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Civica to standardise collaboration platform with Microsoft Lync

Aims to cut thousands of pounds from company travel costs

Civica, the IT systems and business process services provider, is rolling out Microsoft Lync 2010 to standardise its collaboration tools, and cut the cost of travel.

The Microsoft Lync 2010 platform, which will be rolled out to around 1,000 users in the UK, will include services such as instant messaging, VoIP, real-time collaboration and audio and video conferencing. It will replace Civica's legacy systems, from suppliers such as Oracle and Microsoft, and a disparate installation of Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) across the business.

"We have a lot of different systems through mergers and acquisitions, and a lot of those are legacy," said John Hood, managing director of Civica UK (Housing and Asset Managment).

He added: "We've got about 200 licences in the UK for OCS but there's been no buy in. It [the implementation of OCS] is very, very patchy and not driven from the top."

Hood also expects the new collaboration platforms, by enabling improved virtual meeting experience, will help Civica save "hundreds and thousands of pounds a year" in employee travel, which currently costs the company more than a million pounds.

O2 Unify, a unified communications partnership between mobile network operator O2 and IT services provider 2e2, will be supporting Civica's deployment of the platform with technical services, project management, telephony audits, ROI analysis and training.

The Microsoft rollout is the first phase of the project, and Civica will look at moving its fixed line communications from BT to Lync's corporate voice capability for its telephony platform. The third phase, meanwhile, will look at how the unified communications platform can be harnessed for mobile and data services.

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