Microsoft Office 365 Beta – Press Conference

I was invited by Microsoft to attend a couple of events related to the launch of their Office 365 Beta product in Singapore.

The first was to be part of a panel of 3 experts to share my experience of rolling out the new cloud based solution.

The second was to speak at a press conference alongside Microsoft COO Kevin Turner, Jessica Tan MD of Microsoft Singapore and Star Hub COO Tan Tong Hai, about the launch of Office 365 Beta in Singapore. I was there as one of the 230 beta customers to speak about why our company chose the Microsoft solution from a commercial and technical standpoint.

There were 15 media reps present from Local and Regional press. So far, there are 13 articles published by the attending media following yesterday’s event. Here are excerpts from the 3 top stories:

ZDNet Asia Microsoft taps StarHub to deliver Office 365

Sindicatum Carbon Capital (SCC), a Singapore-based climate change and sustainable resources company, is one of the 230 that have subscribed to Microsoft’s online services. Company CTO Bobby Jimenez cited cost savings as a key attraction for the company’s decision to sign up for Microsoft’s Exchange Online.

The executive told ZDNet Asia on the sidelines of the briefing that at US$5 per user, Microsoft’s online e-mail client was cheaper than Google’s or Rackspace’s Web mail offerings. This works out to about US$70,000 to US$80,000 savings a year in terms of licensing, maintenance, planning and integration costs for both hardware and software, he explained.

Additionally, the company was using Microsoft’s on-premise Exchange server previously, and the employees’ experience in using Exchange was another factor that swung the vote to Microsoft’s favor, he said.

Jimenez revealed that the migration took under two months to complete–about a week to prepare the company’s backend IT infrastructure to provision Exchange Online to its 160 employees, and a further 45 days for deployment.

“The familiar user experience and easy migration process, together with the cost savings we received, have made the move worthwhile,” he added.

BT Online Office 365 reaches public beta and The Business Times

Bobby Jimenez, Sindicatum Carbon Capital’s chief technology officer, was present to talk about the Singapore-headquartered SMB’s move to the
cloud. It was initially supporting its 160 employees based in cities such as Houston, Beijing and Jakarta, out of a single box located in London, he
said. Migration to the cloud took about a week.

Mr Jimenez expects the move to save an estimated US$70,000 to US$80,000 per year over the next three years, because the bill has gone
to US$5 per user per month, down from US$1,000 per month in the past. The company considered options from the competition such as Google
Apps and RackSpace. The latter offers a hosted version of Microsoft’s Exchange email and SharePoint products too.

Eventually, Sindicatum went with Microsoft because of the price as well as the product suite’s familiar interface, since employees were already using the on-premise version, he said.

Office 365 reaches public beta – Business Times

My Paper

Microsoft Office 365 – My Paper

Here’s the translation for my bit:

Sindicatum Carbon Capital chief technology officer Bobby Jimenez said that the company needed a sustainable, reliable, expandable, safe, and cost-effective system. This drove them to use Microsoft.