Microsoft Qatar located at Qatar Science and Technology Park, today announced the general availability of Microsoft Lync, the next generation of communications that connects people in new ways across the Middle East region. This was announced at an exclusive Unified Communications event in Doha which gave businesses in Qatar an opportunity to get in-depth insights into Microsoft Lync. Starting today, business customers can purchase Lync and anyone can download a free trial version of Lync at http://www.lync.com.
Lync is a single platform that integrates instant messaging, presence, audio, video, webconferencing and voice to bring people together in the ways they communicate best, with one interface that works with the applications businesses know and use today, including Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange.
“Lync delivers on our vision to unify all of the modes of modern business communication, giving people a more collaborative, ‘in person’ experience with features like HD video, conference recording, and social features like status updates and activity feeds,” said Mohammad Hammoudi, Country Manager, Microsoft Qatar located at Qatar Science and Technology Park. “In addition to transforming how people communicate, IT departments are also looking to Lync to evolve their infrastructure and enhance or eliminate their traditional PBX systems, saving money and saving time.”
Microsoft recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact study that found that for a composite organization Lync 2010 offers a risk-adjusted ROI of 337 percent, including $6.35 million in hard cost savings over three years, with a payback period of 12 months.
Choice and Value With Partner Solutions
In terms of local partners several companies like Mannai Corporation, Qatar Datamation Systems, Information and Communication Technology, Ebla Consultancy, Afkar Technology, LinkDot Link are offering services to help customers evaluate, deploy and manage their Lync infrastructure.
According to Mohammad Alam, General Manager, Qatar Datamation Systems, “Given the potential of adopting a Unified Communications approach, customers today need access to trusted advisors to evaluate and implement the right set of unified communication solutions powered by Microsoft Lync. We look forward to working with customers to facilitate their adoption of Microsoft Lync and help find the right mix of partner technology solutions to offer more value, choice and innovation to their communication investments.”
Today, more than 70 new devices optimized for Lync, including a variety of IP phones, headsets, speakerphones and webcams, are being announced by Polycom Inc., Jabra, Aastra Technologies Ltd. and other device partners.
Polycom is announcing the industry’s first telepresence solution designed to interoperate with Lync, through the Polycom HDX Series and Polycom UC Intelligent Core. Both solutions enable individuals and groups to collaborate naturally and effortlessly across any distance.
“Through our commitment with Microsoft to deliver flexible standards-based solutions, Polycom is transforming business communications with the most comprehensive and intuitive communications experience that will deliver high-definition video, voice and content-sharing capabilities to conference rooms, classrooms and meeting spaces across the enterprise,” said Charles James, Director - Polycom Microsoft Alliance EMEA.
Jabra is announcing the introduction of a new portable speakerphone and five touch-screen, multiuse headsets thereby providing a full range of solutions to meet the needs of enterprises deploying Lync-based voice and conferencing.
“We are committed to delivering the most extensive portfolio of audio endpoints for Lync to both the market and to our customers. These new, innovative additions demonstrate Jabra’s continued investment in developing a portfolio that addresses how businesses are extending communications through desk, mobile, and soft phone applications,” said Joel Hamon, President EMEA & CALA, Jabra. “With each generation of new products, we seek to deliver on our goals to increase end-user productivity, improve their experience, and reduce the costs for enterprises through improved design, functionality, and durability at cost effective prices.”
Microsoft Lync 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is currently available for purchase for businesses of all sizes. Microsoft Lync Online will be available as part of Office 365, with voice capabilities available in 2011. Lync Online will include instant messaging, presence, audio and video conferencing, and PC-to-PC voice calls.
Microsoft Lync is the new family brand for the products formerly known as Microsoft Communications Server, Microsoft Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Communicator, and now also includes Microsoft Lync Web App and Microsoft Lync Online. More information about Lync is at http://www.microsoft.com/lync.