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CLIENT CASE STUDY


Skype for Business @ Accenture

Unified communication across the enterprise

Overview

Seamless collaboration is changing the way enterprises work worldwide. Accenture is leading the way with Skype for Business, first introduced as Lync in 2010. Skype for Business is a unified “anytime, anywhere” communications platform that integrates audio calls and instant messaging with videoconferencing, content sharing and many other capabilities, raising productivity while saving time and cutting the cost of audio conferencing by 83 percent.

Accenture’s people are constantly on the move, serving clients and solving problems for enterprises in more than 120 countries. Essential to Accenture’s performance is its ability to make its very best talents and resources available to clients, anytime, anywhere. The vision of Skype for Business is to equip every employee with a single fully integrated tool capable of meeting every communications need.

Opportunity

Accenture’s internal IT organization began introducing advanced communications to the Accenture workforce beginning in 2008 with Office Communicator. Lync was launched in 2010, and in 2015, Accenture rolled out the Skype for Business client. To promote its adoption, extensive communications and training programs were undertaken to encourage Accenture employees to adapt their long-established work habits and take advantage of the powerful capabilities of Skype for Business.

Throughout the initial implementation, Accenture’s internal IT organization worked closely with Microsoft experts on Lync and with Avanade, a technology consulting company specializing in Microsoft technologies, to fine-tune Lync’ functions for the requirements of the global Accenture workforce.

Reflecting Accenture’s commitment to the communications tool, the company made a significant investment as part of a 2013 upgrade to enhance the underlying network infrastructure.

Don Galzarano, an Applications Architect Senior Manager and the lead on the Skype for Business team, explains: “More than three-quarters of past performance issues of the tool were related to network infrastructure, rather than to the solution itself. We have built and continue to build the foundations for higher-quality video via Skype for Business.”

As a result of the new investments, Skype for Business now features new carrier-grade network hardware, including load-balancing architecture and appliances, updated carrier-grade switches, new firewalls and updated routers. A new architecture was devised to utilize redundant hardware and to dedicate portions of the network to exclusive use of Skype for Business.

Solution

Accenture's internal IT organization began introducing advanced communications to the Accenture workforce via Lync's predecessor, Office Communicator. Beginning in 2008 and continuing through 2010, this initiative continued with the launch of Lync. To promote its adoption, extensive communications and training programs were undertaken to encourage Accenture employees to adapt their long-established work habits and take advantage of Lync's powerful capabilities.

Reflecting Accenture's commitment to Lync, the company made a significant investment as part of the 2013 upgrade to enhance the underlying network infrastructure. Don Galzarano, an Applications Architect Senior Manager and the lead on the Lync team, explains: "More than three-quarters of past performance issues on Lync were related to network infrastructure, rather than to the solution itself. We are now building the foundations for higher-quality video via Lync."

The introduction of Skype for Business is a perfect example of Accenture’s internal IT organization driving our digital agenda across the enterprise.

ANDREW WILSON

Chief Information Officer

Podcast

Learn more in this Lync 2013 Podcast

CIO managing directors Chris Crawford and Jason Warnke discuss the new features of Lync 2013 including the gallery view and mobile usability, the challenges faced in upgrading our network to support the changes, the benefits of these upgrades and what we can expect in the future from Lync.