Businesses continue to invest in advanced communications technologies in an effort to improve collaboration and efficiency. With all of the spending, though, companies continue to accrue high traveling expenses and costs. At the same time, the efficiency and productivity of employees stagnates. The value of the investment in the communications technologies is not being realized.
Polycom, through a partnership with Microsoft, has seen the problem described above and worked to provide a solution for it. In the words of both companies, they have worked to “offer customers an end-to-end, fully interoperable unified communications (UC) solution that combines presence-based, real-time instant messaging (IM), voice, video, and data to immediately lower business costs, improve productivity, and achieve a faster return on investment (ROI).” In this article, we’ll examine the steps taken and how this ROI can be realized.
A look at the solution
The solution that Polycom and Microsoft have combined to offer is a complete UC solution based upon open standards. It is fully interoperable across multiple platforms, and integrates easily with the legacy systems that many companies have. By combining Polycom’s scalable infrastructure and Microsoft’s Lync platform, customers can benefit from an enterprise-quality, personalized communication offering that offers all of the features companies demand and is accessible virtually anytime, anywhere.
The following is a summary of what the Polycom/Microsoft UC solution provides:
- Communication across media like IM, voice, video, and web that is nearly seamless.
- Communication that links desktops, conference rooms, mobile devices, and remote sites.
- Presence-aware HD voice and video endpoints.
- A first class user experience with Polycom’s easy to use HD voice and video.
- Use of existing investments to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and improve ROI.
- A platform that is standards-based, highly scalable, and secure.
- Simplified deployment, provisioning, and management.
How does the solution reduce costs?
There are three areas where businesses will see immediate and significant savings by using the Polycom/Microsoft UC: travel, conferencing, and telephony. For the purposes of this paper, only travel will be examined.
Using the Polycom/Microsoft UC solution, remote users, distributed workers, supply chain representatives, and even customers can conduct and attend meetings and collaborate without spending time and money on travel. The interoperable features of the UC reduce the number of trips needed and the associated costs.
Optimization of the Communication Infrastructure
Using the Polycom/Microsoft UC allows organizations to consolidate their existing communications system, streamline communications, and merge various UC application packages. By consolidating, companies no longer must maintain disparate, traditional communications systems. The result is a reduction in the costs associated with administrative, maintenance, and licensing of the various systems.
Simplifying IT Management
The Polycom/Microsoft package allows IT departments to streamline and simplify the administration associated with taking care of multiple UCs. Use of the Polycom/Microsoft solution can pull the administration under one umbrella, providing a single interface where all aspects of a company’s UC can be managed. Employees will no longer need to know multiple packages and multiple interfaces.
Improve productivity, lower costs
The Polycom/Microsoft solution allows users to improve productivity in five key areas: collaboration, time to project completion, sales cycle time, customer issue resolution, and employee retention. Workers won’t be overwhelmed with communications overload. The Polycom/Microsoft solution provides an easy, flexible way for users to manage their e-mail, voice-mail, instant messaging, and RSS feeds.
Pulling it all together, the use of the Polycom/Microsoft product will result in a maximized ROI for any company deploying it. There will be reduced costs, primarily resulting from less travel. Optimization of the existing infrastructure will contribute to lower costs as well. Simplifying the IT management piece will allow the IT department to focus on what they do best and not have to worry about being experts on multiple UCs; productivity will be increased. Other users will see their productivity increase as well, as the solution will provide an easy and effective way to handle all the various means of communications workers take part in every day. By reducing costs, lowering the amount of money flowing out of the company, and raising the productivity of the workers within the company, the end result will be a maximized ROI.