Civica has revealed that a move to the collaboration platform Microsoft Lync 2010 has helped it to reduce internal costs of travel and subsistence by 19 percent.

Microsoft Lync includes services such as instant messaging, VoIP, real-time collaboration and audio and video conferencing. It replaces Civica’s legacy systems from suppliers including Oracle and Microsoft, and a disparate installation of Microsoft Office Communciations Server (OCS).

The platform, which has been live across Civica’s 17 UK offices and 1,200 users since the beginning of this year, will save the company the equivalent of £200,000 over a year, Civica said.

It began rolling out the platform, supported by O2 Unify, a unified communications partnership between mobile network operator O2 and IT services provider 2e2, in June 2011.

“Over the past six months there’s been a drop in travel and subsistence costs of 19 percent across the UK.

“We spend more than £1 million internal subsistence, so the full-year equivalent is just shy of £200,000 in savings,” said John Hood, managing director of Civica UK (Housing and Asset Management).

The move to Microsoft Lync was the first phase of the project with O2 Unify. The second stage, beginning next month, involves moving Civica’s fixed-line telephony to IP-based systems.

For two Civica offices, however, the move to IP-based systems has already started.

“Over the duration of phase one, we had some hardware failures in some of the telephony switches, which were reaching end-of-life. We took the two legacy switches out and moved the two offices to full IP-based systems on Lync,” said Hood.

The IP telephony will be rolled out across the remaining 15 offices by the end of October – at the cost of £4,000 per office – which will help Civica save on support and maintenance costs, Hood said.