SCE leveraged a move to a new office location as an opportunity to migrate employees to Skype for Business Online with Cloud PBX and PSTN Confererencing. This strategy eliminated the need for costly phone system maintenance, and improved employee satisfaction by enhancing mobile collaboration.
“With Skype, our user productivity has increased considerably. We can provide the service wherever our employees are, without relying on or managing an infrastructure on premises.”
“It used to take us 10-15 minutes to set up a meeting, with all requests managed by IT. Now, everyone has access to Skype for Business Online and, in just seconds and a single click, anyone can provision a meeting.”
“We highlighted the benefits of moving to Skype for Business Online to our employees, showing them how easily they could collaborate without a desk phone. Employees now love being hands-free. Not a single person has asked us for a desk phone – that’s one of our success measures.”
Office move provides opportunity for infrastructure improvments
The office move gave SCE’s IT department the opportunity to reassess their infrastructure with an eye to reducing costs. The company was using a variety of solutions for telephone and web conferencing- some for more than ten years. IT was spending significant time physically managing both meeting provisioning, as well as recurring phone changes, adds, and remove requests. SCE chose to consolidate services, retire legacy solutions, and migrate the IT group to Skype for Business Online with Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing.
The company realized an immediate, one-time, cost saving by eliminating telephone hardware. The company is also saving money due to reduced travel and its related costs. “Our goal”, says Sanjay Guragain, Collaboration Architect at SCE, “is to garner significant annual savings by eliminating the need to physically manage phone change requests.”
Deployment team educates employees, generates excitement
To generate excitement for the move to Skype for Business Online, Cheryl Ang, Program Manager at SCE, spearheaded a set of activities designed to educate and prepare employees for the transition. Through presenting to groups, providing training incentives (such as new headsets), and leveraging Yammer as their first line of support, the SCE deployment team championed the rollout. They highlighted the increased mobility and flexibility that would come with from moving their phone capabilities to Skype for Business Online. By making and receiving phone calls, and joining meetings from anywhere, employees would be liberated from their desktops. “We touted the benefits of moving to Skype for Business Online to our employees”, says Ang. “We showed them how easily they could collaborate without a desk phone. Employees now love being hands-free. Not a single person has asked us for a phone – that’s one of our success measures.”
Skype for Business Online capabilities delight users
“SCE has a meeting-focused culture,” says Guragain, “and with Skype for Business Online we now do over four million meeting minutes a month. This is significantly more than with our prior providers.” He partially attributes this increase to the ease of scheduling meetings with Skype for Business. With their prior provider, employees made meeting requests through IT. Jay Kelly, IT Director, adds, “It used to take us 10-15 minutes to set up a meeting, with all requests managed by IT. Now, everyone has access to Skype for Business Online and, in just seconds and a single click, anyone can provision a meeting.”
In addition to the ease of scheduling meetings, SCE employees also now enjoy greater mobility and flexibility – they can call from anywhere, and their number goes with them. 'With our prior telephone provider, our employees were tied to their desks when they had to place or receive calls. With Skype, our user productivity has increased considerably. We can provide the service wherever our employees are, without relying on or managing an infrastructure on premises', says Guragain. “While on a trip in Europe, my manager needed to make business calls, yet worried about the costs. He then realized Skype for Business Online would enable him to do that without the added international fees.
For others looking to move to Skype for Business Online, Guragain recommends leveraging the resources, templates, and scripts available through the Skype Operations Framework as a best practice to ensure a quality experience. “We spent a lot of time defining and planning our migration process, as well as building scripts for our rollout. The Skype Operations Framework offers a similar methodology and full set of resources to help.”
Now that SCE has successfully rolled out Skype for Business Online to their IT department, they are looking to enable additional groups, and eventually the rest of the company. Reflecting on the future, Guragain shares, “We expect to save some time from our employees once we’re fully migrated. We won’t have to worry about managing servers, infrastructure updates, or patches. The service will be fully managed by Microsoft.”