As one of South Africa’s most prominent providers of Information Technology services to both the public and private sectors, Gijima is widely regarded as an innovative and pioneering entity.
Known for its willingness to embrace emerging trends, this organisation has helped shape the domestic technological market since its founding by renowned businessman, Robert Gumede, over a decade ago.
Today Gijima employs over 2500 specialised professionals and is publicly traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It also occupies a weighty position as one of Microsoft’s most significant local partners.
Wide-ranging business interests in the financial services and retail, mining, manufacturing and the telecommunications sectors demand a high level of agility from Gijima’s internal structures.
In order to address this need, the organisation recently took a decision to adopt Lync 2013 as a centralised internal communication platform within its Microsoft enabled cloud environment.
Offering tailored IT solutions to such a diverse portfolio of clients can occasionally introduce several challenges if left unchecked.
Although Gijima‘s Head Office in Midrand houses the bulk of the organisation’s employee base it consistently relies on the experience and knowledge of its field engineers to feedback valuable data.
This information ultimately informs business outcomes. As a result, the ability to swiftly communicate with internal parties is directly correlated to Gijima’s success as a listed entity.
Despite having applied a comprehensive PABX system to its internal infrastructure several years ago, the organisation had begun to find it costly to operate and ineffective when facilitating off site communication.
“Our PABX system was proving too expensive and it didn’t offer a comprehensive view of an employee’s availability at any given time. This slowed down the communication process considerably” says Wayne Nelson, Business Manager for Productivity and Application
Development at Gijima.
“Furthermore we had recently embarked on an effort to create an internal private cloud platform known as Gijima.com. As a recognised partner we practice what we preach and so chose to implement Microsoft Hyper V-3 enabled hardware and supporting software.
We are highly conscious of Microsoft’s communication platforms from a client perspective so the choice to investigate more closely was a natural progression”.
In response to the demand for a more advanced and affordable internal communication platform Gijima opted to upgrade to Microsoft Lync 2013.
Microsoft Lync 2013 is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform which connects users across devices to Presence, Instant Messaging, voice and video services via a corporate IT environment. Lync also closely integrates with Microsoft SharePoint
and shared spaces, Skype and the Microsoft Office bouquet.
“The decision to upgrade to Lync 2013 made sense from two distinct perspectives. The first was consolidation of cost. Our prior PABX system was simply too fragmented and ill-suited to meet the needs of the Gijima group as a whole. As a result, the fiscal
implications had become significant enough to demand immediate action” adds Nelson.
“The second played into Gijima’s internal shift towards a private cloud infrastructure. The bulk of the hardware and software we had implemented to bring this objective to fruition used Microsoft technology as a primary platform. It simply made financial
and technical sense to opt for Lync”.
The benefits Gijima has enjoyed following its decision to opt for Microsoft Lync 2013 are threefold:
Gijima’s implementation of Lync 2013 within the enterprise has made it far easier for on premise staff to communicate with engineers on the ground.
“Prior to Gijima’s upgrade to Lync 2013 there was no easy way to communicate with a colleague via a mobile device without contravening company policy. Today, our engineers are able to have immediate conversations with staff members using their laptops and
the corporate IT infrastructure” says Gerhard Nolte, Gijima Technical Specialist.
“The availability of Presence has also been significant. Engineers are typically required to converse with second line support before taking action on a project element. Thanks to Lync they can instantly see if that person is available and on what device.
It has drastically improved our turnaround times.”
The use of Lync 2013 within the enterprise has also directly resulted in cost savings for Gijima.
“The most significant element has been a reduction in overheads. We have seen a big cost saving on telephony and communication since we made the decision to implement Lync” says Nelson.
“The integrated nature of this technology has made it far easier for employees to avoid picking up the phone. In terms of cutting unnecessary expenditure, this has been a very successful upgrade for Gijima”.
Gijima’s preference for Microsoft hardware and services has augmented the benefits enjoyed since upgrading to Lync 2013.
“The nature of our private cloud infrastructure is particularly conducive to the Microsoft environment. As a recognised partner we always prefer to use the solutions we are selling on to our clients. Fortunately, Lync 2013 really is the best unified communications
platform out there. It’s only amplified the overall experience for us” concludes Nelson.