Computer maker Dell announced it will start offering Microsoft Office 365 to its small to medium-size business (SMB) customers. Office 365 with Dell delivers access to the entire suite of Microsoft productivity solutions, including Microsoft's Outlook, Exchange, Office Web Apps, SharePoint, Lync platforms and others, from almost any Dell device, including smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and desktops.
Benefits include a single, unified inbox and calendar, access to online meetings or videoconferences, and a centralized SharePoint portal where documents can be shared by coworkers. Dell is also extending its 24x7x365 customer support and services on almost any PC platform. Office 365 with Dell is available in the United States starting at $9 per user, per month for the Small Business Plan, and additional pricing options and bundle packages will soon be available with other solutions, a joint company statement said.
"With the availability of Office 365 to Dell's customers, Dell and Microsoft are enabling SMBs to be more mobile, more secure, and more productive," Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president of U.S. small and medium businesses and partners for Microsoft, said in a press statement. "Dell's ability to help SMBs adopt this cloud-based solution while also facilitating set up and support makes them ideal to sell Office 365."
Offered to SMBs through the cloud, Microsoft Office 365 with Dell is hosted by Microsoft datacenters and available as an online subscription service that provides email, shared calendars, the ability to create and edit documents online, instant messaging, Web conferencing, and internal team sites. Office 365 is also compatible with Office 2007 and newer editions of Office and select Office 365 plans include Office Professional Plus. Office 365 for small businesses (Plan Dell P1 Plus) is best for companies with up to 25 employees, while Office 365 midsized business and enterprise plans (Dell E1-4 Plus) fit organizations ranging in size from a single employee to 500 users.
"Dell is committed to helping small- and medium-business customers realize the full power of the cloud," Cindy Grogan, executive director of software marketing for Dell, said in a prepared statement. "The latest addition in Dell's growing list of SMB cloud solutions, Microsoft Office 365 with Dell saves customers valuable time and resources by providing access to our trusted 24x7x365 customer support and certified technicians with one common billing platform. Dell is committed to helping customers improve productivity and collaboration anywhere, anytime."
For BlackBerry users, Research in Motion (RIM) provides a hosted BlackBerry service for Office 365 customers, known as BlackBerry Business Cloud Services, which RIM hosts, licenses, and supports and directly links Microsoft Exchange Online with BlackBerry smartphones. BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is available at no additional charge to current medium-sized or enterprise subscribers of the Microsoft Office 365 Suite or standalone Exchange Online, and it works with BlackBerry smartphones on business or consumer data plans.