Office 365 Users Will Benefit From Microsoft's Open Approach

6/9/14 11:22 AM Jim Walsh

.Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CEO Marc Benioff.

The era of Cloud-based solutions is all about tapping into the best apps as services -- when and where you need them. That’s why Microsoft’s Office 365 for the iPad launch, along with its recent partnership with Salesforce were welcome news for end users.

Office 365 for the iPad has been well received in the market and is a great option for businesses, especially SMBs. And it’s no wonder that in a matter of weeks, downloads of Office 365 for Apple iPad passed the 27 million mark.  People love the iPad and the Office, and Office has also been the trusted solution for workplace productivity

Overall, Office 365—Microsoft’s Cloud-based Office solution, is gaining traction rapidly. Office 365 Home has more than 4.4 million users, and commercial unit revenue for Office 365 grew more than 100 percent, while seats nearly doubled, according to Microsoft reports.

Its cloud leadership is further unscored as analyst firm Gartner names Microsoft a leader in its 2014 Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant – a report which ranks the top 15 players in the Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market.

Needless to say, cloud solutions are catching on quickly -- in part because of their pricing and economics, and also because they make conducting business easier for users.

With the Cloud, we’re moving away from application silos and device barriers. Increasingly, users don’t have to worry about having one app only on a PC, another one on a tablet, and a different set of apps on their smart phones. The ideal is to have best-in-class apps available via the Cloud on devices of their choice. With iPad for Office 365, Microsoft took a key step in this direction.

For the SMB’s IT department, having a single Cloud-based place to manage subscriptions and devices simplifies things vs. the old days of updating and managing licenses for multiple machines and platforms. Financially, it also makes sense to have one subscription that covers the app across all key devices.

The other development that further opens up the world of Cloud-based apps is the recent partnership between Microsoft and -- a leading provider of Cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software. The main outcome of this partnership is enhanced interoperability between solutions and Office 365.

For the larger SMBs who are customers, they now have a way to use Office 365 and CRM seamlessly. For the overall SMB market, it is further proof that Microsoft “gets it” when it comes to the Cloud. They haven’t just ported desktop office to the Cloud, but are working to make it a true Cloud app service that can interoperate with third-party solutions to benefit users.

As part of the partnership announcement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and’s Marc Benioff reiterated the need to put their customers first as a fundamental driver for the alliance.

Well said.

Going with Cloud solutions is a way of putting your customers first. After all, when we can erase the barriers that end users historically have faced in accessing files, content, and app functionality, they are in a better position to serve customers.

We’re now in an era when mobile, anywhere access to content and apps is what it takes to service customers. It’s an important reason to consider Office 365, over and above the economics of Cloud subscription pricing.

So, if you are considering moving to the cloud and want to know how to blend Office 365 with your environment, just shoot us a note at  

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