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Virtusa Saves Costs and Improves Collaboration using Unified Communications Solutions from Microsoft

Microsoft Unified Communication Solutions enable businesses to save costs in communication and improve collaboration. Virtusa joins a growing number of organizations deploying Microsoft unified communications technologies, which bridges the best of telecommunications and computing with software that takes advantage of the existing telecommunications infrastructure.

Microsoft unified communications technologies offer customers a variety of options in how their communications and collaboration software is delivered, managed, and maintained be it on-premise, hosted by partners or hosted by Microsoft. It unites the existing communication systems and tools, including desktop telephone systems, Internet, voice mail and faxes via a range of integrated servers plus services and client applications. The solution is the complete communications tool that is delivered across multiple convenient applications and devices.

Positioned as a strong player in providing Unified Communication Solutions, Microsoft’s offers solutions that are both scalable and enterprise ready. Explaining the need for such solutions, Mr. Imran Vilcassim, Account Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka said, “In the current business environment, communication and decision-making are difficult, time-intensive and more often span geographical boundaries. Business communications are increasingly complex and require workers to manage multiple devices, applications, and face-to-face interactions in an attempt to stay productively connected with one another. Virtusa is one such example of a truly global company with offices in multiple geographies, across multiple time zones and Microsoft Unified Communication Solutions provides Virtusa with an efficient means of collaborating across these numerous boundaries”.

Mr. Niranjan Seevaratnam, Associate Director of Information Technology, Virtusa (Private) Limited in Sri Lanka said, “The implementation of Microsoft Unified Communications technologies, has ushered in enhanced connectivity, decreased costs of travel and communications, and contributed to improved business outcome while minimizing environmental impact. The endeavour in turn, holds true to Virtusa’s credence of providing its customers with increased business agility and rationalized redundancies, unleashing greater economies of scale to increase global competitiveness.”

Efficient and fast communication is vital for employees at Virtusa Corporation, which provides IT consulting, technology and application outsourcing services to clients in the following industries: anking and financial services, insurance, communications and technology, and media and information. To meet the collaborative needs of the organization and to reduce the cost of communications, Virtusa deployed a unified communications solution using Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 client software. The new solution allows employees to hold conference calls and Web-based video conferencing instantly serve customers more effectively, in addition to eliminating delays in response time. The firm’s employees use an array of communications features available in the Microsoft solution, including instant messaging, and presence, which help users to quickly determine the availability of colleagues and an efficient way to reach them. Employees are also able to set up a telephone conference call using the Office Communicator client, or hold a Web conference with webcams available at employees PC’s.

The Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 works with legacy telecommunications infrastructures. Users can deploy Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) keeping current PBX and telephony hardware. With VoIP, customers manage the telephone the same way they manage e-mail and the Internet: with intuitive software. With Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, basic telephone tools like call forwarding and conference calling are easier to use. The same Active Directory that underpins the rest of the IT infrastructure supports directory information and click-to-call functionality. Plus, Office Communications Server 2007 uses the same management tools as Exchange Server 2007, so multiple applications are not required to administer the communications infrastructure.

Niranjan Seevaratnam further added that, “The instant messaging capabilities in the Microsoft Unified Communication solution also improves responsiveness to customers and within fellow employees at Virtusa irrespective of where they are geographically located. Employees at Virtusa use these capabilities to find a colleague who can answer the question, send an instant message, and receive a response within moments. With instant messaging, employees can ask colleagues quick questions without resorting to sending and reading e-mail, which helps cut down on the amount of e-mail messages that need to be managed and increases response time.”

With today’s widespread economic turmoil and increasing environmental awareness, corporations are taking a hard look at cost-saving strategies and reducing their carbon footprints. Organizations need the ability to transform ideas into value through process innovation, strategic insights, and customized services to maintain competitive advantage in today’s new world of work that is global and more connected. Microsoft unified communications technologies help organizations improve business outcome, decrease costs of travel and communications, and reduce their environmental impact.

Organizations can improve individual and team results by using Microsoft unified communications solutions to communicate and collaborate faster with team members, partners, and customers across geographies and time zones. Improved communication within project teams improves efficiency and reduces completion time, as does the ability to reach out to subject-matter experts beyond the project team, allowing teams to complete more projects. These capabilities can also bring the same benefits to product development time, resulting in decreased time to market for new products. Microsoft unified communications can be used to provide a flexible working environment for workers by providing them access to the latest tools can have a positive effect on attracting new talent. These tools also help boost employee productivity as well.

