At the Worldwide Partner Conference last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicted that this will be “the most epic year in Microsoft history.”
I couldn’t agree more. And, in my opinion, one of the key products and services that will contribute to the epic year that lies ahead is Office 365. As the cloud-based service enters its second year, it’s on track to become one of Microsoft’s most successful offers in history. As Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Office Division, put it: “The magic of the service is in its flexibility, familiarity and breadth of options.”
As Office 365 begins year two of serving customers of all sizes, it’s admittedly still a startup, yet an incredibly successful one. Like a champion first-year baseball star, Office 365 has already racked up a whole wall of awards, successes, and distinctions that separate it from the competition. So what exactly are those first-year successes? While there are many, here are seven we’re especially proud of:
While our first-year successes have been many, like any startup, the first year of Office 365 has not been without its hiccups. Customers have been slower than expected to migrate to Office 365 from Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS), due to individual customer requirements.
We’ve also steadily improved the reliability of Office 365 after customers experienced some service interruptions with our old service, BPOS. As one blogger put it: “To Microsoft’s credit, the Office 365 cloud suite seems to have gotten more and more reliable since launching in June 2011. Initially, Office 365 — the successor to BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) suffered multiple outages. But more recently, chatter about Office 365 reliability concerns seems to have quieted down in the IT channel.”
A Long-Term Marriage to Our CustomersAs with migration and reliability, we’re continually working to improve Office 365 to make it even more productive for our customers. And as Office 365 enters its second year, we’ve also been thinking about our long-term relationship.
It’s been said that the secret to a good marriage is to understand that “it must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.” Microsoft has 20 years of expertise in the enterprise arena, and the release of Office 365 a year ago only extends that commitment. Our commitment to our customers is both total and permanent. What’s more, it is equal, meaning that we’re always listening and will continue to evolve to meet our customers’ needs and desires.
By contrast, it’s hard to determine whether Google’s commitment to its enterprise customers is either total or permanent. Google Apps for Business (GAFB) grew out of a consumer offering and does not generate a significant portion of Google’s overall income. Not surprisingly, Google once again showed a lack of innovation and investment in Google Apps for Business at its recent Google I/O conference.
As for Office 365, we’re in it for the long haul, and we look forward to a long and prosperous marriage to our customers. As Steve Ballmer declared more than two years ago when discussing Microsoft’s commitment to cloud computing, “We’re all in.”
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