TM, Microsoft in Office 365 partnership


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By DONOVAN QUEK bytz@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia Bhd will soon offer the Microsoft Office 365 suite of productivity tools as a part of its cloud services.

TM is targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and Office 365 will be made available on TM Cloud from January.

The telecommunications giant has been appointed Microsoft’s exclusive syndication partner in the country to provide dedicated local support for Office 365 subscribers.

Office 365 is a cloud-based productivity and collaboration suite that brings together Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online. The tools are accessed solely via the Internet by its users.

TM, via its subsidiary VADS Bhd, will look after everything connected to Office 365, from consulting to delivery to installation and to technical support.

VADS already provides a suite of services under Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service initiatives. With the inclusion of Office 365, VADS is now expanding its cloud service offerings to include Software-as-a-Service, said its chief executive officer Ghazali Omar.

He was speaking to reporters after signing the partnership agreement with Microsoft Malaysia, which was represented by its managing director Ananth Lazarus.

According to Ghazali, cloud computing is a revolution that enables companies, even small businesses, to be more agile and cost effective in competitive environments.

“SMEs play a very important role in the our country’s economy, therefore it is critical for them to remain competitive and maintain their sustainability,” he said.

VADS will be targeting Office 365 at the 450,000 SMEs that are already subscribers to parent company TM’s other cloud services.

Ghazali said he expects to get about half of these to subscribe to Office 365 over the next three years.

Microsoft’s Ananth said that as the country’s leading broadband provider, TM commands a 95% share of the Malaysian fixed-broadband market.

This, he said, makes TM an ideal partner to help Microsoft more quickly bring the benefits of Office 365 to Malaysian businesses.

In a survey commissioned by Microsoft in the United States, 50% of the SMEs polled reported cost savings after using Office 365. And 42% said that cloud computing has reduced their IT workload.

Microsoft said it is helping businesses better manage their IT needs with Office 365, whether it is the ability to leverage IT capabilities more cost-effectively, create new ways to better serve their customers, or operate their businesses without IT limits.

“This leaves them free to concentrate on what they do best, which is managing and driving their businesses,” Ananth said.

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