Microsoft launches Office 365 in India

As a part of its continued emphasis to enable easy access to cost effective business productivity solutions on the cloud, Microsoft Corporation has announced commercial availability of Microsoft Office 365 in India. Offering at prices starting $2 per user per month, (excluding applicable taxes) this will allow SMBs and enterprise customers to access Microsoft's popular e-mail, collaboration, conferencing and productivity capabilities online. Customers can access the entire Office 365 suite directly from the website and pay a use-based monthly subscription fee, and thus manage their IT needs cost effectively (lower capex). Over the last 45 days, more than 12000 organizations, have signed up for Office 365 trials. Globally over 200000 customers have signed up, creating one of Microsoft's largest beta programs for businesses. For the first time ever, customers can also avail of Microsoft Office, the world's most popular productivity offering, on subscription basis off the cloud.

This launch is part of Microsoft's comprehensive Cloud Services Strategy. Almost all of Microsoft's on premise enterprise solutions are already on the cloud, and the launch of Office 365 takes it to the next level. Today Microsoft's customers can choose to deploy either cloud based or on premise solutions, or both, depending on their need, and in turn experience the flexibility and cost control needed to drive higher business productivity. 'Microsoft Office 365, provides all of the familiar enterprise class productivity solutions on a flexible usage and payment model, delivering streamlined communication with high availability, comprehensive security and simplified IT management. Customers who have already started using the services are realizing savings from reduced hardware, software and operational costs. In a nutshell, it allows them to do more with less”, said Sanket Akerkar, Managing Director, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd.

Office 365 is built ground up with an updated platform and new infrastructure investments and is backed by the industry's most rigorous financially-backed SLA, and will be available in different 'packages' depending on the size and need of the customer organization.The Office 365 plan for Small Businesses is optimized for organizations with 25 users or less, and delivers a full range of productivity, communications and collaboration capabilities to meet their business needs. At approximately $6 per user per month, this plan includes Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online.

For larger organizations, there is a range of Office 365 plans to address different usage scenarios as well as deliver a more comprehensive set of capabilities for both information workers as well as field forces. These plans start for as little as $2 for basic e-mail to $27 per user per month. This includes the most advanced versions of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online as well as an option to get the full power of Office Professional Plus desktop software, along with Office Web Apps.

Customers making online purchase will be billed directly from Microsoft Regional Sales, Singapore.According to Microsoft's long range estimates a typical 1000 person organization can cut IT costs by more than $350,000 per year by moving to the cloud. This is based on a long range estimate over 6 years for BPOS, and while results vary, customers consistently report between 10-50% cost savingsand Microsoft expects that Office 365 will only better customers' experience.

'We believe that Office 365 is off to a great start in India and we are excited by the enthusiastic response from customers and partners alike.' added Sanket. The opportunity is huge, and Office 365 lends itself to organizations of all sizes. As Satyadev Adurti, ACME Tele Power Limited's Vice President