Partners: Earn up to 30% incentive with Microsoft solutions

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.10.2011 at 18:19

The Solution Incentives reward partners for driving sales of specific Microsoft solutions, chosen for their growth and market potential. The program creates opportunities for partners to build new sustainable revenue streams and increase their value to customers.

What partner types can participate?
Solution incentives are customer segment and partner-type agnostic. Partners need to meet eligibility requirements and each opportunity being registered needs to meet the eligibility criteria described in the Program Guide, to be eligible for incentives.

What if the Solution Partner also transacts the order?
Whether the Partner is only advising the customer, or advising and transacting, there will be no difference in the solution incentives calculation and payment.

For more information, check out the following documents:

Management and Virtualization

Windows 7

Application Platform (Microsoft SQL Server)

Microsoft Lync

New to PSX? Check out the PSX resources here.

Lync for Mac 2011 is now RTM

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.09.2011 at 13:30

Mac users will soon have a Lync client,  starting October 2011. . From the updated contact cards to the ability to set up Lync conferences from Outlook 2011 for Mac to enterprise voice features, Lync for Mac 2011 offers Mac users integrated functionality for presence, instant messaging, conferencing and voice and is designed to work with both Lync Server 2010 and Lync Online.

Lync for Mac 2011 is available to customers as a part of the Office for Mac 2011 Volume Licensing SKU or through many of Microsoft’s Licensing programs. Customers can also purchase the application as a standalone volume licensing SKU.

Lync client for Blackberry now available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 15.06.2011 at 08:25

I am happy to see the Lync client for Blackberry. If you’re a Blackberry user, download it today.


Six free downloads for Lync

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.06.2011 at 06:43

Microsoft has launched six free downloadable add-ons for Lync Server. As per the UC Group Team Blog, the new add-ons are:

    • Tabbed Conversations (My favourite!)- Tabbed Conversations provides a tabbed conversation window to allow multiple instant messaging (IM) conversations in a single window.


  • IM an Expert – IM an Expert is a social networking tool that helps the people in your organization who have questions find the people in your organization who have answers. IM an Expert parses the question to determine the topic area, finds topic area experts in its user-populated expert database, and forwards the question. A willing expert responds to the initial question and follow-up questions using Lync.
  • Conversations Analyzer – Conversations Analyzer is an application that reviews your Lync instant messaging (IM) conversation history and gives you scores for your use of trust-building language in day-to-day communications with business associates and friends. Conversations Analyzer applies trust rules to determine the occurrence of words and phrases that have a positive or negative effect on trust.
  • Conversation Translator – Conversation Translator provides a real-time language translation service for Lync instant messaging (IM) conversations in up to 35 different languages. With Conversation Translator, both the sender and receiver can converse in their native language and Conversation Translator handles the translation.


  • Information Dashboard – Information Dashboard helps you start a conversation with a remote contact by providing current information about the contact’s location. For example, if you are calling a coworker or a client in Shanghai, China, you can open Information Dashboard and enter the location of Shanghai before making the call. Information Dashboard will return the day, date, time, whether you’re calling during regular working hours, the weather forecast, and a news feed of articles related to the location. Lync also saves these settings are for your contact, so it’s easy to access the same information the next time you talk.


  • Group Chat Stress Tool – You can use the Group Chat Stress Tool to help verify your Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Group Chat hardware deployment.

Gulf Lync Launch

by Shijaz Abdulla on 30.01.2011 at 15:59

In partnership with Jabra and Polycom, Microsoft cordially invites you to attend the exclusive Unified Communications Launch roadshow in the Gulf region. Success in today’s business world hinges on collaboration – whether it’s with other employees, clients, partners, or vendors. Now there’s a way for your organization to transform every communication into an interaction that is more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere

Register now for the Lync Roadshow in your city!

Why attend?
Meet international subject matter experts from Jabra, Polycom and Microsoft and learn the latest trends and cutting-edge technologies in the Unified Communications space.
Jabra’s award-winning corded and wireless headset solutions integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Lync providing a reliable, easy to use and cost effective user experience across multiple devices and platforms.
Polycom provides a complete, standards-based, and interoperable UC solution for voice, video, conferencing, and collaboration, giving customers a choice through the scalable Polycom infrastructure and Microsoft Lyncâ„¢ platform
Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010 is the next generation of Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 R2 offers organizations a wide range of option

  • A single interface that unites voice communications, presence and instant messaging, and audio/video/web conferencing into a solution that can enhance or replace existing systems.
  • A familiar user experience accessible through Microsoft® Office, Microsoft SharePoint®,
    and Microsoft Exchange.
  • A single identity that connects users to contacts inside and outside the organization.
  • A consistent experience across PC, phone, web, or mobile that gives users the option to connect
    from multiple devices.
  • Exceptional security and reliability that works with Active Directory® and Microsoft Forefront®.
  • Interoperability with existing systems for smoother deployment and migration.

A rich platform for development, bringing unified communications into custom solutions ranging from business workflows to line-of-business applications.

February 5th 2011 – Oman
February 6th 2011 – Bahrain
February 7th 2011 – Qatar
February 8th 2011 – Kuwait
February 9th 2011 – UAE

Register now for the Lync Roadshow in your city!

Aastra announces IP phones for Microsoft Lync

by Shijaz Abdulla on 25.11.2010 at 11:09

Aastra, a leading company at the forefront of the enterprise communication market, announced that its Aastra IP Phones for Microsoft Lync are now available for sale in conjunction with the release of Microsoft Lync.


The Aastra 6721ip and 6725ip phones deliver exceptional quality and value while tightly integrating with Microsoft Lync, making them powerful unified communications (UC) devices. These phones can operate independently from a PC so can be easily and widely deployed. The Aastra 6725ip offers the additional benefits of PC connection via USB cable for a tight integration with Microsoft Lync Server 2010: click-to-dial is enriched with presence status ensuring a more efficient call management for business users and team collaboration.

