Vodafone is to offer business customers a complete communications and IT solution with Microsoft Office 365 alongside its hosted telephony service, Vodafone One Net.
This new service is the latest development in Vodafone’s long-standing relationship with Microsoft Corp., which has focused on bringing together the best communications services from both businesses to assist small and medium sized firms (“SMEs”).
The combined offer will give businesses access to enterprise-class productivity and telecoms services on a more affordable, rental basis. When used together, they will enable employees to work from virtually anywhere and on almost any device.
In a competitive market, the services will enable SMEs with dispersed workforces to operate as slickly as their larger rivals by accessing the kind of tools and services that have traditionally only been available to bigger companies.
Vodafone One Net, which has over 1.4 million users across Europe, gives SMEs a simple, cost-effective, one bill solution for all fixed and mobile users. Intelligent call routing means that no matter what number a customer dials it can be answered on desk phones or mobile.
Microsoft Office 365 will give businesses cloud access to the latest Microsoft productivity tools including email and calendar, Microsoft Office Web Apps, collaboration tools, instant messaging and online meetings.
Tom Craig, Vodafone Business Services Director: “Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of the European economy and it is imperative that we provide them with the tools to compete with big business in a challenging marketplace where customers expect fast responses 24/7. The combination of our fixed and mobile communications service with Office 365 helps deliver the benefits of agility, productivity and flexibility. This allows firms to respond extremely quickly to queries and puts them on a level playing field with larger companies.”
The hosted model means that key staff are no longer required to divert valuable time and energy to IT maintenance, freeing them to focus on their work. The simple, pricing structure also provides greater predictability over cost as well as enabling firms to scale services up or down depending on their requirements.
Marco Limena, VP, Business Services, Operator Channels at Microsoft: “Office 365 is our next generation cloud productivity service, combining the best productivity solutions in the market. Vodafone is an experienced partner in offering integrated communications and IT services to businesses, helping firms to do more with less. By extending their portfolio to include Office 365, Vodafone is set to give businesses a further boost in today’s challenging economic climate.”
Vodafone will begin to roll out the solution across selected European markets later in the year.
Recent research from Vodafone highlighted that Small Businesses across Europe were missing out on new business opportunities because they were unable to respond to customer enquiries fast enough in a world where customers increasingly expect around the clock service.