Help relieve the burden of managing and maintaining business systems, freeing IT departments to focus on initiatives that can help deliver true competitive advantage.
Microsoft Online Services include:
- Office Live Meeting
- Exchange Hosted Services
- Dynamics CRM Online
- SharePoint Online
Licensing is very competitive as well. A USL for the Business Productivity Online Suite is $15 per month. That means, for $15 per month, a user can have access to Exchange, SharePoint server, Live Meeting and, when released, Office Communications Online. See the Office SharePoint write up for a good explanation of the licensing model. Customers can also license Microsoft Online piece meal:
- $10/month for an Exchange USL,
- $7.25/month for SharePoint,
- $2.50/month for Office Communications
- $4.50/month for Live Meeting
Looking back at how Cloud Computing is shaping to be a disruptive trend, this announcement is particularly interesting. The business model part makes it particularly attractive to IT organizations as they can start testing out mixed deployment of hosted and on-premise while protecting their investment. It will be interesting to follow how this gets adopted, but in my opinion, this is indicative of a paradigm shift in our industry.
On a closing note, an interesting description of the infrastructure required to support this offering and telling on the level of investment:
- 13 global datacenters (growing to 20 next year)
- Replicated to two distinct datacenters to provide redundancy
- Service guarantees a 99.9 percent SLA