Cognizant Microsoft Business Group (formerly New Signature) is helping clients transition from aging communications infrastructures to a whole new world of communications tools – fully integrated with other office technologies, with less cost and increased ease of maintenance.

Skype for Business (formerly Lync) is a unified communications platform providing a consistent, single client experience for voice, instant messaging, video conferencing and more. And for so many organizations—like the Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Association (SMART)—it’s a been a business operations game-changer.


When SMART needed to replace their 25-year-old telephone system, their IT Director, Max Rubin, decided to investigate if Skype for Business could serve as their full-time phone system as well as utilizing the tool for it instant message and video capabilities. Having already worked with Cognizant Microsoft Business Group for their Office365 implementation, SMART had a trusted partner in place for this Skype overhaul.


Skype for Business offered SMART an integrated presence, instant messaging, along with web- and videoconferencing. Additionally, SMART is now using Skype for Business as their private branch exchange (PBX) phone system.

Since the transition, SMART’s staff have been free from handsets, only using headsets, computers or mobile devices for communications. The quality of their calls has increased, and the solution has provided more fluidity and ease of access for every team member across both locations.

Skype for Business has shrunk our organization - in a good way. We’re spread out with two office locations and staff working around the U.S. and Canada. With presence awareness, we feel more connected. We know when people are available to talk. We can seamlessly invite people into a conference call – video or audio. We can easily accommodate multiple ports of entry: phone, computer, mobile device. It’s anyone, anytime, anywhere, any device.

Max Rubin | IT Director


SMART is experiencing a myriad of benefits since their Skype for Business migration:

  • Teleworking. SMART has the ability to extend the office environment to home which has been particularly helpful during inclement weather.
  • No space requirement. SMART only has two conference rooms. Previously, if the rooms were occupied, meetings were put off or rescheduled.
  • Consolidation of third-party services. SMART used multiple vendors to meet communications needs. They no longer have the complication – or cost – of services like GoToMeeting, WebEx and AT&T.