Unified Communication with Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business
Süddeutsche Gelenkscheibenfabrik heralds the future of communication. With the introduction of Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business, the company from Upper Bavaria has achieved major efficiency gains in communication and collaboration.
Süddeutsche Gelenkscheibenfabrik (SGF) based in Waldkraiburg, Upper Bavaria is a renowned partner for the automobile industry and cross-sector industrial applications. SGF has developed into the market leader for torque transmission and has more than 70 years of experience in thread and binding agent technology. 620 employees work for the company at four locations in Germany. Since the maintenance agreement for its current telephone system was running out and employee communication behavior had changed, SGF seized the opportunity to consider a new communication solution. „Due to the vast extent of our plants, some employees could only be reached by cell phones. Call forwarding kept causing calls to be dropped and they could not be recovered. What‘s more, the communication behavior of our employees differs widely and they use various means of communication. Some prefer the cell phone while others would rather send a short e-mail,“ is how Johannes Stärk, Project Manager IT at Süddeutsche Gelenkscheibenfabrik, explains the initial situation. Rather than implementing a new conventional telephone system, the company decided to introduce the IP-based unified communications and collaboration platform (UCC) Microsoft Lync 2013.
Replacing the old communication system
The full-range IT service provider Sycor planned and implemented the introduction of Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business. Microsoft Lync entirely replaced the existing telephone system with more than 500 extensions. The Sycor specialists developed a base concept in a joint workshop and prepared a project plan tailored to the requirements of SGF. With a good price-performance ratio, the solution developed by Sycor was flexible and fast to implement. „Consolidating a modern communication platform in a uniform IT infrastructure was our objective. This was intended to standardize the communication channels and reduce telephony costs,“ explains Seiji Kuwahara, Sycor Project Manager. Microsoft Lync 2013 was then implemented in a short time with these features: Enterprise Voice (telephony), Presence, Instant Messaging, Dial-in/Dial-out Conferencing, integration of mobile devices via Lync Clients and Audio/Video Conferencing.
Communication and teamwork
Thanks to the new functions provided by Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business, communication is easier and more efficient for the employees today. „The presence status in Microsoft Lync shows us exactly whether an employee is available, out of the office or in a meeting. This makes communication much more focused. Response times are shorter and we can guarantee consistent availability both internally and externally,“ says Stärk. Among other things, the screen sharing function in Lync/Skype for Business optimizes teamwork: Employees can share their screen contents and edit documents together.
Greater flexibility and improved performance
Sycor also configured and installed the Ferrari Gateways as a high-availability and failsafe solution. „These gateways link existing ISDN connections to the Microsoft Lync Server. They quasi serve as an interpreter between landline telephony and the SIP protocol used by Microsoft,“ Kuwahara explains. SGF is now using Ferrari Entry Control, a video-based intercom system integrated in Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business, to control the entrance doors and access gates. „We can talk to visitors at the door directly from a workstation and open the access gates with just one click. This saves a lot of time and makes work easier,“ says Johannes Stärk, describing the benefits of the solution. „For us, the conversion to Microsoft Lync was a good investment that is paying off with greater flexibility and reliable performance. Sycor provided outstanding consulting services and served as a reliable guide throughout the project. We are very satisfied with our new unified communication system,“ Stärk says in conclusion.