Though it is a dream of many to live in the bleached sands and tropical breeze of the Caribbean, there are a few practical considerations to being based there. As much as isolation and beauty are perhaps desirable, they offer little in the way of practicality, especially for those who need to communicate quickly.
Sending messages in real-time across large geographical distances and difficult-to-cross terrain is no mean feat, as such for the Bureau of Information Technology (BIT) in the United States Virgin Islands (with employees scattered in every direction), solving this problem was something of a priority.
Enter Lync Online, a service from Microsoft that allows secure instant messaging and video calls between employees. 3,350 seats of Microsoft Office 365 were deployed across 30 agencies throughout 3 islands, allowing employees to work together more easily. Before this access to the cloud, employees often had to travel between islands in order to work.
Lync Online allows easier conferencing between offices, no matter the physical location, and also makes it easier to communicate with the local Microsoft Office. In addition to this, it makes technical support a great deal more efficient through the use of virtual desktops. The scheme was a success, with Reuben Molloy, Director of BIT and chief information officer for the Government of the US Virgin Islands stating:
"We’re very proud to be an early government adopter of Office 365, and we’re proud of the fact that our employees now have the tools they need to be more engaged, more productive, and more satisfied with their jobs. And by making them happier and more efficient we are helping the government run more smoothly, and ensuring that our citizens and visitors receive the highest possible level of service"
Working across various devices, including mobile, Lync Online has delivered significant benefits to BIT, once again showing the utility of the cloud. As Microsoft shifts more and more of its strategic focus in this direction, expect to hear a great many more stories in this vein in coming months.
Does your office use Lync Online? Let us know in the comments below.