Authors: Lync Team
At the Microsoft Lync launch in November, we introduced more than 70 new devices including IP phones and USB peripherals to the market. We previewed new video end points and announced interoperability with several industry standard telepresence systems, video end points, and conferencing platforms. We also introduced...
The Worldwide Partner Conference kicked off this morning, and over 9,400 Microsoft partners are joining us in DC. The Worldwide Partner Conference (‘WPC’) is our largest partner event of the year and provides an opportunity to meet with partners, congratulate and celebrate our partners’ successes, and share our business priorities for the upcoming year. This year is particularly significant with the upcoming Communications Server “14” launch and our team is excited about the opportunities this brings our partners.
A growing and robust partner ecosystem
Communications Server provides a platform for partners to offer a number of complementary solutions that provide flexibility and choice to customers. Many of our partners that adopted the software transformation of communications early are already seeing increased revenue, finding new business opportunities and tapping into markets that they would not have been able to access with the limited solutions from traditional communications vendors.
Three years ago, Microsoft was a newcomer at VoiceCon with just a handful of partners on the expo floor. At this year’s VoiceCon show (March 2010), more than 75% of the vendors are partnering with Microsoft Communications Server – either interoperating their solutions delivering complementary products such as devices, gateways and solutions. Twelve partners simultaneously announced new solutions for Microsoft Communications Server “14” at VoiceCon. These solutions spanned survivable branch office appliances, enhanced 9-1-1 call routing services, new contact center solutions and more.
Polycom and Aastra, who announced their low cost IP desk phones at VoiceCon, made further announcements at WPC. Available in the fourth quarter of 2010, Polycom’s CX series phones are affordably priced from MSRP U.S. $199 for the CX500 IP phone, designed for use in public areas, and $299 for the CX600 IP desktop phone. These low cost IP desk phones enable a broader set of customers to deploy and use Communications Server “14”.
Additionally, HP, Juniper Networks and Brocade are participating in Microsoft’s Network Optimization program, which optimizes the performance between the network and Communications Server to deliver the most reliable business communications including presence, instant messaging, conferencing, video and voice. In addition, BT is our newest SIP Trunking partner following their recent qualification with Microsoft Communications Server.
In addition to our technology partners, we are also excited about the successes and growth of our services partner eco-system. A number of partners providing services based on Exchange and SharePoint are now expanding their business by offering the full Unified Communications stack, adding Instant Messaging, Conferencing and Enterprise Voice via Communications Server. Many of the traditional voice partners have also created Communications Server practices because they are seeing more and more customer demand and relevance for a software based solution.
Why is this upcoming release of Communication Server ‘14’ significant for partners?
Communications Server “14” enables partners to expand service offerings. Communications Server is now a complete communications system that provides IM, rich Presence, Conferencing and Enterprise Voice without needing to rip or replace legacy systems.
Key service opportunities for partners include adding IM/presence, deploying conferencing, and replacing or enhancing legacy communications. These communications and collaboration capabilities can be added to a customer’s environment as part of a routine software upgrade cycle. Adding services like these can generate incremental revenue for partners in the 20% range, compared to the 5-7% hardware margin many partners already recognize. Adding services is just the beginning.
Many partners are already leveraging the extensible platform of Communications Server to develop new applications that include built in communications capabilities for their customers. Truly understanding their customers’ business and helping to streamline and increase customer revenue helps these develop deeper relationships with their customers.
“We’ve found that by using OCS as a platform, deployment is not the end of the engagement – it is the start of a long-lasting business relationship.” - Kevin Ross, Product Sales and Marketing Director, Geomant
Our vibrant partner ecosystem is our best asset for assisting customers to build out a communications infrastructure that is integrated, unified, optimized and cost effective. These partners are developing solutions and delivering services that provide customer choice to best meet their specific communications needs. This momentum is a sign that our partner community believes in our Unified Communications vision.
Are you attending WPC this year? Join us for the Communications Server “14” breakout and interactive sessions in the Business Productivity track Monday afternoon. And stop by the Business Productivity booth (#155) on the expo floor this week to see the demo of our upcoming release.
Kristin Murray, UC Partner Marketing
Pleased to provide a well done piece on Avaya’s Design for Environment work, which comprises processes and checklists that ensure our products are complaint with regulations around the world and are designed in a way to minimize waste and maximize efficiency throughout the entire life cycle. Trevor outlines the work he undertook to reduce the paint used on our 9600 phones, which resulted in removing the paint entirely from the phones, a significant savings and environmental benefit.
Design for Environment (DFE) in Practice
Avaya has been a leader in environmentally responsible design practices for many years. As part of our design process, we adhere to Design for Environment (DFE) checklists. One DFE checklist is specifically for the design of plastic parts. This checklist includes guidelines and recommendations on how to minimize plastic waste and maximize recyclability of plastic parts. One recommendation is to minimize the amount of paint used on plastic parts. Paint on plastic can create problems when trying to recycle the parts, so painting plastic is avoided whenever possible.
The 9600 line of phones are Avaya's high end IP phones. Customers expect these phones to be the highest quality product in both functionality and appearance. The plastic housings and faceplates on the 9600 phones are a dark charcoal color. This dark color is aesthetically pleasing, but has a tendency to show cosmetic molding imperfections in the plastic. This is particularly true on thin plastic parts such as the faceplates. In the early stages of the design, numerous attempts were made to improve the aesthetics of the faceplates. Significant improvements were made, but the quality was still not high enough for the 9600 phones. This resulted in the need to paint the faceplates. This is a common practice in the plastics industry for aesthetically critical parts. A very light coat of same color paint is applied to the plastic to hide cosmetic imperfections.
The team responsible for the 9600 plastic was never totally satisfied with the painting solution, and continued to investigate methods to eliminate the painting process. The cosmetic imperfections are caused by the rapid cooling of the molten plastic as it flows into the cooler mold (tool). Recent advances in tool design and processing have addressed this problem by rapidly heating and cooling the tool with steam and cooling water. Avaya took advantage of this new process for the faceplates on the 9620L and 9620C. These are the highest volume models of the 9600 phones. The results were excellent. The cosmetic quality of the new unpainted faceplates matches the painted faceplates. The new unpainted faceplates will be phased into production over the next few months.
This is an example of a going green initiative that also makes good business sense. Not only are the plastic faceplates easier to recycle, but the additional cost of painting has been eliminated. Based on the excellent results from this new molding process on the 9600 phones, the next generation of Avaya phones are currently being designed without the need for painted faceplates. Avaya sells millions of phones every year that will need to be recycled at some time in the future. The elimination of paint and improved recyclability of these phones is a significant step forward for Avaya's going green initiative.
Authors: Avaya Insights
I had the best job at Enterprise Connect: hosting the Avaya Innovations Lounge. I had a chance to speak with many of our customers (and yours!) to really see what they thought was "fit for purpose". Here are the top 3 responses that show we are delivering just that:
1) "This is huge! Could completely change how we work!"