29 June 2011

Enterprise-grade collaboration now available for businesses large and small

Singapore, 29 June 2011 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Microsoft Office 365 in Singapore, giving local businesses access to the company’s next-generation cloud productivity service. 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 subscription.

Office 365 was made available to Singapore businesses as part of a public beta that launched in April. Microsoft Singapore syndication partner for Office 365, StarHub, has confirmed that is has sold Office 365 bundled packages to over 500 customers and the company expects adoption to accelerate following today’s official launch.

According to Jessica Tan, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore, Office 365 is ideally suited to the Singapore market, where small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) predominate. “With Office 365, businesses of all sizes, big and small, can now access enterprise-ready business solutions for the price of a movie ticket, effectively removing the need for significant upfront investments in IT infrastructure and maintenance. Office 365 will be a driving force that enables improved business productivity and collaboration, helping to reduce capital expenditure while simultaneously boosting output. Today’s launch will level the playing field for local SMEs by giving them access to the powerful IT capabilities that have long since given big business a competitive edge.”

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 sizes, ranging from the largest to the smallest.

With Office 365, people can stay on the “same page” using instant messaging and virtual meetings with people who are just down the hall or across the world. They can work on files and documents at the same time and share ideas as easily as they can share calendars. Office 365 gives people new ways to work together with ease, on virtually any device. and businesses get the reliability, security and IT controls they need in the cloud, even without a dedicated IT staff.

Moving to the cloud with Office 365 doesn’t require a business to change the way it works because familiar productivity tools from Microsoft Office applications are at the heart of Office 365. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook and other Office applications connect to Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Lync to deliver a world-class solution for communication and collaboration.

Daniel Soh, Managing Director of Singapore based strategic consulting and research firm, SD Group, says Office 365 is poised to fundamentally change the way his business operates.

“Office 365 allows SD group employees to work together more collaboratively, increasing the collective productivity of the team. The ability to work on documents more closely, coupled with the low-cost video-conferencing capabilities available through Lync, have the potential to make Office 365 an important strategic enabler for our business,” said Daniel.

Office 365 in Asia Pacific
Microsoft today also announced the availability of Microsoft Office 365 in Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. Early Office 365 customers in Asia Pacific, such as Crystal Edge Zeptop Consulting in Malaysia, MedRecruit, ESL Industries and Xpress Accounting in New Zealand and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. in Australia, are already reporting impressive results, including a reduction in IT costs and increased savings due to higher productivity.

Currently, SMEs account for over 90% of all enterprises in every economy within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and they employ more than half the workforce in most of these economies[1].

“Small and mid-sized enterprises in Asia Pacific drive economic growth, but they are challenged by tight profit margins and strong competition in the global marketplace. One way to help these businesses become more agile and productive is to provide affordable collaborative tools, such as Office 365, that improve efficiency and enable them to focus on the highest-value work,” said Andrew Pickup, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Asia Pacific.

About Office 365
Office 365 offers a range of service plans for a predictable monthly price from US $2 to $27 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 US $6 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 businesses of all sizes. 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, security, 24×7 IT support and reliability you expect from Microsoft.

In addition to its existing partners, Microsoft has appointed leading telecommunications provider, StarHub. as its syndication partner for the SMB market. Office 365 complements the high-quality broadband and mobile services that StarHub already provides to SMEs, for a more complete office productivity solution. Tan Tong Hai, Chief Operating Officer, StarHub, says this approach has a number of benefits for companies in Singapore.

“Pairing Office 365 with our leading business broadband and mobile services means that we can offer SMEs the convenience and peace of mind of a comprehensive and cost-effective solution that will allow them to stay connected to their business anytime, anywhere, over the Cloud. This will ultimately help them to positively impact their business results through greater productivity and cost management. Customers will enjoy feature-rich Microsoft productivity and communication tools that they are already familiar with, without having to worry about on-going equipment, maintenance and licensing costs. Together with StarHub’s connectivity solutions, businesses can scale accordingly to their needs on a reliable platform that is powered by Microsoft.”

AvailabilityOffice 365 for small businesses and Office 365 for enterprises are now available in 40 markets worldwide. Businesses can try it for free for 30 days by signing up at www.office365.com.sg or from their local Microsoft partner.