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Microsoft expands Business Productivity Online Suite, adds features and lowers price
Posted on 4-Nov-2009 08:00 | Tags Filed under: News

Microsoft New Zealand announced new pricing, capabilities and expanded availability for the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Microsoft Corp.’s business communication and collaboration software delivered as a service.

The company says in New Zealand, more than 200 companies have purchased or are trialling Microsoft Online Services, representing significant uptake since the suite became available in April. According to Brett Roberts, national technology officer, this trend represents the local impact of a wider worldwide trend toward software plus services delivered remotely.

“We’re committed to the cloud, and as more customers are signing up to Microsoft Online Services, they’re finding a software product that’s intuitive, familiar, and constantly improved. The response we’ve seen locally is mirrored in markets around the world.”

Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop also announced that the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite will be available in 15 additional countries and regions starting later this week. On a local level, businesses in New Zealand are already keen on the service.

“As a small New Zealand business taking on the world, we need reliable, flexible IT systems that are easily managed with minimal overhead,” said Geri Toa, financial controller for Sistema Plastics, based in Auckland. “Using Microsoft Online Services with hosted Exchange, SharePoint and Live Meeting, we can securely share corporate data. We now have a structure that makes global access to information seamless.”

New global customers including Lions Gate Entertainment, McDonald’s Corporation, Rexel Group and hundreds of others have also chosen the Business Productivuity Online Suite in recent months.

“Global organisations such as McDonald’s, Rexel and Tyco are choosing Microsoft Online Services for the rich capabilities, flexibility and value they deliver,” Elop said. “In just a year, we’ve grown to 36 countries and more than a million paying users, and we’re not slowing down. We’ll continue to bring new innovations and deliver the software and services businesses need to succeed.”

“Within McDonald’s, collaboration and communication tools are critical to our success and ongoing innovation, and with Microsoft Online Services, we found a cost-effective yet familiar, intuitive solution that we could trust with our business communications,” said Chris Millington, global chief technology officer and senior vice president of Shared Services at McDonald’s. “We have already completed over half of the corporate rollout and, by early next year, we will be fully deployed throughout our organisation. With Microsoft Online Services, we expect to reduce our IT costs and increase our productivity.”

Microsoft is reducing the price of the Business Productivity Online Suite as well as Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft Office SharePoint Online and Microsoft Office Communications Online. With the price reduction, the Business Productivity Online Suite is now NZD $17.24 per user per month, a price reduction of 35 percent.

Microsoft Online Services are constantly being updated with new capabilities. This quarter, the updates will include increasing mailbox storage to 25 GB for users of the standard service, as well as new administration scripting capabilities.

Later this week, Microsoft will expand the availability of the Business Productivity Online Suite, including commercial availability in Singapore and trials in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania and Taiwan; commercial availability in India is also expected later this year, marking expansion to a total of 36 countries and regions.

Part of Microsoft Online Services, the Business Productivity Online Suite offers enterprise-class communications and collaboration software delivered as subscription services to businesses of all sizes. The services include Exchange Online with Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

In addition, Exchange Online Deskless Worker and SharePoint Online Deskless Worker are available for occasional users.
Customers can choose from a range of solutions with Microsoft Online Services, from the NZD $3.45 per user per month.

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