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June 29, 2011
Orange Business Services, the service provider arm of France Telecom-Orange, has achieved a hat trick of cloud service portfolio expansions this month with the unveiling of Office Together, its managed Microsoft Office 365 offering. And Orange is claiming that Office Together has the edge over standard Office 365 deployments thanks to its end-to-end management and willingness to bolster Microsoft’s cloud with its own offerings.
Office Together, available in 39 countries, is designed to take the key advantages of Office 365 — namely, cost savings, flexibility and enhanced employee collaboration — and make them even more attractive to enterprises by way of Orange’s willingness to customize. If the cloud-hosted Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online included in Office 365 don’t suit your needs, Orange can augment them with services from its own cloud, including network acceleration/optimization and archiving, according to the press release.
But more than that, like fellow Microsoft partner Azaleos, Orange is promoting its willingness to work with customers on hybrid cloud Office 365 solutions that keep certain key data on-premises while also integrating with Microsoft’s public cloud. In short, Orange Business Services is aiming to layer on value-adds and make Office Together the one-stop shop for most customers looking to make a Microsoft cloud move.
To wit, Paul Molinier, VP of Unified Communications & Collaboration at Orange Business Services, had this to say in a prepared statement:
“Orange Business Services will help companies get the most value out of their investments in Office 365. By relieving the burden of managing and maintaining business applications, Orange Business Services can help free up valuable resources so that customers can stay focused on their core business.”
Earlier in June, Orange Business Services announced a partnership with SITA to bring its cloud services all over the globe. And the day before the launch of Office 365, Orange took the lid off its Business Together as a Service cloud UC offering. It seems as though Orange wants to be all things cloud to all people.
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