Microsoft BPOS Goes Global, Puts Voice in the Cloud
Microsoft’s BPOS SaaS software suite now has voice in the cloud — finally, a feature Google Apps has nothing to match. That’s not the only feather in Microsoft’s cap today, either, as they’re announcing that BPOS is launching in 17 new international markets later in April 2010. Here’s the scoop.
First things first: according to the BPOS team’s blog entry, voice in the cloud is now available to US-based customers using BPOS Dedicated by way of Office Communications Online. Users can make and receive phone calls anywhere they can log into BPOS. Microsoft says that moving voice users into the cloud can reduce load on a PBX, but that it’s not designed to replace your existing phone infrastructure – yet, anyway.
And, internationally speaking, BPOS is now or will soon be available in a lot more markets, including Israel, Hong Kong, and Puerto Rico. To better serve these international customers, the Microsoft Online Customer Portal is going polyglot with new language support including Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, and Dutch.
I’ve always said that when Microsoft plays, it plays to win. And leveraging its existing unified communications software while also extending its reach out to markets Google is only starting to establish footholds in is certainly a bold move.