Daniel Jonathan Valik is an industry expert in Unified Communications & Collaboration, Cloud, Mobile Platform, Social Networking and Contact Center technology. Daniel drives the above topics for more than 15 years in the IT and Telecommunication industry and has also lived and worked in different regions like Europe, South East Asia and United States. Daniel is a Sr. Program Manager - Unified Communications in the Global Business Operations & Strategic Services division at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond/WA, USA and he drives the evolution and maintenance of the global Customer Support Unified Communications strategy. This includes gathering, consolidating and prioritizing business requirements from international customers, business partners and Microsoft business teams to push Microsoft Lync, Lync online, Skype and other Unified Communications related technology in the field of customer care and global contact centers. In other words, Daniel is responsible to innovate Contact Centers and with that to bring the customer care of Microsoft into the next century of communication and collaboration. Daniel was born and grown up in "Baden bei Wien" in Austria and started his early career at a small computer shop in his hometown close to Vienna, Austria where he worked as a hardware engineer on PCs and servers. After his first job, he served the Military for about a year and continued his career as a Systems Engineer for Linux Debian and Suse support at a small telecommunications provider. Then he moved on to a well-known service and software company in Germany, Materna Information and Communications, where he designed, developed and led customer projects for Unified Messaging, Speech Recognition and mobile technology projects in Western Europe. After almost 6 years in Materna as Systems Engineer, Architect, Presales expert and later as the Product Solution Manager, he made his move to Microsoft Austria and Western Europe. In this new opportunity, Daniel was a Senior Product Specialist for Unified Communications and Mobility and was responsible for developing and executing 'go to market' initiatives to help enterprises evaluate and justify investment for adoption of Microsoft UC technologies/solutions. During this time he developed partnerships with Samsung, HTC, Polycom, HP, Kapsch, Telekom Austria, T-Mobile, T-Systems, Bechtle, Dialogic, AudioCodes and many other international companies. He also played the role of Project Architect to integrate Microsoft Unified Communications & Collaboration (UCC) solutions with 3rd party equipment and devices like Nortel IP PBX with Exchange's Unified Messaging, Polycom HDX 9000 conferencing system with Microsoft OCS R2, Dialogic gateway with OCS etc. As the lead of UCC @ Cloud initiative, Daniel led the team to help customer evaluate options (On-premise, cloud base or hybrid) and develop business cases enabling customer's executives to make informed decisions. Next to this, he also led the initiative to help customers evaluate UCC technologies/solutions (especially OCS/Lync versus Cisco and IBM) by providing solution scenarios, technology comparisons, competitive analysis and Communication-Enabled Business Process (CEBP) to make a 'facts' based decision with ROI justification and alignment of business and IT objectives. This process often required him to play the Architect role to design, build and execute Proof of Concept (POC) projects to support the Microsoft product marketing and product management teams. After Microsoft Austria, he made another career decision to move his home base to Hong Kong and then Singapore where he drove business development, product management and product marketing for Unified Communications for an important Microsoft Lync partner, Unify Square APAC. Daniel holds a number of technical certifications including MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer). He has a double Master's Degree (MBA) and a Master Degree (MAS) in General Business, additionally he hold a degree for International Business Management. He is the author of several books like "The Renaissance of Communication and Collaboration" , which is the first German book about UC with a mix of business and technology, published as Lync Server 2010 launch book for the DACH region by Microsoft. Together with Jochen Kunert (Managing Director of Unify Square EMEA), Daniel co-authored the second book about Unified Communications . His third book is about Cloud Services which was written for the EuroCloud association in Europe. Additionally he has a couple other publishing projects inclusive of whitepapers for Microsoft, Gartner, Formicary Collaboration Group and others. Daniel is a regular speaker at international events and congresses like EuroCloud Congress Western Europe, Microsoft Lync Conferences (Lync 2013 Conference San Diego, USA), Microsoft Global Exchange US, TechEd, Microsoft Product Launches, University and campus events and also contributes to technical articles, business magazines and newsletters in Microsoft & Lync forums. In his free time, he spends time with Aikido, Iaido, Kendo, Ken-Jutsu, Kyudo, Meditation, Bonsai breeding & Aquariums, traveling, reading, snowboarding, running, cooking, music, canopy and hiking.