Microsoft releases Office 365 bundles for enterprise, SMB and mid-market

Software giant takes the wraps off new Office 365 for Business products

The latest incarnation of Microsoft's Office 365 for Business offering is now on general release, and consists of several new product bundles aimed at SMBs, mid-market and enterprise users.

These product bundles all feature the 2013 versions of the software giant's Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync online products, while the look and feel of the new overall suite is in keeping with that of Windows 8.

Microsoft has also launched something called Office 365 ProPlus, which will allow users to supplement their existing cloud deployments with online versions of its Office 2013 applications.

The software giant also plans to expand the enterprise social capabilities of its online productivity suite, by rolling out voice, presence and instant messaging features that draw on the company's Lync and Skype products by June of this year.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Microsoft claims one in five of its enterprise customers now use Office 365, while SMB and mid-market adoption has grown by 150 per cent over the past 12 months.

IT Pro also understands that cloud-based versions of Microsoft's business task management software Project and its diagram creation tool Visio have also been added to the role-call of Office 365 offerings for the first time.

During a webcast announcing Office 365 for Business, Kurt DelBene, president of the Office division at Microsoft, said the product was designed to work best with Windows 8 and take advantage of touch-based devices.

"But none of this matter if IT can't manage it, so we've added new compliance, flexibility and management [capabilities]," he added.

The release marks the first time the Office desktop application has been offered up as a commercial cloud service, he added.

However, this does not mean Microsoft is planning to stop offering users the option to deploy it on-premise.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"With this announcement, [we've created] the most ambitious release of Office ever...We know cloud will be a journey, and we will continue to release on premise products."

Julia White, general manager for Office division technical marketing at Microsoft, went on to walk through the technical capabilities of the release, emphasising that users can pick up where they left off when switching devices to access the same documents.

"My content is always up to date because its saved to the cloud," she added.

Business talkMicrosoft claims one in five of its enterprise customers now use Office 365, while SMB and mid-market adoption has grown by 150 per cent over the past 12 months.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Mark Herbert, business development manager at Office 365 Syndication Partner Inty, said existing Office 365 users should be automatically upgraded to the latest edition within the next three months.

"Users can put off the upgrade by up to 60 days, but everyone will be upgraded whether they like it or not," he told IT Pro.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"It's a very well engineered process, so people shouldn't even know it is happening."

Meanwhile, Clive Longbottom, service director at market watcher Quocirca, said the new release has much to recommend it, and should push more business users to consider cloud.

"Microsoft seems to have got it right, overall. There will be issues, as the interface is not the same, so there may be a need to re-train users," he told IT Pro.

"Office 365 for the enterprise gives far more [in terms of functionality] and will remove the need for users to carry out patches and upgrades [like they would with on-premise]."

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/cloud-security/34141/office-365-ban-in-german-schools-temporarily-lifted
cloud security

German schools Office 365 ban 'temporarily' lifted

2 Aug 2019
Visit/public-cloud/32837/microsoft-office-365-goes-down-across-europe
public cloud

Microsoft Office 365 goes down across Europe

25 Jan 2019
Visit/software/33703/microsoft-teams-review-a-no-brainer-for-microsoft-shops
Software

Microsoft Teams review: A no-brainer for Microsoft shops

23 May 2019
Visit/desktop-software/19337/office-365-review
Software

Microsoft Office 365 review: Tons of value

13 Mar 2019

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/354468/if-not-passwords-then-what
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/31772/gdpr-and-brexit-how-will-one-affect-the-other
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020