How unified communications brought £1 million in savings to the Scottish Borders Council

14 August 2012 | David Burrows, Managing Director of Government Industry, Europe, Middle East & Africa

Following up on Joel Cherkis’s great blog post recently, which talked about how the global government workforce is increasingly mobile, and how this can actually be a great opportunity for cost-savings, I thought it would be appropriate to spotlight a recent example that dovetails nicely with this idea.

On our case study website, we recently highlighted how the Scottish Borders Council (@scotborders) successfully implemented a Unified Communications project that is estimated to save the organization £1 million over the next three years. Not very different from many other government organizations today, the Scottish Borders Council was finding itself under growing pressure to cut costs. With cuts looming, the Council committed to a workforce reorganization program, which aimed to reduce travel and lower the Council’s office footprint by introducing technologies to support more flexible and remote work options for staff. The challenge, however, was that the Council’s existing communications system struggled to offer the capabilities required to realize its goals.

As Gavin Innes, Infrastructure Team Leader, Business and Technology Solutions, Scottish Borders Council, put it: “We were aware that we couldn’t meet targets set by the Chief Executive and senior managers for cost reduction with our existing Siemens private automated branch exchange (PABX) telephone infrastructure. So we had to find another solution that provided quality voice communication equal to our Siemens system.”

The solution was to standardize its communications system on Lync 2010, for a complete end-to-end unified communications solution. The project, which was implemented by our partner Exactive (@Exactive), has not only enabled the Scottish Borders Council to save money by transitioning to a more mobile workforce model, but has also helped boost productivity overall through a variety of collaboration tools offered through the Lync 2010 platform. 

According to Innes: “Staff are already working smarter, travelling less, and finding it easier to work at home or remotely without losing contact with colleagues. They experienced immediate productivity gains of at least 20 minutes a day when adopting Microsoft Lync 2010.“

To learn more, be sure to check out the full case study.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

David Burrows
Managing Director of Government Industry, Europe, Middle East & Africa

About the Author

David Burrows | Managing Director of Government Industry, Europe, Middle East & Africa

David leads engagement with government customers across EMEA on innovative business strategies using ICT to improve their effectiveness to make a real impact in their communities, regions, and countries.