Bob Gogel is CEO of Integreon.
To provide our clients with highly scalable legal, research, and document support services from our 17 office locations around the world, we depend on fast, flexible communication technology.
For a number of years, we relied on separate software systems for voice, instant messaging, content sharing, and video conferencing that simply didn’t provide the ease of use that our people needed. Our employees found that constantly switching between productivity tools, email, and a separate web conferencing application was a hassle. They also felt tethered to their computers, because they lacked the freedom to collaborate from anywhere through their smartphones or other mobile devices.
Beyond these usability concerns, cost was also a major issue. We couldn’t justify the expense of a standalone web conferencing service that didn’t interoperate with the Microsoft Office applications that we rely on every day.
When I saw the improvements in the latest release of Microsoft Lync, I was convinced that it was the right investment for us. Just in terms of ease of use, I knew that it would give us several advantages over our previous web conferencing solution. With Lync, users can schedule an online meeting in seconds from within Microsoft Outlook, or start a chat or a video call with one click from inside any Office application. Plus, I knew that our employees could use Lync on their smartphones or tablets to stay connected with coworkers—even when they were in an airport or on the road.
Global deployment of Lync
Now that we’ve deployed Lync to our global workforce of 2,500 employees, our business is better connected. We’re able to access Lync in Office 365 as a hosted solution through our Microsoft partner, BT. Our employees appreciate access to their Lync contact list across all of the Office applications they use, so they’re never more than a few seconds away from getting a question answered through instant messaging or following up with a voice call from their laptop, phone, or tablet. Our clients rely on us to move fast, and Lync helps our global team meet that expectation through real-time collaboration from anywhere.
The personalizing power of video conferencing
Members of our executive team are located in different offices around the world. Lync video conferencing gives a personal feel to our executive committee meetings that we didn’t have before, without the need for everyone to be in the same room every month. From different countries and time zones, we’re still able to communicate in a direct, face-to-face way so we can address issues head on and make decisions faster.
Collaboration from anywhere
With Lync, our teams have the ability to truly work from anywhere. I travel several times a month, so I’m constantly navigating airports and transit systems in different countries. I don’t think twice about connecting to meetings through Lync from wherever I happen to be. Recently, my flight home from China was scheduled during one of our executive committee meetings. While we sat on the tarmac waiting to take off, I joined the video conference using my tablet. It’s a great feeling to know that, even with my busy schedule, I can stay in touch.
Hosting a multi-city conference with Lync Room System
For the past four years, I’ve moderated an event called the State of the European Union. The purpose is to connect business leaders and policy makers from across the world to share their experiences and vision of Europe and its future, specifically under the direction of the European Commission. The event has grown over the years, and this past year we piloted the use of Lync to bring together attendees from six different conference locations. We used the Lync Room System to make it happen, and we were thrilled with the result. The high-definition video monitors made it easy to show content and video side by side in full 1080p resolution, and the video and audio quality throughout the conference was excellent. Remote attendees commented that they felt like they were right in the room with us.
Uniting all of the parts of our business with one solution
At Integreon, we believe strongly in giving back to the communities in which we work. Through one of our corporate social responsibility initiatives, our employees provide vocational training to students in places like Mumbai, India, and in other developing nations around the world. Lync is at the heart of this breakthrough program, which we call Edu-Lync. It’s ingrained in our corporate culture to find new approaches to work and to achieve the ambitious goals we set. I love that we can use Lync to drive every part of our business forward—from the work we do for clients to supporting community service projects. To me, Lync embodies the promise of modern technology: breaking down boundaries and bringing people together to do great work.