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Edwards Lifesciences enables a global, modern, mobile workforce by embracing Skype for Business Online with PSTN Conferencing

June 29, 2017

Edwards streamlines collaboration by moving to Skype for Business Online with PSTN Conferencing – improving productivity, facilitating enhanced connection amongst a global workforce.

  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • 11,000 Employees
  • 50+ Global Offices
  • Medical Technologies
  • Founded in 1958, and headquartered in Irvine, CA, Edwards Lifesciences is a global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, as well as critical care and surgical monitoring. Edwards employs 11,000 people in offices across the globe.

Business Need  

With more than 11,000 employees in offices around the globe, Edwards looked across their collaboration infrastructure and realized they had a mix of legacy telephony and web-based conferencing solutions that were delivering a costly, sub-optimal experience for employees. Select teams had Skype for Business Online, but weren’t fully leveraging all the rich features of the toolset, and other teams were still using legacy tools. By enabling Skype for Business Online with PSTN Conferencing, and driving awareness, education, and adoption efforts, the company sought to optimize the collaboration experience for their employees, and reduce costs.  


Solution and Benefits  

Facilitating positive organizational change through preparation, training, and education.

Through the utilization of Skype for Business Online as a standard tool across the enterprise, Edwards aimed to improve employee satisfaction and enhance collaboration. By reducing the number of tools that employees had to master to do their jobs well, and moving toward a single, integrated collaboration platform, Edwards anticipated that streamlining would save their employees time and effort. They set out to retire legacy tools while shifting to Skype for Business Online with PSTN Conferencing, laying out a plan to prepare their environment, build awareness, and educate employees.

Edwards sought to ensure a quality experience for their employees – whether they were working from the office, remotely, or globally. They tested and readied their network, leveraging the Skype Operations Framework methodology, made Skype-optimized headsets available for employees, and set up Surface Hubs in select areas to enhance team collaboration and content sharing. They also delivered training through a broad range of vehicles.

Brandon Wilson, Senior Manager of Global Networks, reflected, “Skype for Business Online brought our company an increased ease of connectivity, with the ability to be truly present anytime, anywhere on any device.”

“Kristin Callison, Project Manager for Skype for Business Online, along with her rollout team, developed and delivered training and readiness materials designed to illustrate the robust features of Skype for Business, while showing employees how easy it was to use for collaboration. They delivered targeted “white glove” training to Executive Admins, executed a full series of online training webinars to get employees up to speed quickly, and developed a set of self-service resources available broadly through their intranet portal. They also created “IT Squads”, groups of Skype for Business Online experts, who set up tents around the Edwards campus in high-traffic areas to answer employee questions.

Edwards’ training efforts paid off, with employee satisfaction increasing as Skype for Business Online with PSTN Conferencing becomes their go-to solution for meetings, collaboration, and conference calls throughout the company.


Skype for Business facilitates diverse meeting scenarios, improving employee satisfaction, and enabling a global, mobile workforce.

Edwards reports positive satisfaction with their Skype for Business Online rollout, as employees move toward more open engagement across the company. Integrated video personalizes meetings, and shortens the perceived distance between people. “There’s a global connectedness enabled by the internet”, shares Wilson, “and Skype for Business Online makes that global connection even more personal, and powerful.” He adds an anecdote, “I was recently working remotely next to my dad, and ended a Skype for Business Online call with a colleague in Prague. He said, ‘That guy was in Prague?! He sounded like he was right next to you!’ The call quality was that good.”.

From one-to-one calls and meetings, to team collaboration, to large cross-company global summits, Edwards employees leverage Skype for Business Online with PSTN Conferencing for variety of meeting scenarios. Previously, meetings with legacy solutions required a mix of technology for conference calling, instant messaging, and screen sharing. With Skype for Business Online, employees can use one integrated collaboration platform. “We host quarterly, global report-outs to our employees with our CIO. Using Skype for Business Online, we’ve enabled a simple, personal, connected touch that other solutions can’t rival”, shares Wilson.

With PSTN Conferencing, Edwards further boosted collaboration with telephone number and passcode dial-in conferencing options for meetings, so attendees can join Skype for Business Online meetings from virtually any device, from wherever they are. This is particularly helpful for employees who are on the road, or unable to connect with their mobile device or PC due to limited internet connectivity.  


Looking to the Future    

As Skype for Business Online takes off across the company, Edwards plans to scale the solution to more employee groups. Based on current trends, they anticipate measurable savings in their annual conference call budget as their deployment continues.

“Skype for Business Online is a no-brainer. It delivers an intuitive, efficient, integrated platform – instant messaging, conference calling, and screen sharing – and helps our employees feel more connected”, shares Callison. Wilson adds, “Skype for Business Online is seamless. It simply works, without hesitation.”  

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