Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Cambodian military integrates with Microsoft Lync

Thursday, 31 May 2012, Stuart Alan Becker

The Cambodian Ministry of Defence has begun using Microsoft Lync, an instant messaging client that uses IP protocols, like those used by the internet, to integrate communications from radios to smart phones, enabling secure communications between commanders and troops via many different kinds of mobile devices.

General Manager Sampath Perera of Techenture Consulting, said his firm is proud to be helping the Ministry of Defence integrate their communications with security and speed.

“Basically if you take traditional military communication, you have radio, which is limited to a certain area. The general can be in another country, but with Microsoft Lync he can use his smart phone to talk with radio channels even on the battlefield,” Perera said.

The system runs with Microsoft Lync Server software on computer hardware owned by the client and has built-in high-level encryption, Perera said.

“The advantages are that you don’t really need to throw away the existing systems.  When you integrate the radio systems with Lync, communications are available anywhere in the world.”

Sri Lankan Perera, 28, has been in Cambodia for about four years. He says many other organizations including banks with multiple branches, mobile operators, government agencies and NGOs could benefit from such secure unified communications capability.

“The benefit for a customer with Microsoft Lync is that you can replace the traditional communications system. You can integrate a standard PBX telephone system, Yahoo Messenger, Skype and different applications. When they want to do a phone call they pick up the phone and use Skype. You can integrate all these things because Microsoft now owns Skype,” Perera said.

“The main benefit for business is they don’t need to invest in different devices for different channels of communications.  They need land phones, fax machines, separate emails, chat and instant messaging.  With link you integrate all devices, it saves costs and money on IP administration,” he said.

Giving the example of the Lync system capability using The Phnom Penh Post, Perera said, “If the operator at The Post rings your extension, it will ring your mobile phone. No matter where you are, we get your call to you. If you are a large organisation with many branch offices and a need to call from branch to branch, it costs money.  By using Lync, you can deploy IP communications.”

The cost of the system depends on the number of users, Perera says.

“If you have 30 to 50 users with standard Lync, then we are looking at somewhere like $5,000 for the deployment and that’s just for the software.  With the hardware it would total from $6,000 to $7,000.  The cost is based on the number of client access licenses,” he said.

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