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Microsoft launched Office 365 in Iraq at a two day event to promote Microsoft software at Erbil Rotana Hotel

Place: Erbil- Rotana Hotel
Date: April, 13, 2014
Event name: Microsoft launch Office 365 in Iraq

Microsoft Office 365 is software in Cloud that includes always up-to-date Office, (including Word, and Excel) Exchange Server (for e-mail), SharePoint (for internal social networking, collaboration, and a public web site), and Lync (for communication, VoIP, and conferencing). All of these can be used online and accessed anywhere by a user is connected to the Internet even if they do not have their device. Another distinctive feature of this service is that a user can use Up-to-date Office on up to 5 devices. 

On the first day of the event, Microsoft experts gave knowledge, and training about Cloud, Windows 8, and Microsoft devices to their partners. On the second day of the event Microsoft launched Office 365. About 70 people who were invited and having registered ahead of time attended the event. Microsoft Company, based in Seattle, has been operating in Iraq for the last few years and have several partners located in different cities of Iraq, including Baghdad, Slemani, Duhok and Erbil invited representatives of local businesses, non-governmental organizations and governmental ones to come to Irbil. 

Avesta Group had a big role in assisting Microsoft to coordinate this event in Erbil. Most of Avesta’s customers were the participants of the event. Kelkan Group, an oil and gas contracting firm, is the first Iraqi firm to use Office 365. Microsoft launched office 365 on June 28, 2011, and Kelkan Group started using the service on November 2013. Rebaz Qaradaghi who works at Kelkan said, Office 365 “has made the business simpler because it has an online component which includes storage and contacts. We no longer have to carry our laptops everywhere.” 

On the other hand, the head of Kurdistan Regional Government's Department of Information, Hiwa Afandi, who was invited by Avesta Group, suggested that Office 365 could be used at all levels of society from the government and large companies to small businesses. 

Cloud is "a great move to the Kurdistan Region if they understand the importance of it," he said to a group of about 60 people, adding, "Change, before you have to.”