Microsoft has officially launched the ‘Business Edition’ of their highly anticipated Office subscription service named ‘Microsoft Office 365’. The new service tailored to small and large businesses uses cloud integration to keep everyone on the same page.
Released by Microsoft Corp. the latest update to the Microsoft Office 365 services is targeting businesses. The new cloud-service was designed to accommodate the needs and budgets of “small, medium and large organizations” according to Microsoft. The new service will feature an updated Microsoft Lync Online, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online services, and will offer customers “full-featured, rich Office applications” on up to five devices. These devices will be synched using the “always up-to-date” cloud service.
Starting today, Office 365 will feature “enhanced enterprise social capabilities” using SharePoint and Yammer, and will add Lync-Skype connectivity for presence, IM, and voice by June 2013. “With Office 365, everyone from large enterprises to small businesses to individual consumers can now benefit from the power of Office and the connectivity of the cloud,” said Jason Brommet , Group Manager of Office, Microsoft Canada “This release unlocks new scenarios and delivers capabilities that far surpass anything available in browser-only solutions.”
Office 365 originally launched last year on the consumer level, Microsoft claims that it is “one of the fastest growing businesses in Microsoft history” according to a press-release sent to us earlier this week. “With over 170 franchises across North America, easily accessible and reliable communications is key to our success,” said John Felice , Vice President, Franchise Operations, Expedia CruiseShipCenters. “As the business grew, we needed to re-evaluate our existing email infrastructure to accommodate. We saw this as the opportune time to start to move our email and support resources to the cloud, implementing the email features of Office 365 to streamline communications and management and reduce costs. Moving forward, we’re looking to adopt additional features of the Office 365 suite including SharePoint for our intranet.”
At Queen’s University in Kingston, Office 365 has just been rolled out to almost 50,000 undergraduate students. “Office 365 is offering our students the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and eventually the boardroom, training them on the productivity suites which are standard for business today,” said Keith McWhirter , IT Manager, Queen’s University. “The safety and security of Office 365, combined with the savings we’re seeing from moving to the cloud, make this move a win all around. The suite’s robust functionality, seamless mobile integration and near 100% uptime are an excellent fit for the needs of our stakeholders.”
Microsoft Office 365 comes in three editions for businesses:
- Office 365 ProPlus – Office 365 ProPlus includes the latest and most complete set of fully featured, rich Office applications delivered as a service: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, InfoPath, Access and Lync. It works on up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs. People can now simply sign in to Office 365 from any of their devices, and their documents and personalized settings roam with them, allowing them to quickly pick up right where they left off. IT departments also get the controls they need including the ability to run Office 365 ProPlus side-by-side with other versions of Office, and tools to streamline and manage updates for their users.
- Office 365 Midsize Business – designed for medium sized businesses with 10 to 250 employees. In addition to Office 365 ProPlus, this service provides midsize businesses with the enterprise-quality communication and collaboration tools they want – along with the simplified IT tools they need to maintain control while reducing complexity. Active Directory integration, a web-based administration console and business hours phone support are also included. Pricing is $184.80per user for an annual subscription, the equivalent of $15.40 per user per month.
- Office 365 Small Business Premium – designed for small businesses with 1 to 10 employees. In addition to the complete set of fully featured, rich Office applications, this service includes business grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD video conferencing in an easy to manage service that doesn’t require IT expertise. Pricing is $160.80 per user for an annual subscription, the equivalent of $13.40 per user per month. It is also available for $16.10 on a monthly plan
Microsoft is even offering a free-trial of the subscription service, which you can view for yourself below.