KARACHI: With a continuous investment strategy for Pakistan, Microsoft launched its Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) facility on Wednesday, a platform that exclusively targets corporate customers and offers free demonstration of technologies.
“Seeing is believing. Lots of our customers are excited about our products but they want to experience it first, and that is what we are here to do today,” Sayed Hashish, General Manager, North Africa; East Mediterranean and Pakistan said at the launch ceremony.
The new CIE facility in Karachi which cost more than a million dollars, is a huge investment by Microsoft in Pakistan, Hashish said. CIE will have a great impact on customers in Pakistan, which remains the highest potential country in the region, he added.
Microsoft, currently partners with more than 7,000 clients in the country, believes there is great potential for growth in Pakistan, which is more stable than many other countries in the region, according to Hashish. Pakistan’s strategic location and its huge population makes it a high growth market for Microsoft, he added.
The purpose of the facility is to let users – IT managers of corporate firms in particular – experience a set of Microsoft technologies hands on, said country general manager Kamal Ahmed. Seeing how these products can help them communicate and manage information more efficiently within, he said, users can choose the ones that best fit their business needs.
Giving demos of two CIE products MS Outlook and MS Lync, he said the two together can help increase productivity a great deal.
A person can listen to voicemails – recorded on his office phone while away – through his inbox anywhere if he is logged in, he said. Additionally, if a customer or a colleague calls a manager at his office extension, he will receive the same call at his cell phone device in real time, he added.
Land of software developers
Pakistani software developers account for 40% of total software development in North Africa, East Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Africa, said Hashish.
“They developed many applications for Windows Phone even before its launch,” he added while talking to The Express Tribune on the backdrop of the launch.
Asked why Microsoft is investing in the country, he said there are two things that push them, sheer fact of talent capacity that exists in the country and the potential to grow.
Take the example of Windows Phone – that’s already launched in Pakistan it requires a lot of applications to build this product; a lot of these applications came from Pakistani IT students even before the launch of the product” he said, adding that talented pool of IT people helped us address both local and international markets.” “We are in Pakistan for ten years now,” Hashish said, “we are here to stay for good and continue to invest in the country,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2011.