SINGAPORE, 19 APRIL 2011 - Singapore telco StarHub has been unveiled as a partner for Microsoft's public beta of Office 365 cloud collaboration and communication suite.
This means that Office 365 will be bundled as one of StarHub's broadband data plans and will be targeted at SMEs in Singapore.
"It is about providing a single point of contact and giving customers peace of mind," said Tan Tong Hai, COO, StarHub. The one-stop shop approach includes providing the broadband link, network set-up and migration, as well as billing and technical support.
He added that SMEs usually are not sure about what applications to adopt when they are looking to move into the cloud, and Office 365 offers a good headstart for those who are keen.
"With Office 365, moving to the cloud doesn't require people to change the way they work, because it's based on the familiar, industry leading productivity tools people know and trust," said Kevin Turner, COO, Microsoft.
Office 365, which includes hosted versions of Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync, can now be tried out by users in 37 countries including Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore, and its interface is available in 20 languages.
Office 365 is the successor to Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and is scheduled for general release this year.
While BPOS' hosted applications are based on the 2007 versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Office Communications Server, the Office 365 components are based on the 2010 editions of those applications. Lync is the new name for Office Communications Server.
Meanwhile, StarHub's Tan said the servers running its Office 365 are housed in Singapore, assuring customers who might be concerned where their data would sit.
Pricing details have not been finalised, but Tan revealed that StarHub would be looking to offer a variety of price plans targeted at SMEs and enterprises.
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