Bart Tuteleers, realised Goodman needed a full suite of unified communications tools to make their vision a reality.
“We took a look at some other businesses doing the same thing, and it really opened our eyes.”
In addition to Space to Work, there were other needs motivating Tuteleers to look for better communications tools.
“Essentially, we have two businesses: an Australian business, and a global business in Asia, Europe, North America and Brazil. Staying in touch with the global business means working odd hours, either late in the evening or early in the morning.
“You might need to talk to someone in Europe at 10pm. A time when our people would much rather be at home than back at the office.”
Meanwhile, to manage payroll costs, Goodman complements its workforce with specialist contractors for short periods of time.
“We need our contractors to hit the ground running. That means con ecting them straight away. With a traditional PaBX, that’s a lot of work.”
“Also, they might be working out of our satellite offices in Alexandria or Homebush. They’re physically isolated, but we want them to feel part of the team.”
|| When you can see the people you'll be working with, you feel like you're really part of the team. Even if you've only been on the team for a week.
Head of Infrastructure,
Goodman had three challenges on its hands. The first was to enable Space to Work to operate efficiently in its Sydney office.
“After seeing what Microsoft had helped achieve for organisations like Macquarie Bank, I knew they had the right solution for us. Microsoft Lync.”
With the help of award-winning Microsoft Gold Competency partner, Ensyst, Tuteleers initiated a greenfield installation of Lync, combined with Plantronics headsets and Polycom video conferencing products. Ensyst scoped, designed and deployed the installation
and, working together, they freed up Goodman’s staff from the limitations of deskbound phones.
Lync Mobile clients combine instant messaging, presence, conferencing and telephony, making it easy for the team to connect to each other at any time – not just when they’re at their desks. For Tuteleers, this puts Goodman on the crest of a wave. “Lync supplied
us with market-leading technology that was the best available to suit our needs.”
General Manager of Ensyst, Nick Sone, agrees – and believes that Goodman have set an example for others to follow. “Goodman are a fantastic showcase of what can be achieved. They’ve followed best practice, and we think they’ve come away with a great outcome.”
Goodman’s second challenge was to improve collaboration with staff overseas. By enabling their staff to be connected while working remotely, Lync has opened up the world.
“With Lync, you really can take your number with you. You can even take it home – so our guys can make the overseas calls they need without staying back at the office till all hours,” Tuteleers says.
Thirdly, Lync has helped Goodman get the most out of its highly specialised, contract-based workforce. “In just a few minutes, a new team member can be set up to collaborate with anyone else in the company, whether they’re in Alexandria, Homebush or our
“We can get people easily in and out. It takes the boundaries of the office away.”
It’s also an area where video conferencing has a lot to offer. Prior to Lync, Goodman’s video options were limited to one suite. But now it’s easy to talk face to face.
“When you can see the people you’ll be working with, you feel like you’re really part of the team. Even if you’ve only been on the team for a week.”
As Tuteleers explains, the single client for IM, presence, conferencing, telephony and video also helps. “It makes everything familiar. You don’t have to be an IT expert to use it.”
|| In just a few minutes, a new team member can be set up to collaborate with anyone else in the company. whether they're in Alexandria, Homebush or our head office.
Head of Infrastructure,
Bart Tuteleers couldn’t be happier with the Lync-enabled transformation of Goodman’s Sydney office. As a complete unified communications solution, it has put the team in a position to embrace Space to Work, promote flexible hiring arrangements and collaborate
across huge distances. All while simplifying their existing set-up with a more intuitive approach that cuts the number of IT headaches.
Instant, flexible collaboration
Starting a meeting, no matter what sort, couldn’t be simpler than it is with Lync. A single client does it all, from checking availability to instant messaging to getting a teleconference or video conference underway to making a call. The Goodman team have
used Lync to embrace Space to Work with gusto.
What’s more, video is now a genuine option. “We only had one video conferencing suite, which took a long time to set up and required IT help. Now we can do it anywhere, from a desk to a meeting room to a full Polycom video conferencing suite.”
The benefits of Lync have even inspired Bart and his team to create a new IT office Blue Book – sharing best-practice ideas with other Goodman offices who are considering activity-based working, so they can take full advantage of Lync’s unified communications
“We based the Blue Book on the implementation of Lync in our Sydney office. It documents and standardises the set-up so that other offices can easily take advantage of what we’ve learned”.
And even though it’s early days, the productivity dividend looks promising. As Nick Sone of Ensyst notes: “Space to Work has the potential to lead to huge gains in productivity – as well as fewer travel expenses and the ability to attract the best staff.”
Working anywhere, any time
Working in more places – for example, from home – is also made simple with Lync.
“All it takes is a laptop, an internet connection and a headset, and you can communicate with the other side of Australia – or the other side of the world. At six in the morning or eleven at night.”
With presence letting everyone keep track of each other’s availability, and video calling now an everyday reality, Goodman’s team is even stronger. Whether they’re as close as Homebush or as far away as Brussels.
“For short-term contractors and staff working in our remote offices, they’re able to form better working relationships faster.”
Simplified call-flow management
Lync has really taken the pressure off Goodman’s IT team, leaving them free to look after the big picture, rather than acting as a help desk all day long.
“One of the things we were looking for was for staff to be able to manage their own call flows. Previously, IT would have to set up call forwarding and voicemail. Now, staff can do it themselves.”
Individual call-flow management also makes Goodman’s flexible workforce model possible. “When new employees start we save a lot of time, because once they’re connected to the system it’s completely intuitive, and many of them have used Lync before.”
Total integration and interoperability
Of course, Tuteleers didn’t just pick Lync out of a hat. He researched a full range of unified communications solutions, and decided on Lync as the one that worked best as a complete package – giving Goodman a solution that works seamlessly to solve multiple
“Many of Lync’s competitors use different clients for IM, phone and video. Lync gives us tight integration between video and voice telephony. It really is out of the ordinary,” Tuteleers said.
Intuitive ease of use
One thing Tuteleers is keen to point out is that Goodman is not an IT company – and that Lync is simple to work with, no matter how technologically sophisticated the user.
“For people to pick it up quickly and use it well, it has to be simple. That’s why the consistent user-experience makes such a big difference. When you have one client for presence and another for telephony, it can get messy. Lync is a totally integrated
Microsoft product that was featured
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 can transform your workplace and your workforce, making communication more collaborative, engaging and accessible from anywhere. A single interface unites voice, presence and instant messaging, as well as audio, video, and web
conferencing to provide a more intuitive experience, and a single identity makes it easy for users to find contacts, check their availability and connect with them. Lync works seamlessly with Microsoft Office, enriching familiar applications like Microsoft
Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft SharePoint and more.
The Microsoft Lync 2010 desktop client is available for Windows and Mac, and mobile versions are available for Windows Phone, iPhone/iPad, Nokia and Android devices.
For More Information
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