A recent survey by Boston Consulting Group revealed how 62% of employees working in small and medium-sized enterprises use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access their email, which is up from 39 percent just three years ago. The research also found that the more technology-oriented small and medium businesses using modern technologies such as the cloud grew their revenue 15 percentage points faster than their counterparts using less technology.
Based on these potential opportunities, Microsoft has released three new Office 365 plans aimed at the small and medium sized businesses. The three new plans – Office 365 Business, Business Essentials and Business Premium bring important additions and enhancements to the Office 365 ecosystem.
“This move is intended to bring more flexibility, with the ability to mix and match plans to meet specific employees’ needs. In addition, the new plans provide more value by offering additional services like Yammer for social networking within a company,” explains Thomas Hansen, vice president of Microsoft Worldwide Small and Medium Business.
“The increased use of mobile devices and cloud computing has certainly had an impact on businesses and on the bottom line. Businesses are realizing that their competitive advantage comes from what they do with technology in and out of the office,” states Danijela Ze?evi?, Microsoft’s Office Product Marketing Manager for South Balkans.
Boston Consulting Group’s research also found that 42% of SMEs credit cloud and mobile solutions for achieving better customer relationships while 40% expect such technologies to increase revenues and profits.
Patrick Cutajar from Eyetech Ltd, cloud solutions specialists and Microsoft Gold Partner with Server and Cloud Competencies added “Office 365 is changing the way people interact with each other to be more productive. Sharing a document or a spreadsheet with anyone, on any device, anywhere in the world has become as easy as typing an email. Internal and external corporate communication, makes it easier to collaborate, demonstrate, group meetings and presentations with ease.”
John Tortell from Jatco Insurance Brokers Ltd added “after the introduction of Small Business Server, the new prices on services like Office 365 and Azure show how Microsoft’s focus on the Small Business market has increased a lot, focusing on our needs especially with security and pricing. Office 365 lets companies like ours, plan their expenditure without incurring any capital outflow and using our current hardware and infrastructure and at the same time helps the running of the business by improving the available cash flow.”
Microsoft is offering Office plans aimed at the growing number of small-business users that rely on more than just one device to get work done. Office 365 Business comes with the full Office applications and 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage to access, edit and share your documents across your Windows PC, Mac, iPad, Windows tablet and smartphone. Office 365 Business Essentials gives access to core cloud services including business class email and calendaring, Office Online, online meetings, IM, video conferencing, cloud storage and file sharing and much more. Whereas Office 365 Business Premium is a combination of both Office 365 Business and Business Essentials plans.
This new line-up, which will eventually replace Microsoft’s current plans for SMBs reflects the feedback Microsoft received from its SMB customers about how they want to get started and grow with Office 365. The new plans provide new choices, available on any devices and including 1 TB of cloud storage, more value with improved features and additional services like Yammer and Active Directory support and innovative flexibilities that allow you to adapt and enhance your technology platform as your business grows.