Plantronics/Microsoft Partnership for Unified Communications

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1 Plantronics/Microsoft Partnership for Unified Communications Author: Stéphane Sabbague (Calipia) Version: 1.03 Sept 12, 2007

2 Table of Contents Microsoft's Offer... 3 Companies' Expectations... 5 The Plantronics/Microsoft Partnership for Unified Communications... 6 Details of the Plantronics Range... 7 The Role of Micro Headsets in the Use of Unified Communications... 7 A Range of Products... 8 Call Centers... 8 The Office... 8 Cellular Telephony... 9 Why has Plantronics Been Chosen by the Most Reputable Companies in the World?. 9 The Plantronics SupraPlus Wideband Micro USB Headset for Microsoft Office Communicator A Few References For Further Information... 10

3 Microsoft's Offer By 2010, 80% of companies that used communications-enabled business processes will have obtained a significant advantage over the competition and experienced a direct impact on sales as a result of these processes. (Gartner Group, May 2006). This prediction puts into perspective something that companies experience every day: the ever increasing demand from users and specialized industries for reliable and functionally advanced communication services. Indeed, almost every professional has a fixed-line phone, a cell phone and electronic messaging. But this list of 'essentials' is growing, with the addition of instant messaging, Internet telephony, videoconferencing services... However, these services are most often used as stand-alone entities that create a significant loss in terms of productivity and are far from ideal as regards cost management. In response to these challenges, unified communication systems aim to combine access to various communication services using standard interfaces, regardless of the terminal and the working context (in the office, at customer sites, on the move). Microsoft is innovating within this market by adopting a consistent approach that focuses on the people, by providing them with the easy-to-use tools and interfaces, hiding any technical complexities. In practice, this means that the concept of electronic presence acts as the key to all means of communication: ing, instant messaging, audio/video conferencing, online conferencing and all voice scenarios within business, and above all integrating them into business telephony. Microsoft Microsoft's Offer 3

4 The uses of electronic presence are considered in the Microsoft vision as a vehicle for different communication functions, giving users a clear summary of the availability of their contacts, but also of whether or not they wish to be contacted. Exchange Server calendar information is collated for this purpose. The presence concept applies across the board at workstations everywhere (office, portal, specialized applications), but also with different devices (PC, Web client, Windows Mobile accessories). In terms of technology, Microsoft is setting itself apart by proposing an integrated software platform that is designed for all real-time communication scenarios on the Office Communications Server 2007, and integrated into 'asynchronous' communication services provided by Exchange Server 2007, namely electronic and unified messaging, calendar, task and contact management. Microsoft offers a wide range of telephony options, following on from RCC (Remote Call Control) scenarios, where the client Office Communicator interacts with the company's PABX to enable the user to receive and make phone calls on a range of accessories such as their workstation, a cell phone, a USB headset etc. Interoperability is particularly important in telephony as it is vital that the Office Communications Server 2007 infrastructure is integrated into a company's existing setup. Thanks to the commitment of Microsoft partners, all these promises could become reality for your business!

5 Companies' Expectations For every business, large or small, public or private, the economic environment and markets are global. Therefore, businesses that want to offer significant competitive advantages must implement strategies to allow them to: - Promote the collaboration and communication between their teams, and also with their customers and suppliers, regardless of time, place and language. - Develop the efficiency of individuals, groups and the company. - Promote the capacity for innovation and make decisions at every level of the business. At the same time, information and communication technologies have changed enormously, offering businesses a wide range of solutions for communication, collaboration, sharing, content management etc. Did you know? By 2008, the number of companies using web conferencing services (increasingly connected by electronic presence) is set to increase by 175% (source Frost & Sullivan; World Web Conferencing Markets 2004). In response to the strong desire of companies to adopt unified communication systems, they are wondering how they can successfully implement the new methods by using what they already have, and also, how they can manage the changes. Companies are also finding themselves faced with questions that are hard to answer without involving a trusted partner: How can I identify the areas of my specialized processes where the technology would offer the most benefits? Will I be able to find a partner who is an expert in grouping voice data, able to manage the solution from the concept phase through to production? Is it possible to capitalize on my voice infrastructure and integrate it into a Microsoft unified communications solution? How do I integrate the new unified and combined communication services into my IT system and handle any migration required? How do I guarantee a level of quality in the services offered to users? How do I manage the integration of unified communication services into my specialized applications? How do I manage the costs of the solution and the level of security? What support is provided for users changing to the new solution? Microsoft Companies' Expectations 5

6 The Plantronics/Microsoft Partnership for Unified Communications The use of unified communications can be divided into two main areas: - Voice integration within internal processes in different formats (phone conversations, recorded messages, web conferencing, instant messaging etc.). - Mobility for all use cases, from office automation to the specialized process of the company. Based on these two points, it was only natural that Plantronics and Microsoft should come together to make the most of their two fields of expertise: - Microsoft, provider of software and business services, with its recognized innovative capabilities and technological expertise, offers an integrated package of components for building integrated communications solutions. - Plantronics is regarded as the global leader in lightweight micro headsets for telecommunications. Its large portfolio of products designed for voice applications in messaging, online conferencing, instant messaging and voice over IP, can be seamlessly integrated into any unified communications solution. Designed for users on the move, on their PC or GSM cell phone, but also for those sitting at desks (call centers), on their PC or their IP phone systems, Plantronics products enable a wide variety of uses. Did you know? The famous words "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" uttered by Neil Armstrong in April 1969 were transmitted on Plantronics equipment.

