LA Fitness Cuts Costs, Streamlines Operations With Microsoft Lync

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 12, 2011LA Fitness today announced the companywide rollout of Microsoft Lync 2010 communications software to its 20,000 employees, to improve how employees at the more than 370 clubs across the country interact, share information and provide customer service.

“Taking a step forward with a new solution is always a big risk, and this was no exception,” said George Bedar, chief information officer at LA Fitness. “But the move to Lync has been extremely well received by executive leadership because, for the first time, our entire company is on the same unified communications solution. This has significantly lowered our costs and made them very predictable and helped drive consistency in our processes, staff training and member experience.”

As LA Fitness expanded across the U.S., the company’s telephony solution became increasingly complex. Some clubs were equipped with telephones only, while newer locations brought in VoIP solutions. The result was an inconsistent and unpredictable communication platform that became less and less cost-effective.

As a result, LA Fitness began looking for an enterprise-level communication platform to provide consistency, functionality and reduced costs. The company considered several enterprise-level VoIP solutions before determining that Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 was more cost-effective compared with solutions from other vendors, such as Cisco Systems Inc. and Avaya Inc. The initial, limited deployment produced a strong, positive response from its employees that caused LA Fitness to expand the deployment across the entire company on a significantly accelerated schedule. When Microsoft Lync replaced Office Communications Server 2007 R2 several months later, LA Fitness upgraded immediately.

“There was quite a bit of existing knowledge among the developers at LA Fitness, and they have built a number of creative extensions using Lync, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint 2010,” said Kirk Gregersen, general manager, Lync, at Microsoft. “We are pleased to see them using these extensions to help streamline the application process, find the location of club managers, answer employee questions, identify substitute class instructors and train new hires more effectively.”

Now Lync helps facilitate consistent culture, attitude and behavior throughout LA Fitness. “LA Fitness no longer uses any traditional PBX (private branch exchange) systems and now uses Lync to make and receive calls. As a result, we have saved over $650,000 annually,” Bedar said, by cutting the charges for tolls and conferences and the costs associated with installing and supporting a telephony solution in clubs.

More information about Lync, SharePoint and Exchange is available at

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