imageToday in San Francisco, with customers and partners, Microsoft is very happy to announce Microsoft Office 365, which brings with it a transformational moment for Microsoft and the solutions we provide to companies around the world, as well as outlining a new frontier for our Microsoft Office business. According to Kurt DelBene, President of the Office Division, “Microsoft Office 365 is the best of everything we know about productivity, all in a single cloud service.” Microsoft Office 365 brings the full power of Microsoft’s business productivity platform to organizations of all types and sizes and will define productivity in the cloud for the next generation.

Microsoft Office 365, which replaces Business Online Productivity Suite (BPOS), Office Live Small Business, and Live@edu, enables customers and partners to bring together Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Lync, and Microsoft Office in an always-up-to-date cloud service offering, 24 hours per day, 365 days per week. This symbolizes our commitment to deliver the industry’s most complete cloud service for customers of all sizes and Microsoft Office 365 is tailored to meet our customers’ unique needs, including offerings for professionals and small businesses, enterprises and educational institutions. In addition, Microsoft Office 365 also provides a new way to get Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software, on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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Microsoft Office 365 provides solutions for users of all sizes and here are the three main options available with Microsoft Office 365:

  • Office 365 for small businesses includes: Office Web Apps, Exchange SharePoint, Lync, and an external Web site for $6 per user per month. It is designed specifically for smaller businesses and professionals who are looking for cloud-based productivity tools without the IT hassles.
  • Customers who want Exchange, SharePoint and Lync Online, they would pay $10 per user per month. Existing BPOS customer get new capabilities at the same price.
  • For full Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software, Office Web Apps, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, 24/7 phone support, advanced administration controls, on-premises use rights and more, an enterprise will pay roughly $24 per user per month.

What this means for customers is, with Microsoft Office 365, customers of all sizes now have the power to think big and be small, to be big and act fast. For instance:

  • Whether you are a self-employed real estate agent, a local city government, or a multi-national corporation, you will be able to get enterprise-grade productivity solutions with just the capabilities you want and at a price that makes sense for the value you get.
  • Maybe you are a local cupcake shop owner. With Microsoft Office 365, you can have world-class IT infrastructure and twenty football fields of data center capacity at your fingertips!
  • With Microsoft Office 365, customers will also get the very latest in productivity every 90 days as we update Microsoft Office 365.

Not only does Microsoft Office 365 open up significant new offerings for customers everywhere, Microsoft Office 365 also provides new and additional revenue opportunities for our partners around the world by taking the foundation and investment our Microsoft Online Service partners have already made in a cloud practice and building upon it.

For our partners, Microsoft Office 365 provides:

  • Customer segment specific offers to meet the needs of organizations of all sizes, with cost-effective prices starting at $6 per user per month.
  • Inclusion of Microsoft Office which enables familiar connection point to initiate cloud conversations.
  • Increased opportunities to customize and develop on Microsoft Office 365 and provide a complete customer solution.
  • SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync are huge hits with enterprises today. With Microsoft Office 365, millions of small and mid-sized businesses can experience these solutions – many for the first time. This provides an opportunity to reach the 73 million small and mid-sized businesses globally with Microsoft Office 365.
  • New platform capabilities to increase deployment and migration as well as continuous management of customer accounts.
  • Increased functionality that allows partners to build more sophisticated solutions to meet customer needs.
  • Enablement of rich hybrid scenario solutions for customers that want to leverage the cloud for some users and on-premise solutions for others.
  • Cost savings: Because we deliver cloud services at scale, customers are cutting costs by 10-50% at the same time, mostly from hardware, power, and upgrade costs.

To further paint the picture of the large opportunity that Microsoft Office 365 brings to our various partner types, let’s take a look at how Microsoft Office 365 translates into opportunity for some specific partner types:

  • For our Hosting partners: By joining the Microsoft Online Solution Provider (MOSPA) program, the new small business offering in Microsoft Office 365 increases their ability to reach the 73 million small and mid-sized businesses globally with Microsoft Office 365. In addition, the Microsoft Office 365 service raises awareness of the value of hosted services in general, which will increase deal flow and activity for their Hosted Exchange, SharePoint and Lync offerings.
  • For our Systems Integrators & Value-Added Resellers: Microsoft Office 365 brings more value to the cloud, and they can meet more of their customers’ IT needs – now including voice mail, archiving, extranets, desktop productivity and more. In addition to increased deal velocity, expanded reach, and recurring revenue with Microsoft Office 365, they have new opportunities to build complex solutions based on SharePoint Online’s new enhanced capabilities such as Sandbox capabilities, improved workflows and extranet access. Plus, the new platform capabilities increase opportunities for them to augment their deployment and migration business with managed services centered around helping customers configure, customize and manage their solutions.
  • For our Large Account Resellers: The introduction of the updated Enterprise Agreement today, which enables customers with new or future Enterprise Agreements to acquire Microsoft Office 365 through an update to the Enterprise Agreement, provides substantial opportunities to lead with the cloud and Microsoft Office 365 as a way of consuming the future of productivity. The flexibility of the updated Enterprise Agreement will unlock new opportunities for expanded reach into new customers and increased licenses per customer.
  • For our ISV partners: The new platform capabilities provided by Microsoft Office 365 increase opportunities for them to build applications and solutions on this platform that can reach customers throughout the world.
  • For our Telcos & Syndication Partners: The small business offering presents expanded opportunities in target markets as well as the additional richness and familiarity of Office.
  • For our Distributor partners: Distributors can expand their reach in the small and midmarket through the expansion of their reseller base with new cloud partners.

Now many of you may be wondering when you will be able to take advantage of Microsoft Office 365. Here is some information on the Microsoft Office 365 rollout and availability timeline:

  • Microsoft Office 365 will be available worldwide in 2011
  • Today we are announcing the Microsoft Office 365 beta program with a few thousand organizations in thirteen regions around the world. Over time, we will expand the beta to more organizations
  • Interested in participating in the Microsoft Office 365 beta program? Sign up for the Microsoft Office 365 beta and learn more at http://www.Office365.com (Link should be live around 12:00 noon PDT)
  • Microsoft Office 365 will expand to include Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in 2011
  • Microsoft Office 365 for education will debut in 2011

Want to learn more? Be sure to check out these resources today where more information will be coming moving forward:

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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