Microsoft announce launch of Office 365 in Africa
Previously only available as a trail, Microsoft’s cloud-based service combines Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in one constantly up-dated package. The trail period, which only lasted a few months, proved to be hugely popular throughout the region. More than 100,000 small and midsize businesses signed up, creating one of the largest global beta programs for businesses in Microsoft’s illustrious history.
The package will now be commercially available from local service providers in 16 countries across the region, as well as South Africa, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
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Microsoft Office Business Group Lead at Microsoft, Yasir Khokhar commented:
“Today, we are evolving from the information age to the collaboration age, where the ability to take action on information will set successful businesses apart from the rest. Today’s launch of Office 365 will accelerate that evolution by delivering enterprise-grade collaboration for everyone.”
Businesses considering moving operations to the cloud via Office 365 won’t necessitate changing the way it already functions, due to the service being based around well-established programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Access. New ways of working can be integrated within existing businesses as employees take advantage of new lines of communication and functionality through electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Additionally, businesses can achieve the necessary levels of reliability, security and control without the need for a dedicated IT department.
The Office 365 package combines tools such as email, instant messaging, voicemail, enterprise social networking, web portals, video/web conferencing, and extranets, with more scheduled to be added on a regular basis. Available for a monthly fee, the system can be set up in only 15 minutes, is ideal for businesses and governmental organisations of any size, and includes Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis for the first time ever.
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