Communicativ started in 2009 to become the expert in Microsoft Unified Communication and Collaboration. At that time however, the world was a different place. We would like to tell you a bit more about our history, so you will understand how we gained our position
Communicativ was founded in 2009 in the Netherlands. Our first office was located at Schiphol, next to the Dutch Microsoft headquarters. From the beginning it was our strategy to focus exclusively on Microsoft communication solutions. At that moment the products Microsoft Exchange 2007 and Microsoft OCS2007r2 where general available. All products were still only available as on-premises installations. With Microsoft OCS2007r2 we had the first product that was capable of integrating with a traditional phone system (PBX). We also started testing with BPOS, Microsoft’s first on-line collaboration platform.
Telephony a different ballgame!
In 2010 we were doing several Microsoft Exchange and BPOS projects. We had some early adaptor customers challenging there PBX questions with the Microsoft OCS solution. We experienced at that time that there was a big knowledge distance between the telephony and IT world. We turned our company 180degrees to solve this PBX/IT problem and started to focus on full traditional PBX replacement services. At the end of 2010, Microsoft introduced Lync2010 to the market. This would be the first Microsoft product to replace a PBX without the need of a PBX connection as we needed it with OCS. We where able to connect the Lync servers to a gateway/SBC. At that time we started our partnership with AudioCodes.
Gold Communication and Gold Messaging status.
After doing business for 2+ years in the PBX replacement industry we were faced with a customer mindset of really technical driven projects. The benefits for a better customer experience is not recognize and not transform to a question “How do we need to configure this communication platform?”. Working with an all-in-one communication solution, the partner should drive the adoption question at the customer. Microsoft introduced there new product Microsoft Lync 2013. This new product would be the first real full functional PBX replacement software. With this new product introduction we also introduced our new project approach with an adoption and reachability questionnaire. We achieved in the first quarter of 2013 our first Gold Communication and Gold Messaging status. In this year we also did a beautiful project for a large cargo ship liner. With more than 25 locations in Europa and Afrika we realist a full PBX environment based on Lync 2013, AudioCodes Mediant 1000 SBA’s for all branch offices and dual datacenter setup at the HQ in the Netherlands. With this project we realized a 300K reduction on their internal communication costs.
More than 310K user to enterprise voice within the Benelux.
Microsoft introduced Skype for Business as new name and customer interface change of the product. The architecture of the server environments were still the same and Lync 2013 was doing great. This year we were able to reach more than 310K end-user to Lync/SFB voice. We are number one in the Netherlands and getting the recognition from Microsoft Western Europe team. Our team expanded quickly and we setup 3 business units: Communication, Collaboration & Messaging. We were building our own touch related room system based on a touch screen with a mini PC to drive conference room solutions at our customers. At the end of this year our CEO is introduced to the Perceptive Pixel team that was acquired by Microsoft and they were showing their product. We directly stopped our own touch room system development and waited till q1-2016 on this new product release.
Surface Hub hits the market
Q1-2016 Microsoft introducing the Surface Hub to the market. A full collaboration room device that we loved from day one. Microsoft Netherlands called our office with the question to help them by the installation of 1 x 55 and 1 x 84 inch Surface Hub. After installation we understand that this are the only two units for Western Europe for the next 6 months. We did some demo’s towards the Microsoft UC teams and Communicativ is asked to do all live demo’s for the next 6 months. We did 185 demo’s in 6 months’ time, with more than 5 customers a session. This product is game changing and opened the world of Collaboration for Enterprise and Corporate. With a tide integration of Skype for Business / Office365 it challenged a lot of the customer environments. After 9 months of waiting and a big list of pre-orders we could finally install the first Surface Hubs at customers. One of the new product categories in our portfolio is introduced to solve the following problem “How do we connect our current Cisco AV solutions in a Skype Surface Hub meeting?”, Interoperability software is the answer. We become partner of Pexip to deliver seamless integration for all legacy AV conferencing connections in to a Skype for Business environment.
A new office and we are cloud calling from the North Cape -35C
After having done some projects in Belgium in the previous year’s Microsoft EMEA asked us if we were willing to expand our activities in this region. We opened an office in Brussels to serve the Belgian market and share our knowledge and skills. To demonstrate the remote working capabilities of Office365 our management team participated in the Arctic Challenge. While driving 6.500 km to the North Cape with temperatures reaching as low as -35 Celcius, they were still managing the company using a simple data connection and Office 365. Using Cloud PBX, a conference speaker, headsets and a laptop they made a total of 124 conference calls (56 with video) and 259 Skype calls. In Q1 we became Microsoft Launch Partner for Office 365 Cloud PBX, later renamed Microsoft Phone system. At this point we were serving more than 300+ Corporate and Enterprises customers and active in more than 60 countries to deliver our services.
Teams it will be!
As Microsoft Teams is maturing we receive many inquiries from customers who are interested to take collaboration to the next level for their organization. We are running the Teams, Teams Room System, Surface Hub v2 TAP programs with Microsoft. These programs were designed to provide Microsoft with feedback on new products by a select group of specialist partners. The beginning of this year also saw the start of our first large scale International Teams project where we are connecting multiple DevOps teams in 5 countries. We also delivered our first full Microsoft cloud projects using multiple cloud connector editions. In April we receive the message from Microsoft that we have been selected as finalist for the Intelligent Communication Partner of the Year award! This award is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of our team, and a recognition of our unique project approach. We’re only half way through the year but we already can see our market is changing quickly and we like where it’s going!
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