Microsoft Office 365 Gaining Small Business Cloud Momentum?
Microsoft’s Office 365 is gaining momentum in the small business market (1 to 100 employees). Indeed, 10 percent of companies are actively investigating Microsoft’s cloud suite (featuring Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and more), according to Techaisle research. That sounds impressive — but is it?
Re-read that opening line closely: 10 percent of small businesses are “actively investigating Office 365.” What exactly does that mean?
- Investigating an opportunity doesn’t mean it will trigger an Office 365 deployment.
- And what about the other 90 percent of small businesses — are they actively investigating Google Apps, Zoho, Salesforce.com and other cloud applications?
Dig a little deeper and Techaisle does offer some important numbers. Of the 10 percent that are investigating Office 365, a full 30 percent with 20 to 49 employees plan to implement the Microsoft cloud suite.
Techaisle offers another interesting tip for channel partners: Small businesses running hosted Exchange pay about $12 per user per month on average. But the research firm adds: “but with Office 365 they can get equal and additional functionality for US$9 per user per month from a channel partner or established IT vendors such as Dell (part of Dell Cloud Business Applications portfolio) or US$6 per user per month directly from Microsoft and most recently from Verizon Wireless (an offering within Small Business Essentials).”
In my opinion, the biggest takeaway is Microsoft’s strong branding of Office 365. Only one year old, I think the Office 365 cloud brand is incredibly well known in the IT channel, and rapidly gaining mind share with small businesses.