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Microsoft Office 365 is game changer for Malaysian SMEs

AvantiKumar | July 1, 2011
Microsoft Malaysia announces availability of Microsoft Office 365 in Malaysia from as little as US$2 per user per month.

Ananth Lazarus, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia

PHOTO - Microsoft Malaysia managing director - Ananth Lazarus.




Microsoft Office 365 will be a game-changer for Malaysian businesses - especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to software giant Microsoft Malaysia.

"This next-generation cloud productivity service brings together Microsoft Office Professional Plus, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in an always-up-to-date service, from a predictable monthly fee," said Microsoft Malaysia managing director, Ananth Lazarus, on 29 June 2011.

"For instance, with Office 365, small businesses can be up and running with the full suite of Office Web Apps, Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Lync Online for US$6 per user, per month," said Lazarus. "Also, service offerings tailored to the needs of larger businesses are available for monthly per-user subscriptions ranging from US$2 to US$27, depending on the Office 365 components they sign up for."

"Malaysia is among the 40 countries to roll out the cloud service, which offers productivity and collaborative tools to businesses of all sizes," he said. "These tools put enterprise-grade e-mail, shared documents, instant messaging, video and Web conferencing, portals and more at everyone's fingertips."

"A little more than a year ago, our chief executive officer Steve Ballmer was in Malaysia to unveil Microsoft's cloud computing strategy," Lazarus said. "The availability of Office 365 in our market today is a testament to Microsoft's commitment to bring the latest cloud computing technologies to Malaysian businesses."

Lazarus said Office 365 was first made available to Malaysian businesses as part of a public beta that launched in April, giving their employees new ways to work together on virtually any device, using the familiar Microsoft Office applications  at a predictable monthly cost, backed by the industry's most robust financially-backed service-level agreement (SLA).

"For large organisations, Office 365 allows IT staff to deliver a better, always up-to-date experience with a range of service plans designed for enterprise needs. They can focus on more strategic work and leave the rest to trusted experts," he said. "For small and medium enterprises (SMEs), it is a game-changer."

"SMEs play a very critical and strategic role in Malaysia's economy, and thus in its development. About 99.2 per cent of businesses in Malaysia are SMEs, accounting for 37.1 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP); about 56 per cent of total employment and 20 per cent of exports," said Lazarus. "This is why the sector is a key area in the Government's Economic Transformation Programme or ETP."


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