Reduce costs and improve productivity with MS Lync

by Leicestershire Health Informatics Service 8. October 2012 16:53

With changes in the economic climate, resources for the healthcare sector have been stretched even further - and time spent by healthcare workers in meetings is no exception. Meetings are of course necessary to help teams work together more effectively, but with more to do and less time to do it most employees find them very discouraging. Why?

Feedback suggests they can be ineffective and long, losing several hours a week preparing for and travelling to meetings when information could be shared in a simpler way leaving more time for the individual to implement changes. With an increase in collaborative working to help with specialist knowledge, the challenge is perhaps how to share this information without losing the personal touch – but without having to travel around the country to achieve this.

However it is now possible to hold cost efficient and effective meetings with no travelling time involved - Microsoft Lync holds the solution.

Microsoft Lync (formerly Microsoft Office Communicator) is an instant messaging client available for PC, Windows Phone, Android and iOS. It allows the user to communicate with their colleagues using methods such as Instant Messaging, Audio and Video Conferencing.

The main advantage of the system is that it is completely secure with SSL encryption and enterprise grade reliability, scalability and security. Features such as encryption, archiving, and call detail records offer aspects of built-in security and help meet regulatory requirements. LHIS host Lync on our own servers and network; maintaining control over sensitive data that would otherwise be transmitted over public telephone networks and third-party conferencing platforms, making it more secure than competing products.

Many services provide similar features but lack the security and flexibility that is provided by LHIS when using Microsoft Lync. LHIS have investigated and researched into other products and services such as Skype and Webex, however, Microsoft Lync is hosted locally and all data is encrypted to protect the user and the user’s data.

The other benefits include:

Low Cost - Voice over IP (VoIP) can cut call charges. Integrated audio, video, and Web conferencing helps reduce travel costs as well as the cost of third-party conferencing solutions.

Improve productivity - Rich presence information helps employees find each other and choose the most effective way to communicate at a given time. Instead of e-mailing documents back and forth for approval you can work in real time.

Support the mobile/home workforce - Mobile and home workers can collaborate with colleagues by PC, phone or smart phone and not come into the office.

Collaborate within other Microsoft products - Lync can allow users to integrate existing Microsoft products such as Outlook and SharePoint. Users can create online meetings directly from Outlook, check the availability of a colleague whilst on SharePoint, to name a few.

Desktop Sharing –Users can share any application from their desktop and give control to others, transfer files, create a whiteboard and share a PowerPoint presentation. This is great for support, training and collaboration as you can take control of other’s desktops.

Overall Microsoft Lync allows users to collaborate their work without geographical restraints, whilst minimising costs and ensuring all content is secure - could this be the future of all meetings?

 

For more information see http://www.leics-his.nhs.uk/Library/MicrosoftLync2010.pdf

 

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About the author

Rupal Patel, Communication and Marketing Officer, blogging for NHS Leicestershire Health Informatics Service, your one-stop-shop for information management and technology. Writing about some of the work we do, discussing IT issues, introducing some of our terriffic staff and generally shedding a little light on the world of health informatics. Visit our website at: www.leics-his.nhs.uk

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