Verizon Wireless Offering Microsoft Office 365 to Business Users
Microsoft and Verizon Wireless are teaming up to offer more cloud accessibility to mobile users.
Microsoft and Verizon Wireless are teaming up to offer more cloud accessibility to mobile users via Office 365.
Office 365, which supports Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone, is Redmond’s hosted collaboration and productivity suite that provides access to email, instant messages with presence, video and voice conferencing, and document sharing.
Microsoft and Verizon are hoping small business customers will take advantage of the partnership’s $6 monthly rate, and the perks that come along with integrated mobile device management, including Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The service provider started rolling out its 4G LTE network in Dec. 2010 and plans to have it available to 400 markets by the end of the year .
The top two productivity tool priorities for small businesses and entrepreneurs are simplicity and cost effectiveness, Michael Schaefer, executive director of Verizon Wireless Business Solutions, said in a statement. Office 365’s small business tools help address that, he said, with an emphasis on the program’s scalable services.
By including Office 365 in Verizon Wireless’ Small Business Essentials package, companies “are empowered to be more mobile, more productive and more secure,” Microsoft Office division general manager Kirk Gregersen said in a statement.
PCMag Lead Mobile Analyst Sascha Segan weighed in on the partnership, saying that he sees this as a bigger potential win for Microsoft than Verizon.
“Microsoft wants to make it easier for small businesses to choose Office 365 over Google Apps, and integrating with a major small business wireless provider lets them do that,” Segan said.
Office 365 capabilities to be wrapped into Small Business Essentials include Office Web apps, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online, which help to bring the features of a PC to a smartphone or tablet.
“I doubt businesses are going to choose Verizon over another carrier because of the Office relationship they choose carriers because of coverage and price,” Segan said.
But, if Office 365 and Google Apps feature similar functions, Verizon users may reach for the Microsoft product, because it is one less separate bill to pay, he said.
Additionally, if a device is lost, damaged, or stolen, the users’ data can be remotely locked and wiped clean. A replacement handset simply has to be connected to Office 365, and all information will be retrieved from the cloud.
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