Q. Software + Services, Software as a Service (SaaS), online services, cloud computing – what does it all mean?
A. Pretty much the same thing really. Instead of having to buy (or licence) the technology you need to run your business you can choose to subscribe to various software services instead. For small businesses in particular, the beauty of this is flexibility and low overheads of course – you don’t need to make large up-front investments. Plus you don’t have to maintain or upgrade the software directly.
Earlier this week Microsoft launched the Business Productivity Online Services Suite (BPOS). Hosted by Microsoft and sold by its partners, BPOS provides enterprise-class email, intranet, and instant messaging available via monthly subscription at highly competitive prices (minimum order of 5 seats).
- Exchange Online
- SharePoint Online
- Office Communications Online
- Office Live Meeting
You can get a free 30-day trial of these new services and learn more about them at www.microsoft.com/online.
Read more in a recent ‘Ask the Expert’ article from C7 Solutions: Making cloud computing less nebulous
And here’s a testimony from one early adopter:
“Making our images accessible through SharePoint Online will save me at least 10 hours a month. We’ll also free up 20 hours a month that another staff person spends fielding requests.”
– Miriam Forde, Chernobyl Children’s Project International
Business Size: Small; 8 employees
Industry: Charities and Philanthropic Services
Products: Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite