Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Microsoft Office 365, the company’s newest cloud service. Office 365 is now available in 40 markets including Ireland, and it brings together Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service, for a predictable monthly subscription.
Office 365 is now available in the Irish market, and today three leading Irish service providers announced plans to bring the service to their customers. These are O2, UPC and Vodafone, and each will offer Office 365 along with their own services to thousands of small and midsize business customers in Ireland.
Office 365 brings together Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in an always-up-to-date service, at a predictable monthly cost. The service was introduced in limited beta last year with enthusiastic response, particularly among small and midsize businesses. Over a few months, more than 200,000 organisations, 70% of which were small and midsize businesses, signed up and began testing Office 365, creating one of Microsoft’s largest beta programs for businesses.
These businesses using Office 365 are already reporting impressive results, including a reduction in IT costs by up to 50% whilst boosting productivity
“Great collaboration is critical to business growth, and because it’s so important, we believe the best collaboration technology should be available to everyone,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “With a few clicks, Office 365 levels the playing field, giving small and midsize businesses powerful collaboration tools that have given big businesses an edge for years.”
“Ireland is seen as a leading country in cloud computing and small businesses in particular have much to gain,” said Jeremy Showalter, Productivity Lead, Microsoft Ireland. “Office 365 will help Irish businesses collaborate and communicate more effectively and enable them to scale for growth in a predictable way. We are excited about the many ways Office 365 can help businesses grow in ever challenging times.”
A Game-Changer for Businesses of All Sizes
Office 365 is available in a wide range of service plans designed to meet the needs of businesses of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the largest to the smallest.
With Office 365, people can stay on the same page with instant messaging and virtual meetings with people down the corridor and around the world. They can work on files and documents at the same time, and they can share ideas as easily as they can share calendars. And, they can do it on virtually all the devices they already use from just about anywhere.
Microsoft Office applications are at the heart of Office 365. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook and other Office applications connect to Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync, to deliver a world class solution for communication and collaboration.
Karl Flannery, Managing Director, Storm Technology and Microsoft Certified Partner commented that, “Customers of all sizes are finding that the cloud gives them access to enterprise class technologies they couldn’t have otherwise. Microsoft Office 365 takes the industry’s most recognized set of productivity and collaboration tools and delivers them as a cloud based service.”
“Office 365 affords the enterprise-grade apps and the massive data centre capacity without the upfront infrastructure investment which is not only a great opportunity for us as a Microsoft Partner, but also for our customers who look to us to advise and help provide them with solutions that deliver increased productivity and reduce costs,” added Flannery.
Office 365 Partners
Microsoft is building a massive partner ecosystem around Office 365, including systems integrators, software vendors, resellers, and other partners. Today, that ecosystem is expanding as the company partners in new ways with market-leading service providers. These companies will package Office 365 with their own services – from Web hosting and broadband to finance solutions and mobile services – and bring those new services to millions of small and midsize businesses globally.
“Our partners represent some of the best-known, most-trusted brands in the market,” said Martin Cullen, Small & Medium Business and Partner Director, Microsoft. “Our customers will be able to rest easy knowing their cloud services are backed by Microsoft and some of the greatest service providers in the world.”
About Office 365
Office 365 offers a range of service plans for a predictable monthly price from €1.79 to €25.50 per user per month. With Office 365 for small businesses, customers can be up and running with Office Web Apps, Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and an external website in minutes, for €5.25 per user, per month. These tools put enterprise-grade email, shared documents, instant messaging, video and Web conferencing, portals and more at everyone’s fingertips.
Office 365 for enterprises has an array of choices, from simple email to comprehensive suites to meet the needs of midsize and large businesses, as well as government organizations.. Customers can now get Microsoft Office Professional Plus on a pay-as-you-go basis with cloud-based versions of the industry’s leading business communications and collaborations services. Each of these plans come with the advanced I.T. controls, innovative security technologies, 24×7 IT support and reliability you expect from Microsoft.
Office 365 for small businesses and Office 365 for enterprises are available now. Businesses can try it for free for 30 days by signing up at www.microsoft.ie/office365 or from a Microsoft partner. Follow Office 365 on Twitter (@Office365), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/office365) and the Office 365 blog at http://community.office365.com for the latest information.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.