Web and videoconferencing, as well as other unified communications modalities, connect participants with meetings or "events" where they do not need to be physically present. Presales work, internal meetings, training, and staff performance reviews are activities that frequently require less travel once a company has deployed a unified communications solution. Using collaborative technologies, such as presence awareness, soft telephony client, and videoconferencing, some organizations can expand operations and geographic reach without incurring the costs of additional office infrastructure, reducing office space per employee and improving space utilization. Organizations can also see reductions in the amounts paid for dial-in meeting services purchased from teleconferencing vendors by replacing them with IP network-based conferencing capabilities.

These advantages are of particular importance as Virtusa approaches projects that are complex, have large budgets, and require clear and continual communication between individuals and teams working in different locations to coordinate tasks such as account management, software development and technology implementation,. Therefore, Virtusa’s dispersed and highly mobile workforce, which is over 3800 employees globally, including offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and India, requires a smooth and efficient method of collaboration across teams sitting in different offices around the globe.

In addition, Virtusa plans to use to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting, a hosted Web conferencing service, to conduct training on an array of topics for large groups of employees. Microsoft Office Live Meeting will enable Virtusa to train employees in many different locations without sending them to a classroom. Using unified communications solutions to deliver training to employees through their desktops helps provide savings in areas of travel, specific training costs, and productivity, as employees can train on their own time rather than at set times.

As the information worker population shifts from working in headquarter locations to working anywhere, anytime, and across corporate boundaries, the challenge of reaching key decision makers in a timely manner increases. The inability to reach others at critical times results in numerous delays and lost productivity. These obstacles are exacerbated as customers increasingly expect immediate response to sales and support situations. Businesses lose productivity, face major project delays, and spend unnecessary time and money on travel due to the inability to reach key decision-makers or schedule critical business meetings. In some instances businesses slow down or even halt mission-critical projects due to employees’ inability to reach key decision-makers. With Microsoft Unified Communication Solutions businesses can improve collaboration among employees, speed up decision making processes and increase customer response time.

Microsoft unified communications technologies use the power of software to deliver complete communications—messaging, voice, and video—across the applications and devices that people use every day. Integrating the experiences associated with the telephone and the computer, it has the power to fundamentally change the way people work. Unified communications will transform business in the coming decade, helping businesses to streamline communications, build in protection for communications, build a future-ready foundation for communications, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Unified communications offer the promise of significant competitive advantage in making customer and supplier/partner relationships stronger for firms that adopt these collaboration technologies. Deploying Microsoft Unified Communications changes the very structure of the IT organization as communications silos merge business-wide. It offers the ability to improve how individuals, groups and companies interact and perform tasks and helps companies improve their business operations and processes in the world of new generation of communication systems.

Virtusa is a global information technology (IT) services company providing IT consulting, technology implementation and application outsourcing services. Using its enhanced global delivery model, innovative platforming approach and industry expertise, Virtusa provides high-value services that enhance clients’ business performance, accelerate time-to-market, increase productivity and improve customer service.

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Massachusetts, Virtusa has offices in the United States and the United Kingdom, and global delivery centers in India and Sri Lanka. "Virtusa"; is a registered trademark of Virtusa Corporation.

Microsoft Sri Lanka, over a short span of just 5 years, has become intrinsically linked with Sri Lanka and its people by delivering an incredible array of innovative new technologies that transform their customers’ lives. Through its’ myriad corporate citizenship efforts, Microsoft SL has redefined the position of a truly home grown Sri Lankan company that delivers compelling, industry-leading innovation, and earns the trust of its’ customers, partners, governments, and others in the process. Its’ Unlimited Potential programme enables sustained social and economic opportunity for the people through their work to transform education, foster local innovation, and create jobs and economic opportunity, all which are line with its’ consistent aim to “Bridge the Digital Divide”. Thriving towards its goal to touch the next 1 million lives by year 2010, Microsoft Sri Lanka’s agreement with the Education Ministry is one of the largest public-private partnerships in Sri Lanka to date.