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Seamless collaboration and “anytime, anywhere” videoconference capabilities are changing the way enterprises work. Accenture is leading the way, expanding its communications ecosystem to connect more than 281,000 employees with one another, not to mention with nearly 400 client companies. Driving this massive transformation is Lync, a unified communications platform that integrates audio calls and instant messaging with videoconferencing and content sharing, saving time and money while speeding collaboration.
Lync’s productivity and collaboration gains have dramatically changed the way Accenture professionals work:
Teams can create and review content more efficiently through desktop content sharing
In time-critical situations and SWAT team efforts, Lync communications keep everyone in touch all the time
Whiteboarding and polling easily capture feedback from participants, making meetings more productive
Ever since the distributed global workforce emerged as a business trend, managers have wondered how to recapture that easy “water-cooler” communication and the face-to-face collaboration found in a physical office, even when people are spread around the world. For Accenture, the answer is Lync, now the primary communications tool across Accenture’s global enterprise. Virtually all Accenture professionals have adopted Lync in one of the largest deployments in the world.
Lync is the VOIP-enabled go-to tool for every communication need, combining audio phone calls, instant messaging, screen and content sharing, and videoconferencing together with many other features. Lync allows Accenture professionals to meet virtually for real-time meetings and collaborate online like never before with anyone, anywhere, every day.
Accenture’s internal IT organization began introducing Lync capabilities to the Accenture workforce in 2007 via Lync’s predecessor, Office Communicator. The initial migration effort was completed in 2008, and a subsequent platform upgrade was completed in 2012.
Accenture employees were introduced to Lync’s technology, trained in its many features through internal communications such as electronic postcards and short training video clips, and were encouraged to adapt long-established work patterns to take advantage of Lync’s powerful capacity for collaboration.
Throughout this period, Accenture’s internal IT team worked closely with experts from Microsoft and Avanade (a technology consulting company specializing in Microsoft technologies) to manage one of the largest workforce deployments ever and fine-tune Lync’s capabilities to the requirements of the global Accenture enterprise.
The value and benefits of Lync have prompted Accenture professionals to double their use of the tool in the past year alone. Total usage of Lync voice now exceeds 122 million minutes per month across Accenture, 75 percent of which is conferencing. Accenture’s use of Lync extends well beyond voice, with more than 35 million minutes of content sharing and more than 180,000 Lync-enabled video meetings per month.
Over the past three years, as more Accenture people have migrated to Lync, audio conferencing volume has increased by 198 percent. Over the same period, the introduction of Lync has led to an 83 percent reduction in audio conferencing costs. In addition, Lync has enabled a reduction in Accenture’s telecom and mobile charges as users leverage Lync for PC-based communications.
With the freedom to work anywhere anytime, Accenture workers in locations such as diverse as Houston and Brussels only come into the office when they need to physically meet with colleagues, and the offices themselves are equipped with far fewer phone handsets. Less office space translates into lower operating costs, and fewer commuters reduces Accenture’s carbon footprint.
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