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Microsoft Launches Office 365 in New Zealand
Posted on 28-Jun-2011 18:30. | Tags Filed under: News.

Microsoft New Zealand today announced the availability of Microsoft Office 365, the company’s newest cloud service.

Office 365 brings together Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service, for a flexible monthly subscription. The service was introduced in beta last year and received an enthusiastic response, particularly amongst small and medium size Kiwi businesses.

Office 365 offers a range of service plans for a predictable monthly price from NZ$6.11 to NZ$43 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 NZ$9.25 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 organisations. 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 IT controls, security, 24x7 IT support and reliability you expect from Microsoft.

Over a few months more than 200,000 organisations around the world, 70 percent of which were small and medium businesses, signed up and began testing Office 365, creating one of Microsoft’s largest beta programmes. Businesses using Office 365 are already reporting impressive results, reducing IT costs by up to an estimated 50 percent, while boosting productivity.

“The beauty of Office 365 is that it brings the powerful collaboration tools that big businesses have enjoyed for years well within the reach of small business budgets,” says Rachel Turney, Office 365 Product Manager for Microsoft New Zealand.

“With a few clicks, even small businesses have access to the best collaboration technology, now critical for business growth.”

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 hall 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.

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.

Nicholas Beauchamp, Director at Wellington based manufacturing company ESL Industries was part of the Microsoft Office 365 beta test group. ESL Industries was relying on one server for the company’s email, production workflow, accounting system and historical data files, placing them in a vulnerable position, even with regular backups

“A single server presented some risk and I was looking for something to combat this. Office 365 provides the complete package without us having to invest in our own expensive servers and secure backup systems,” says Nicholas.

“With Office 365 we are now able to provide our customers with better service, getting them more involved as jobs progress through design to development. Our data is stored securely, giving me huge peace of mind, and because Microsoft takes care of all the details and support, I now get back about two days a month to focus on growing the business.”

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.

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