Exchange and SharePoint Online RTM in US for business of all sizes
Exchange Online and SharePoint Online Out of Beta and Ready for Purchase
SAN FRANCISCO — Nov. 17, 2008 — Today, at a launch event in San Francisco, Stephen Elop, president of the Microsoft Business Division at Microsoft Corp., was joined by customers and partners to announce the availability of Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online for businesses of all sizes in the United States. These subscription services offer businesses a new way to purchase, deploy and manage the industry-leading e-mail and calendaring solution, and the industry-leading solution for portals and collaboration.
“Customers are embracing Microsoft’s software and services strategy en masse because of the choice and flexibility it gives them,” Elop said. “Today, we bring business-class communications and collaboration technologies to the cloud, and we are committed to delivering more capabilities in the months ahead. No one has done what we are doing at this scale, and I’m certain that our customers will continue to take on these solutions as our offerings grow.”
Businesses can buy or try the new services at http://www.microsoft.com/online. As part of the Microsoft Online Services product family, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online are available separately or as a suite together with Office Live Meeting for conferencing, Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services and Microsoft Office Communications Online for instant messaging and presence.
Customers Embrace Microsoft Online Services
A growing number of companies, from small businesses to large enterprises, are adopting Microsoft Online Services. In just the past year, Microsoft has sold more than a half million seats for Microsoft Online Services, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Office Communications Online. New customers include Pitney Bowes Inc.; CG Healthcare Solutions LLC, an affiliate of Cowan, Gunteski & Co., P.A.; Clean Power Research LLC; Corefino Inc.; and Fair Isaac Corp. To help businesses plan, deploy and operate the services, Microsoft is releasing new Microsoft Solution Accelerators for Microsoft Online Services. These include new automated tools and guidance, such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, the Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide and the Microsoft Operations Framework Companion Guide. More information about Microsoft Solution Accelerators for Microsoft Online Services is online at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/dd277934.aspx.
“With Microsoft Online Services, Eddie Bauer was able to improve associate productivity in a cost-effective manner — and that translates to a high return on our IT investment,” said Rich Mozack, chief information officer at Eddie Bauer Inc. “The online aspect of the solution enabled us to transition from our old environment to the Microsoft tools very quickly and smoothly. On a Friday, 1,400 of Eddie Bauer’s associates went home as Lotus Notes users, and on Monday they came to work as Outlook users with Microsoft Online Services.”
Partners See Opportunity in Microsoft Online Services
Since July 2008, more than 1,500 companies have enrolled in the Microsoft Partner Program for Microsoft Online Services, with 100 more joining every week. These companies are realizing a wide range of revenue opportunity that spans reselling, migration, customization, consulting, training, support and application development, and integration services.
Many partners are delivering customized capabilities for Microsoft Online Services. To increase awareness of these solutions, Microsoft today announced the Partner Solutions Showcase Program for Microsoft Online Services, and a Partner Solutions Showcase Program Award that is given to two partners annually. This award is designed to recognize outstanding application and integration work on the part of partners. Microsoft presented the first Partner Solutions Showcase Program Award to ThoughtBridge, which has built a human resources application on top of SharePoint Online. Partners can learn more about the showcase and award at http://www.microsoft.com/online/partner/solutions-showcase.mspx.
“ThoughtBridge recognized an immediate opportunity for building unique, vertical capabilities on top of Microsoft SharePoint Online, and we see tremendous opportunity to grow our business around this model,” said Tim Tisdale, chief technology officer and co-founder of ThoughtBridge. “Already, we’re seeing strong customer demand for migration, customization and integration services. Microsoft Online Services give us the agility to address this demand with fewer resources. We think this opportunity will bring us the bulk of our revenue moving forward.”
New Products in the Microsoft Online Services Family
Microsoft also outlined its plans to offer new solutions as a part of Microsoft Online Services in the next year. In addition to Office Communications Online, Microsoft is planning to offer a Microsoft Online Services solution that will provide IT management and security capabilities for businesses, enabling IT managers to secure and manage desktops using a Web-based subscription service. These online services will be based on components from existing systems management, identity and security offerings, and will complement Microsoft’s on-premise solutions, as customers begin to adopt cloud-based computing to address specific needs.
More information on Microsoft Online Services is available at http://www.microsoft.com/online and in the new software plus services virtual pressroom for the Microsoft Business Division at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/Officesoftwareplusservices/default.mspx. In addition, a webcast of today’s event can be viewed at http://wm.istreamplanet.com/customers/ms/300_ms_usosl_081117.asx.