Keyrus Canada replaced its Nortel phone system with Microsoft Lync 2010, gaining integrated presence and instant messaging; audio, web, and videoconferencing; and enterprise telephony. The company uses Lync to boost consultants’ productivity, build closer customer relationships, reduce some SLAs by 50 percent, increase competitiveness, and even offer a new product solution. Business Needs
Keyrus Canada wanted to reduce the risk of failure associated with its aging phone system. Increased productivity, closer customer relationships, greater competitiveness, and an expanded product offering weren’t on the minds of its executives—but that would soon change.
The company—the North American division of the Keyrus Group, which provides solutions for business intelligence, enterprise performance management, and customer relationship management—had offices with about 100 consultants throughout Montreal, Quebec City, and Toronto. Its Nortel PBX (public branch exchange) phone system was no longer under support; some replacement parts were no longer available.
Few businesses can easily afford to be hit by a phone outage. But for a professional services firm such as Keyrus Canada, the results could be disastrous. As if that weren’t reason enough to replace the phone system, Keyrus Canada was planning to relocate its main office. “We weren’t about to bring the Nortel system with us,” says René Lebel, Managing Director of Keyrus Canada.
Lebel and his colleagues had other concerns, too. They obtained audio-bridge conferencing services from Bell Canada and web conferencing from WebEx. These services were sometimes difficult to use, and they were impossible to integrate with each other and with the phone system. Could a replacement system include or interoperate with these services? Could it add features without adding to the complexity of using them? And how would a broad communications solution extend to the mobile environment?
Keyrus Canada had plenty of questions. It needed some answers.
|With Lync, customers can reach us immediately, whenever they wish. That makes us a more valued partner.|
| René Lebel|
Managing Director, Keyrus Canada, Inc.
The company considered solutions from providers including Mitel, Bell Canada, and Interactive Solutions. To help it in its evaluation of these and other vendors, Keyrus Canada turned to Solutions Quovim, a specialist in contact center and unified communications solutions and a Microsoft Partner Network member with multiple Gold competencies. “Unified communications is a relatively new set of technologies, and we wanted guidance from a company that had clear experience,” says Lebel. “Quovim was that company.”
Some of the potential offerings were too expensive, and others too limited in functionality. One solution was different—and Keyrus Canada already had some experience with it. Microsoft had recently released Microsoft Lync 2010, a unified communications solution encompassing VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), web and videoconferencing, and presence and instant messaging. Keyrus Canada was already using its predecessor product, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, for presence and instant messaging. The company’s success with that product led it to consider Lync.
Lync offered the breadth of communications capabilities that Keyrus Canada wanted, all interoperating easily with each other. The company already used related technologies—such as Active Directory Domain Services, Microsoft Outlook 2010, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007—that would easily interoperate with Lync. And a proof-of-concept implemented by Quovim impressed Lebel and his colleagues with the solution’s stability and ease-of-use—and its ability to work seamlessly in the broader Keyrus Group network, without conflicting with different communications systems. Keyrus Canada adopted Lync, linking not only its own offices but, through federation services, linking with suppliers, partners, and customers, too.
Most users access Lync using Bluetooth headsets and their desktop or laptop PCs. When consultants are in transit or at locations, such as customer sites, where they don’t have wireless network access, they use Lync Mobile on their Windows Phone, iPhone, and other devices. Benefits
As a result of its use of Microsoft Lync 2010, Keyrus Canada says that productivity is up, consultants are more accessible, customer relationships are closer, customer service is better, and competitiveness has increased.
Employees use presence and instant messaging to communicate immediately or to postpone communications until colleagues are available, without wasting time on email and voicemail messages.
“We use Lync to move seamlessly from instant messages to voice calls to web conferencing within a single interaction,” says Lebel. “We couldn’t do that before.”
The company interoperates Lync with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, so employees can call customers with one click on the CRM screen. Lync also passes information on incoming calls to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which automatically displays the customer’s record to the employee. This solution works so well that Keyrus Canada sells it to its own customers.
Boosts Consultant Accessibility
Consultants miss fewer customer calls and can respond to instant messages at their home offices or almost anywhere else. They participate in web conferences—and soon videoconferences—with customers and colleagues from their phones and tablets.
All of this helps Keyrus Canada to form closer relationships with its customers. “With Lync, customers can reach us immediately, whenever they wish,” says Lebel. “That makes us a more valued partner.”
It also makes Keyrus Canada a more effective partner. The company is cutting some service level agreements (SLAs) by 50 percent for customers that federate with it. “When we can communicate faster with our customers, via Lync, we can reflect that in faster service.”
Keyrus Canada also uses Lync for real-time collaboration with strategic partners, boosting competitiveness. For example, the company partnered with Microsoft Canada Services on a customer proposal. During the proposal-writing process, questions between the partners that would traditionally have taken hours to resolve were answered within minutes. That gave the two companies more time to create a more competitive proposal.
They won the business. “Lync certainly helped,” says Lebel. For more information about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit: www.microsoft.com/casestudies