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Verizon Wireless has begun selling Microsoft Office 365
as a part of the companys Small Business Essentials portfolio. The package is
designed for businesses ranging in size from one to 50 employees, and supports
collaboration, voice and video conferencing, document sharing and instant messaging.
The Verizon Wireless package will cost $6.00 per month, which can be added to
the users phone bills.
Office 365 is a cloud-based version of the widely-used Microsoft Office.
The importance of Microsoft Office 365 became more significant when Microsoft
revealed that it would introduce Office
2013 first as a part of Office 365. The cloud-based Office 365 being
offered by Verizon
Wireless for the companys mobile devices will run on Windows Phone,
Android phones (but not tablets), iOS and BlackBerry devices.
announced a similar plan for Office 365 on July 31, but so far has declined
to say when it would be available. A Sprint spokesperson told eWEEK only that
the product release was planned for sometime this year. By contrast, Verizon
Wireless began offering Office 365 on August 6 at Verizon stores, online,
through field and telephone sales and third party Verizon sales outlets.
The Verizon Wireless Small Business Essentials package includes some services in addition to Office 365. Verizon is providing tier-one
support, with what the company said would be a seamless transition to tier-two
support when needed. That apparently means that there wont be long hold times.
Verizons support includes help setting up the product and migrating from other cloud services such as Google Apps. Office 365
includes a wide range of cloud-based Office productivity software including
Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and a version of SharePoint for
collaboration. The package also includes Lync, a corporate instant message,
audio and video conferencing product.
This is the third high-profile partnership Microsoft has
announced for Office 365. In addition to the deal with Sprint, Microsoft also
announced a deal
with Dell to offer Office 365 for $9.00 per month. The pricing is similar
to what customers can get buying directly
from Microsoft, although both Verizon Wireless and Sprint are planning to
offer value added services beyond what Microsoft offers and they plan to add
the charge to customers phone bills.
Our small businesses and entrepreneurs consistently rank two priorities the highest
when it comes to using productivity tools to run their business: simplicity and
cost effectiveness, said Michael C. Schaefer, executive director, Wireless
Business Solutions, Verizon Wireless in a prepared statement.
We included Office 365 with Small Business Essentials to address these
needs. Plus, we also want to emphasize it is scalablewhich is ideal for
companies in the growing segment of up to 50 employees.