Watching the keynote address at the opening of Microsoft’s Lync 2014 Conference in Las Vegas was a proud and humbling moment for me as Integreon’s Chief Information Officer.
Accompanied by hundreds of other attendees from around the world, we sat together listening as Gurdeep Sing Pal, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Skype and Lync, discussed the evolution of Lync from its original concept to its current role as a global unified communications platform.
He discussed how businesses are starting to realize that they can use Lync to reduce their operational costs and help their workforces become more efficient and productive. I unconsciously was nodding along to all of this, as we’ve done exactly this ourselves at Integreon. The session went on, walking through Lync’s future roadmap, feature sets, and some of the wish lists that have been submitted to Microsoft by customers and system integrators.
As Mr. Pal finished up detailing the planned technical advancements, he made a statement that Microsoft’s goal for Lync is to move from the unified communications platform that we know today to a universal communications platform. There was a brief pause after he said this, and then he added there was something he would like everyone to see.
The stage’s giant presentation screen then lit up with a three-minute video highlighting how Integreon has used Lync as a part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. The video featured Integreon CEO Bob Gogel narrating about Project Edu-Lync, which first started last year on the eve of International Literacy Day. Bob explained that, through Edu-Lync, Integreon’s Associates in collaboration with school educators have been using Lync to pass on their skills and knowledge to children in need, with the goal of helping them realize a brighter future.
The video showed a specific example of what we’ve been doing in one of our local communities in Mumbai, India, where we’ve been working with Rotary Sanskardham Academy (School for the Hearing Impaired) to provide their students with new opportunities for vocational training and learning.
Watch “Lync in the Classroom”
Sitting there at Lync 2014 and watching this video play was humbling – a technology we had implemented was not only being used to support our business but also to help improve the quality of life for Integreon’s broader family and the local communities where we operate.
As the video played on, I felt as if you could hear a pin drop, it was so quiet. And when it ended, the crowd’s applause was immediate and deafeningly loud. The response I received was immense, particularly the supportive feedback from the Microsoft Lync team.
They were excited to see us pushing the boundaries of Lync and using it beyond our business and in ways that no else seems to have thought of doing before. Many of our peers and colleagues commented on how they want replicate this experience in their own organizations, including how they too can use Lync to support their communities and outreach programs. A number of them even asked us for our insights to help them get started.
And we will help them, because we believe corporate social responsibility requires reaching out to our communities, not by building walls, but by breaking through them. This mentality is instilled in our company’s cultural DNA.
It is this same DNA that drives our commitment to seeking new and innovative ways of working and accomplishing our goals – not only for our CSR program, but also in how we serve and support our clients every day.
Edu-Lync was truly a team effort and I just want to conclude by acknowledging the contributions from everyone at Integreon, from Benjamin Romualdez, who heads our CSR program, to our many Associates from all around the world who regularly give back to local communities. The support for this effort has been tremendous, including from our technology partners at Microsoft and BT.
To learn more about Integreon’s CSR program and the range of community outreach efforts we are involved in, I encourage you to read our Corporate Social Responsibility reports.