Cloud choice in Office 365 adoption

2013-05-30 11:01
Microsoft Office 2013 Home Premium. (Microsoft)

Microsoft Office 2013 Home Premium. (Microsoft)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Microsoft's approach to cloud technology is to offer consumers choice in the way they choose to use the company's software.

"It's clear that our strategy is to lead with the cloud, but at the same time we still very much support an approach which says 'Adopt the cloud on your terms'. So we consider it to be a competitive differentiator that we actually offer customers choice," Uriel Rootshtain, head of the Office business at Microsoft South Africa, told News24.

Office has had the position of being the standard desktop document application for home and business users since 1989, and the company is cautious about radically changing the offering.

"We provide customers with a choice on whether or not they want to consume our technology on premise or whether they want to consume it in the public cloud or implement a hybrid model which gives them an opportunity to do a combination of both," said Rootshtain.

The latest iteration, Microsoft Office 365, has been available in SA for 10 months and the company is happy with the adoption so far.

Subscription model

"The response so far has been really good when you have a look at what we segment as our small business segment, the number of seeds that we've sold to date has also been very positive," Rootshtain said.

Microsoft is satisfied with the business adoption of Office 365 so far, and this suggests that the subscription model may have found a footing in SA.

"If we have a look at how many users have already deployed and are up and running and in South Africa, we're sitting at around the 18 000 mark," Rootshtain revealed about the software.

One of the selling points of Office 365 is the ability for the software to save files in the cloud so they are accessible on any device, including phones and tablets.

In a News24 test, the functionality performed to expectations travelling from Cape Town to Dubai, and then on to Istanbul. As soon as the Samsung tablet was connected to a Wi-Fi network, documents save on SkyDrive were instantly accessible.

Sharing documents with users back in SA was also easy and changes were updated automatically.

The new methodology mirrors Microsoft's change from a software vendor to a services vendor and many people will resist the change, Rootshtain conceded.


"It's a little bit difficult to compare because it's a slightly different proposition: When you're talking about Office 2007 and Office 2010, you might be talking about just a desktop application, as opposed to Office 365 which gives you the desktop applications as well as the online services," Rootshtain argued.

"You're always going to have a mix in the market, but our challenge; our objective is to demonstrate sufficient value in the newer capability in order for them to be enticed into upgrading now rather than later," he added.

Rootshtain said that Microsoft's latest Office would have frequent updates to ensure security and functionality.

"When you adopt Office 365, there will be more frequent updates to the features and the capabilities and the reason we came up with a whole new brand name, actually calling it Office 365 not something specific to a year, is now you are always going to get access to the latest and greatest."

Users of older Office applications can rest assured that Microsoft will not be abandoning the non-subscription model, Rootshtain insisted.

"For the foreseeable future, we are going to support on premise non-subscription versions for customers that are not yet ready to move."

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    microsoft  |  internet

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.