Monday, 22 July 2013

How small is your big business?

There is no question that Lync is a great communication tool.  Pop a name into the search bar to find the person you're after.  Or with skills searching enabled and up to date "MySites" for your users, you can ask Lync who to contact about something and it will suggest the answer.  Lync knows if they are available and shows you in the form of the Presence traffic light.  Hover your mouse over their photo and choose how to reach out.

Gone are the days of hiding behind your inbox.
How many times have you sent an email to someone, hoping for an answer straight away?  You pass them in the corridor hours or days later and ask them about it and get the "I haven't seen that yet" response.  What happens if the person you need an answer from is in a different office, or a different country?  You can't very well pop over and chase a response.  Don't get me wrong, email has its place.  After all it's much faster than writing a letter.

Unlike email, Lync is all about instant communication.  With presence, you can see at a glance if the person you need is available before you ask the question.  Even if the person is on a call you can still send an IM and get some kind of response, even if it is just to say that they'll answer when they get off the phone.  But if you ask a question with a simple answer, 9 times out of 10 you'll get that answer there and then.  Which is fantastic!

As businesses get larger, communication doesn't have to be more difficult.
Back in the old days, companies were small and fit in a single room.  You could just as easily shout over the heads of your co-workers as walk over and ask the question.  Fast forward a bit and the companies were on multiple floors of a big building.  A bit more and now you have regional offices in different cities.  Now the likelihood is that you might have territory offices in different countries, regional offices in different cities in each country and a large head office somewhere with a large workforce on multiple floors in multiple buildings.

Lync brings your workforce into one place.  No matter where your workforce is, as long as they have Lync and an internet connection they are part of the company.  It doesn't matter whether they are at the next desk or the other side of the world.  Wherever they are, you can see if they are available and communicate with them in real time.

Here are a few ways to bring your company closer together.  Assuming you have Lync of course.

  1. Send an IM instead of an email.  It doesn't matter where they are 9 times out of 10 you'll get an instant answer.
  2. Use skills based searches in conjunction with Sharepoint to find who to contact about a given subject.
  3. Tag someone for status change alerts.  You'll get a popup when they go online.  Particularly useful if they are far away or in a different timezone.
  4. Update the directory with photos of your staff.  Have you ever wanted to put a face to the name?  Now you can.
  5. Have an online meeting.  This way you can get participation from people in different locations.
Lync can work whether you are all in one place or spread out across many.  Whether you have a handful of staff to tens of thousands.  The closer together you can make your staff feel, the more they will work together.

So I say install Lync and make your big business feel small again.

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