The Aastra 6721ip and 6725ip phones were designed to provide a superior user experience and facilitate the adoption of unified communications including:

  • an intuitive interface clearly displayed on a full color 3.5″ LCD screen;
  • easy access to the most essential calling features through navigation keys; and
  • wideband audio which enhances the clarity of all calls, a particular benefit for companies doing business internationally.

snom phone tested by Microsoft for OCS compatibility

by Shijaz Abdulla on 26.09.2010 at 09:59

snom technology AG is a developer and manufacturer of VOIP phones for enterprise and residential markets.

The snom 300 phone has been tested by Microsoft for interoperability with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. The snom 300 uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for VoIP communications. This dedication to a standards-based protocol makes the snom 300 interoperable with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 while also retaining all of its standards-based SIP features.

The announcement of the snom 300 is a new addition to the OCS IP phone portfolio, and meets a long desired need for an inexpensive IP phone ($120 MSRP) that has been tested for interoperability with OCS.

Compatible Devices Program for Microsoft Lync is Microsoft’s program to test and qualify partner devices to work with Microsoft Lync so partners can provide a wide choice of phones, headsets, conference room systems, and other devices to meet the needs of employees in all workspaces—including headquarters, branch offices, and remote locations. These communications devices enable users to connect via audio and video for a rich communication and collaboration experience wherever they are.  The program includes 2 levels:

  • ‘Optimized for OCS/Lync’ – IP phones, headsets, conference room systems and other devices that offer a rich and integrated experience giving customers the power to get the most out of their Lync experience and return on investment.
  • Other compatible IP phones – IP phones tested to provide basic interoperability and quality of experience. snom300 is the first phone in this new category.

Read the snom press release here.

Microsoft Lync is the new OCS

by Shijaz Abdulla on 26.09.2010 at 09:53

Microsoft Lync  is the new branding for the latest version of Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS), scheduled for release pretty soon.

Some of the new features in Lync:

  • Unified Experience
    • One set of contacts between Lync and Office apps
    • Communicate with context both from SharePoint and Outlook
    • PCs, browser and mobile device support
    • IM, voice, video, web conferencing all in one client
  • Connect & Collaborate
    • Find & connect with the right people in the organization using new rich presence, that includes pictures & current location
    • SharePoint based Skill Search
  • Enterprise Voice features
    • QoS enhancements with Call Admission Control
    • Datacenter resiliency and survivable branch appliances
    • Wide range of IP and USB device support
  • Conferencing
    • Rich whiteboarding including copy-paste, powerpoint upload, desktop & app sharing all built into Lync client
    • Easily schedule meetings
    • Virtual lobby to place attendees and ensure security over who can attend
  • Powerful deployment & management
    • VIRTUALIZATION supported on most of the Lync Server roles!
    • Role based access control
    • PowerShell based foundation for administration
    • Improved navigation thru silverlight based scenario-driven graphical management tool
  • Extensibility

You can read more about it at

Doha’s Hotel IT Managers get-together

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.05.2010 at 13:51

Last evening, my colleague Mamoun and I were invited to a get-together of Doha’s Hotel IT Managers at the Intercontinental Hotel, Doha.

We had some great conversations around Microsoft solutions for the hospitality industry and I had a chance to discuss Microsoft Surface, Unified Communications and Windows 7 adoption issues. What was more captivating was the community that the IT Managers have formed as a platform to foster the informal exchange of information and ideas and to collectively discuss technology and challenges.

Below are the videos that I played during my presentation:







I would like to thank Mr. Hussein Yaghmour, IT Manager of the Intercontinental Doha, for hosting this get-together, for inviting us to be a part of this great community event, and for the fantastic dinner!

Microsoft and Qtel sign strategic alliance

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.02.2010 at 16:28

Based on content from Microsoft PressPass

Microsoft Corporation and Qatar Telecom (Qtel) announced on Feb. 17 the signing of a broad strategic alliance to bring together integrated cloud-based services, software applications, mobile services and devices over Qtel’s converged network. The alliance aims to expand Qtel’s service portfolio, helping redefine the digital work style and lifestyle of their subscribers. The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress 2010.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qtel, said Qtel and Microsoft would collaborate to deliver truly integrated and innovative communications services to business and consumer markets.

Qtel Logo           Microsoft wordmark.svg


"This is an important alliance that will deliver world-leading services and applications from Microsoft over Qtel’s world-class networks to make a real difference in people’s lives all made available through a seamless one-click, one-touch user experience," Marafih said. "Qtel’s efforts will add a distinct element of mobility and connectivity to enrich the overall experience for people, to make the technology truly come alive.

"For businesses, Qtel will deliver unified communications offerings — a combination of telephony, e-mail, mobility, conferencing, collaboration and tools like ‘presence’  to fuel a sense of real possibility and potential across the region."

The first products are planned to be introduced in the market by mid-2010.



"Together we’re building a road map to deliver rich, connected experiences," Mulinder said. "Spanning TV, PC and mobile devices, these new services will bring differentiation for Qtel and deliver compelling new scenarios for consumers and businesses.", said Austen Mulinder, corporate vice president for the Communications Sector at Microsoft.

In its first phase, Qtel and Microsoft plan to run mobile e-learning pilot projects in Kuwait, Qatar and Oman aimed at providing students and teachers with the ability to easily communicate, collaborate and access various educational services, using solutions including Windows® Phone and the Windows Live platform.

Other services contemplated under this alliance include the delivery of value-added services across the PC, phone, TV and gaming with the goal of bringing consumers closer to experiencing seamless digital entertainment experiences across the many screens in their lives.

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