Customer Perspective: Stephen Roux, Infrastructure Manager at L’Occitane, on Lync-Skype Connectivity

Today’s post was written by Tim Woo, Product Manager, Lync. 

Today the Skype division announced the availability of Lync-Skype
connectivity for customers around the world. This is our first step in
combining the enterprise richness of Lync with the global reach of Skype to
connect working professionals to a broad network of their suppliers, customers
and partners.

The Office 365 Team had a chance to ask Stephen Roux,
Infrastructure Manager at L’Occitane, about what this means for his company. Here’s
what he had to say….

Office 365 Team: Can
you share some background on the role communications plays at L’Occitane?  

Stephen Roux: As
a global brand, L’Occitane requires efficient and easy to use tools to
communicate. Communications technology is important to us because enabling our
employees to use communications tools to be more productive is such an
important part of my charter. We want to improve the capabilities and
experience so our team can work as efficiently as possible and minimize the
company’s environmental impact.

Today, our employees are enjoying the enhanced videoconferencing
capabilities.  It’s much more like
meeting in person and has helped us personalize company interactions, reduce
travel costs and minimize the environmental impact of the company.

because of the tight integration of telephony with email messaging in Microsoft
Lync, employees can quickly escalate email messages to voice calls and web
conferences with just a few mouse clicks. For instance, if a sudden design
change affects a store, a designer can set up an audio or video conference with
an architect on the spot. These efficiencies help L’Occitane open stores faster
and ensure that all design details are implemented correctly.

Office 365: Why did
you choose Microsoft Lync?

SR: Back in 2007,
we realized email and phone communications were inadequate for our
communications needs and the demand for room-based web conferencing solutions
exceeded our budget. It was time to make a change from IBM/Lotus Domino/Notes
and that’s when we first started working with Microsoft.

While Lync has developed over the years, we immediately
realized the value of such a communications tool in our organization and
decided that Lync would be our standard for communication, including telephony.
And I must say that we never had to regret this choice.

Today, L’Occitane has deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013,
which provides enhanced conferencing capabilities, more federation options,
easier administration, and the option for hybrid cloud deployments with
Microsoft Office 365 solutions.

Through the Microsoft Lync 2013 client, L’Occitane employees
now have a single point of access to all of the Lync communications
capabilities. One of the most exciting features that Lync provides is the
ability to communicate in the same way as if they were at the office from
virtually anywhere. That’s a huge benefit and it makes the solution very
appealing to our team.

Office 365: At Lync
Conference, Tony Bates shared the plan to deliver Lync-Skype connectivity and
today the availability of this capability was announced-how do you envision
your company taking advantage of this?

SR: Our product
team is in constant communication with our suppliers, including the farmers who
produce the lavender, olives, almonds; the beekeepers in Provence that supply
the honey; the growers of immortelle from Corsica; producers of Shea butter
from Burkina Faso; and many others.

Lync-Skype connectivity is something we have been
anticipating and planning for. It has been one of the most requested features
from our employees. While it is already possible to invite people outside the
company to join an online meeting using the web browser, peer to peer communication
was out of this scope. Lync-Skype connectivity is filling that gap, which is
exciting for us and for our employees and partners.

About L’Occitane:

L’Occitane en Provence prides
itself on producing personal care products from natural ingredients grown using
traditional methods and is committed to limiting the impact of its actions and
products on the environment. As a global brand, L’Occitane employs over 6,000
people across three continents.

This commitment goes
beyond its manufacturing processes as the company challenges all of its
employees to reduce the environmental impact of their actions. One way the
company reduces its impact is by providing rich, immersive communications tools
that have resulted in reduced travel and improved the effectiveness of their

To learn more about
L’Occitane’s deployment, please visit