Microsoft refreshes Office 365 for business

By Sooraj Shah
27 Feb 2013 View Comments
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Warren Gatland, head coach of the British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia 2013, and a Microsoft customer, said that having secure access to email and communication tools will help the team to gel and boost morale.

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"With Office 365 we will be able to ensure everyone in the team has an account and can share information and communicate when they need to; improving the way we work together. From the backroom staff to the players before they get on the field, everyone is linked up," he said.

"It is also important for team morale, as it will allow players and management to stay in touch with their families back home, whether that's over email, via Skype, Lync or instant messaging. Keeping the team happy is a key part of the Lions' winning strategy," he added.

Meanwhile Julian Elve, head of information services at schools network SSAT, said that Office 365 enabled the organisation to save more time than expected.

"We projected freeing up two days of IT personnel time per month just from not having to manage email servers. I suspect we're going to find that we've saved much more than that," he said.

While some customers are seemingly happy with the Office 365 proposition, analysts at Forrester believe there are pros and cons to the latest update.

They believe that Office 2013 is a "major" release and that the investment "pays off across all of the products in the Office family", highlighting a simpler and more powerful user experience.

As part of the user experience, Forrester believes that the integration between each of its products drives value for the user. However, the analyst firm warns that it can also drive lock-in.

"The deep integration can be powerful, but it also can lock you into a broad family of products. Ultimately, it impedes the ability to bring in best-of-breed products and could over time lock you into a Microsoft-dominated stack," it said in a blog post.

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