7 Details of the Plantronics Range The Role of Micro Headsets in the Use of Unified Communications The wide use of VOIP (voice over IP) in businesses has contributed significantly to the implementation of multi-mode communications solutions. As a result, communication networks in businesses are made up (see diagram below) of multiple components, such as a network, different communication applications, multiple factors in the shape of terminals interfacing with these applications, and finally, micro headsets. All of this constitutes a global system, for which the end-to-end performance depends on each of these components. As the final link in the chain, the micro headset represents a personal component that can greatly influence the overall satisfaction of the user. It is therefore important to integrate the micro headset as the essential part of the overall experience for the user of unified communications solutions. Most importantly, ensuring the micro headset is as well connected to the terminals and applications as possible. The rapid development in voice over IP systems in businesses means we have to resolve a number of technical issues that could potentially cause users to reject their use in certain cases. Plantronics solutions are designed to minimize, or resolve, these technical issues. With this in mind, they offer: Microsoft Details of the Plantronics Range 7

8 - Excellent sound quality: in collaboration with its suppliers of business communications solutions, Plantronics guarantees the high sound quality of its products by using both hardware mechanisms and software for managing echoes and suppressing background noise. - Multi-mode connectivity: Plantronics products allow the user to interface with different communication applications (telephony, instant messaging etc.) and different types of terminal (PC, office phone or cell phone). This is crucial for the use of unified communications. - A higher level of integration with applications: allowing the user to add call alerts, volume control and other control functions to the micro headset. Particularly in the case of micro wireless headsets, you can control how you communicate without having to be at your terminal (PC, phone etc.), again reinforcing the aspect of mobility. - An extremely wide range of products to suit every need, whether it relates to design, comfort or functionality. A Range of Products The Plantronics product range designed for businesses corresponds to three major categories of use. Call Centers With over 40 years of experience, Plantronics has long been the leader in the global market of micro headsets for call centers. Plantronics provides superior sound quality and reliability as well as exceptional customer service for call center customers. The extensive range of products offers a choice of wearing styles to ensure comfort throughout the day and micro wireless headsets for those who need maximum mobility. The CS60 micro wireless headset offers increased mobility at your desk, without compromising your wearing and hearing comfort. The Office Designed for professionals who need to be able to stay connected to their communication tools while on the move, Plantronics offers micro wireless headset solutions that allow you to work wherever you like with the freedom to go where you like.

9 Cellular Telephony Plantronics cellular telephony solutions offer excellent sound quality and the convenience of talking hands-free. What's more, its Bluetooth range allows users complete mobility. The Voyager 510 USB Bluetooth headset can be used with your GSM phone or your PC; for use with a PC, the provided Bluetooth USB adapter is required. It breaks the boundaries of communication. Why has Plantronics Been Chosen by the Most Reputable Companies in the World? In addition to the above quality criteria, the following factors set Plantronics products apart from the rest everyday products, truly designed for companies: - Reliability: Plantronics micro headsets have a reputation for lasting, even in difficult environments. - Comfort: Plantronics designs its micro headsets to be worn all day, every day. - Audio quality: essential for the large-scale development of a business's use of unified communications. It also contributes to reducing costs resulting from these uses (for example, promoting teleconferences instead of face-to-face meetings that generate large travel costs). - Quality customer service: with its pre-sale contacts, after-sale technical support and customer services, Plantronics offers a repair/replacement service for faulty products within 48 hours, as well as technical support available in 148 languages. Microsoft Details of the Plantronics Range 9

10 The Plantronics SupraPlus Wideband Micro USB Headset for Microsoft Office Communicator Within the context of its partnership with Microsoft, Plantronics has developed a product specifically optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007: Plantronics SupraPlus Wideband USB for Microsoft Office Communicator. This is a tool specially adapted for Microsoft unified communications solutions, such as Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 and Microsoft Exchange 2007, and unified messaging functions. There are numerous advantages to this micro headset specially designed for unified communications, including: - The option to control the application directly from the micro headset to improve the ergonomics and the user's productivity. - Broadband audio communications for a superior level of quality. - Improved user performance the user can switch to hands-free mode in the middle of a conversation in order to write an or answer an instant message. - The option of listening to you voic or messages (with Exchange Server's Unified Messaging service) in complete privacy without disturbing people around you. A Few References The following references are a sample of the most important: Bouygues Télécom (Voyager 510 USB headset on OCS) Sanofi-Aventis Renault Pfizer HP Orange 9 Telecom Accenture Société Générale For Further Information Your business contact: Fabrice Berthelot Tel. : +33 (0)

11 GSM: +33 (0) If you would like a free 2-week trial of Plantronics micro headsets, please contact Fabrice Berthelot. You distribution contract: Christophe Herrerias Tel. : +33 (0) GSM: +33 (0) Website: Affiliated website: Microsoft Contacts Do you have any questions on Microsoft unified communications solutions? If so, please contact Gwenaël Fourré, Product Manager for Unified Communications Products at Microsoft, Microsoft For Further Information 11

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