Four SMBs benefit from Microsoft's Office 365
By Asia Cloud Forum Editors | May 21, 2012
"Better collaboration is usually the top organizational priority that will drive business growth and we are seeing more small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the region invest in collaboration tools that support business goals," said Andrew Pickup, Microsoft's Asia-Pacific CMO and COO.
One such tool is Microsoft Office 365, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. From US$6 per user per month, the SaaS solution offers the Office applications -- Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Outlook -- connected to communication and collaboration services, including Exchange, SharePoint and Lync. The number of Office 365 subscribers grew 400% in the last three quarters, said Pickup.
Crystal Edge, a Malaysian marketing support services company, needed a way to cut down on overhead and travel associated with project meetings and online event costs for their customers.
By using the document sharing and access and automatic data backup features in Office 365, the company now saves US$13,000 annually.
"We are an agency, so clients don't come to us - we travel to them," said Jaime Chong, director of Operations & Special Projects at Crystal Edge. "We can save 15 hours per week with Lync Online because our staff can attend meetings from anywhere. And we can edit documents together in real time during meetings."
Another Malaysian SMB, Zepto Consulting, needed a way to protect and easily share files, along with better and faster remote access. By deploying Office 365, the company estimated it can move 25% of meetings to Lync Online, saving up to US$12,000 annually in travel expenses. Reducing travel also frees up a total of 50 hours of productive time, company-wide, for the company's engineers each month.
"Zepto is young and passionate, and we embrace new technologies," said Jabez Gan, project director at Zepto Consulting. "That's why we're using Office 365. We'd rather work smart than hard, and it helps us use our time more efficiently." Overall, Gan estimates Office 365 has improved the company's bottom line by about 10%.