Office 365 officially available to Nigeria’s businesses, Microsoft

Technology juggernaut Microsoft yesterday officially launched Office 365, the company’s next-generation cloud productivity service for business, in Lagos, Nigeria.

Marc Isreal, Information Worker Business Group Lead for Microsoft Africa, said Office 365 provides the productivity backbone for modern business in Africa.

ldquo;The introduction of Office 365 to Nigeria has the potential to fuel business and economic transformation across the region by delivering cost effective, flexible access to enterprise-class IT,” he added.

The launch comes after Microsoft made the service commercially available in the West African country earlier in June.

With Office 365 small businesses and professionals can be up-and-running with Office Web Apps, Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft Sharepoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and external websites in just 15 minutes, for US$6 per user, per month.

The tools put email, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web Portals, extranets, video conferencing, Web conferencing and more at everyone’s fingertips, Microsoft said.

The service also has an array of choices for mid-sized and large businesses as well as government organisations, starting from US$4 per month for basic email. It also has Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis, tagged at US$20 per month.

Thirty-day trial versions are available at Office365.com or from Microsoft’s 31 leading local Nigerian service providers, who are expected to integrate Office 365 with other offerings and market the service to small and mid-sized business customers in Nigeria.

“We don’t want to move you directly to the cloud, but we want to give you the option of working in the cloud. We truly believe in the power of the PC. We believe that the PC era is not dead as it is just changing. We truly believe in the power of online and offline,” Isreal said.

Google has also been making the Google App for businesses and education while at the same time doing aggressive marketing of integrated products in Nigeria.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is the world leader in software, services and solutions “that help people and businesses realise their full potential.”

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