Honam Petrochemicals joined the ranks of Asian leading companies in production scale by acquiring Titan Chemicals Corp. Berhad in Malaysia 2010. This news marked with a side dot of primary home and foreign company acquisition started in the 2000s. As the company grows so fast home and abroad, Honam Petrochemicals take note of need for more efficient communication.
Jongpyo Kim, Director of Honam Petrochemicals said, “The need for efficient communication is getting important as subsidiaries are added from acquisition of Hyundai Chemicals in 2003 to the KP Chemicals in 2004 and Titan Chemicals in 2010. The communication among head office, plants and subsidiaries were increasing but there was a limit to accommodate it by IT technology.
Honam Petrochemicals used the email as a main communication tool like other companies. The messenger also was used for outreach communications, and for more fast decision making support, they have been operating video conference system at head office in Seoul, laboratory in Daejeon, plants in Daesan and Yeosoo. There were two primary points required to be immediately improved in the environment. The first was potential security vulnerability as their employees used public instant messenger service outside the company. The messenger controlling was impossible so they had a risk of data leaking or worm/virus infection.
The second was the spread of video conference. The systems introduced in 2006 were very expensive and just a limited user can use them because they were installed in just a couple of large-sized meeting room of plants and head office. To have a video conference across the company, it has to be possible to do the video conference at small and medium-sized meeting rooms or even more each person can participate at his or her desk, but it needs a huge investment to implement as an existing way. Honam Petrochemicals considered an introduction of unified communicating solution to solve these two tasks.Solution
Implementing the Unified Messaging through introducing the internal messenger, video conference and VoIP was chosen at the planning stage. Based on this, Honam Petrochemicals reviewed several solutions and equipments. Daewon Kang, assistant manager of Information Strategy Team, Honam Petrochemicals said, “We reviewed several products from primary vendors, and Microsoft’s solution was the only one embracing all our target range.” If they chose other solution, many equipments and software from several vendors should have been injected.
Honam Petrochemicals finally chose Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. In the middle of introducing this, Honam Petrochemicals heard that the next version of Microsoft Lync Server 2010 would be released. After strict review of the improvements, Honam Petrochemicals decided to start project when releasing it. Daewon Kang, Assistant manager of Information Strategy Team said, “There’s a lot of difference between two versions in function. The most remarkable one is that in case of existing version, client environment like live meeting and messenger was separated but unified client was provided in Microsoft Lync Server 2010. And connection to Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server is also improved.”
The project was started when Microsoft Lync Server 2010 RC version was released in September 2010. Lotte data communication, participating as a main company, carried on this project from December to January. Even it was a short period project, but large-scale in content. Daewon Kang, Assistant manager of Information Strategy Team said, “The project was carried on easily than expected. What we want was mostly implemented by the functions of Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and there’s nothing to customize except connecting the organization chart with the existing group ware system and enabling the translation feature in Lync client.”
Idle server they had after server virtualization was used as hardware. And unified communication system was configured based on Microsoft Lync Server 2010. These environments were connected to a switchboard through media gateway. And connections to existing system were two kinds; knowledge managing system (KMS) and groupware called MOIN.
The connection to KMS was off-the-wall idea in the view of smart communication. This made the real time processing task in Lync clients possible, which was done by connecting to the KMS to upload the questions and get the answers from expert before. A questioner and answerer can be connected directly just like chatting.
In case of MOIN, organization chart can be linked to the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 for analysis of user presence. And real time chatting can be possible in approval process. An approver, when he has any question, can check to the person in charge right then and there by messenger not a phone call or email.
Honam Petrochemicals started the system operating in January 28, 2011, after finishing the server level preparation. They have a plan to deploy the Lync client for the end user’s environment and at the same time, enabling Outlook 2010 for using the voice calls, email and messenger on a same screen. To do this, they plan to deploy Office 2010 across the enterprise.
In addition, video conference equipments were distributed to 26 small and medium-sized meeting rooms of the head office, home/foreign plants and subsidiaries for expanding the video conference. The standard of introduction was hinged on the size, in case of medium-sized meeting room, it was equipped with round table, projector, screen, microphone and speaker. For small-sized meeting room, only a camera was set as a small one. And also, Microsoft LifeCam Show which is webcam optimized for Lync and Windows Live were delivered to each division, which will be distributed to the desktop users in future. Benefits
Established foundation for communication management
Honam Petrochemicals expects new heights of communication management through the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 in terms of decision making, knowledge sharing and improved closeness between members.
Regarding to the decision making, Jongpyo Kim, CIO of Honam Petrochemicals said, “Communication between head office and home/abroad subsidiaries is enabled in real time now. Internal decision making will be faster and cost for business trip or voice calls will be less. The communication between head office and local personnel related to the recent acquisition of Titan Chemicals is increasing and we expect the efficiency in this.”
Secondly, knowledge sharing and spreading also will be enhanced. Daewon Kang, Assistant manager of Information Strategy Team said, “If there is a question in working, we just enter it into the Lync client. This question is uploaded in Q&A board in KMS server and at the same time transferred to the Lync client of the person in charge after auto-detecting of expert involved. Knowledge searching and sharing is done like doing the chatting.
It is also noteworthy to prepare the opportunity to increase closeness between members. While managing the personal information in Active Directory, Honam Petrochemicals add up the picture of them in this time. Because each can do messenger or telephone calls with knowing faces. Not only improving the closeness between members, but also reducing the time for checking personal information by virtue of picture. When using the Find Pals function in Microsoft Lync Server 2010, they can find immediately by picture without checking the details when there are same names or similar names.
Set up the economic and efficient conference culture
Through the expansion of video conference and enterprise-wide messenger utilization, Honam Petrochemicals expects the improvement of quality in meeting and communication. Jongpyo Kim, Director of Honam Petrochemicals said, “When we do the business discussion by phone, usually we just talk without reference. Now not only a formal meeting but one-to-one talk is also done with reference. Naturally the contents of meeting and cooperation can be improved and accurate content sharing is possible by using the reference without misapprehension.”
One more interesting point is translation function. Chatting between personnel have different nationality are frequent in Honam Petrochemicals. With this in mind, automatic translation is customized to be possible when they do chatting with foreigner through Lync client. Chinese and English service is available now, when Korean staff enters the Korean, it is translated into each nation’s language and showed up on chat window.
Implemented without burden of software investment
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 alters the perception all at once that unified communication needs a huge cost. Jongpyo Kim, Director of Honam Petrochemicals said, “Unified system can be implemented in a reasonable cost. We expect to win dramatic advantages in terms of ROI and TCO in the future.” This reasonable investment results from no license cost for client software.
According to the assessment of the Information Strategy Team, more than one billion won is needed for the project like this scale if they did it by existing video conference system. More over it is just for small and medium-sized meeting rooms and each division, and if considering the desktop users, software license for each PC must be added. In this aspect, Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is the most realistic alternative to minimize the software cost. Daewon Kang, Assistant manager of Information Strategy Team said, “The 80% of project budget was allocated to the equipment like webcam. Software cost is nothing to sneeze. If we purchased other solution, the related cost would be raised because we have to purchase all client licenses”Microsoft Lync Server 2010
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 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, whit 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 the Microsoft Lync Server 2010, go to:
www.microsoft.com/lyncFor More Information
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