Unified Communications

Assessing the Costs and Savings of Lync

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  April 02, 2014

Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync has seen strong uptake, primarily due to organizations’ interest in improving internal communications and increasing employee collaboration. But many enterprises that have employed the unified communications solution also hoped to realize new savings in the process. Yet more than half of the organizations recently surveyed said they are unsure of the actual savings Lync has delivered. What’s more, these organizations typically don’t know how to get any insight on the matter.

That’s the word from Dell (News - Alert) Software, which recently sponsored a Dimensional Research survey on Lync. The survey talked to 204 individuals from companies with more than 500 employees.

Findings indicated that, of the organizations that weighed on their adoption of Lync, 80 percent hoped to save on their travel budgets; 76 percent hoped to reduce costs of other web and teleconferencing tools; 66 percent hoped to reduce spending on meeting room space; 55 percent hoped to reduce spending on traditional telephony costs; and 36 percent hoped to reduce their e-mail expenses.

Lync users have a hard time gauging their savings, however, because it can be tough to get a handle on the costs of the Microsoft solution, says Curtis Johnstone, senior software developer and MSFT Lync MVP for Dell Software. To guide enterprises in their quest to get a better idea on the true costs and savings that Lync brings to the table, Johnstone suggests that they start measuring their usage of Lync; figure out how much individuals and groups are using advanced Lync features; aggregate those numbers; and compare those costs to existing non-UC costs like telephony, e-mail, and office space.

“That way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison,” he says.

Dell sponsored this research to illustrate the need for tools like its recently released MessageStats for Lync. The solution delivers a variety of functions, including a chargeback feature so users can assign estimated costs of Lync and its various features, Johnstone explains. It’s also integrated with ActiveDirectory, so users can roll those costs up at an organizational level.

He adds that costs of Lync include not only licensing, but also indirect costs such as the extra bandwidth an organization might need to support collaboration via video.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi