Microsoft Office 365: A Big Year in Review
June 27, 2012
The cloud service turns one, launches Office 365 for education, wins new customers and expands global footprint.

REDMOND, Wash. — June 27, 2012 — One year ago in New York City, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Office 365. Ballmer predicted that Office 365 would give businesses an edge, and that has been true for companies all over the globe.


“Office 365 is a hit with big and small companies alike,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Office Division. “I’m delighted to welcome Lowe’s, Burger King, Japan Airlines and others that have chosen Office 365.”

Now Students Can Get the Edge

Today, the benefits of Office 365 are available for free to students, teachers and faculty with the launch of Office 365 for education. Office 365 for education brings all the familiarity of Office — Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote — and combines it with Microsoft Lync, SharePoint and Exchange to deliver a world-class solution for communication and collaboration.

With the release, leading schools and universities are picking Office 365 for education:

  • Dartmouth College. The unified communications and collaboration capabilities in Office 365 are helping improve secure and reliable collaboration across departments, institutions and global regions. The college will move about 13,500 faculty, student and staff mailboxes to the cloud.

  • Cornell University. Cornell will begin onboarding approximately 7,000 faculty and staff to Office 365 in the fall of 2012, taking advantage of the cloud-based email and calendar support.

  • Gonzaga University: By leveraging SharePoint Online and Lync Online, Gonzaga will be able to provide its Distant Learning Population with seamless access to its online resources portal and anytime collaboration tools. Office 365 will support 8,000 students and 1,200 faculty and staff.

These new customers come on the heels of recent announcements that the Catholic International Education Office, the Scottish government for education and the All India Council for Technical Education are committing to Office 365 for education. In total, these new customers demonstrate that over 12.5 million more students worldwide will now have Office 365 for education.

Big and small companies explain how Office 365 frees them to focus on what they do best with more flexibility.

“Getting the world’s best technology in the hands of our students and teachers is critical to improving educational outcomes and making sure students are prepared for college and career,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education for Microsoft. “With schools’ ever-tightening budgets, Office 365 for education enables them to deliver new and innovative technology in the cloud that will modernize teaching and learning practices, at no cost.”

Students, along with faculty and teachers, need to connect and work with others on school projects. Office 365 for education’s shared workspaces, synchronized notebooks, instant messaging, and audio- and videoconferencing makes this a reality.

Special features in Office 365 for education include:

  • Classrooms without walls. PC or tablet, online or offline, Office 365 for education helps people stay in touch, easily share resources, jointly develop and use curricula, and communicate in ways that work for them.

  • Prepare students for the workforce. Office 365 includes familiar Office tools that connect with the way people work today: in social groups.

  • Privacy and security. The service delivers a secure, school-managed environment that keeps student information safe. Microsoft has a comprehensive approach to cloud privacy and security in the industry, and in the past year Office 365 has added support for the most rigorous global and regional standards, including ISO 27001, SAS70 Type II, EU Safe Harbor, EU Model Clauses, the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the U.S. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and more.

Businesses Continue to Get the Edge, Too

The biggest global brands continue to flock to Office 365. They are doing so because Office 365 enables new ways to share information and connect with customers and partners. This year, JetBlue, Campbell Soup, WellPoint, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Patagonia joined DuPont, Starbucks and major cities like New York and San Francisco in using Microsoft’s cloud productivity services. And today, Lowe’s, Origin Energy and The Hilti Group, Hallmark Cards, Japan Airlines, Burger King and Renner are the latest to join the Office 365 family.

Lowe’s has signed an agreement with Microsoft to implement Microsoft Office 365 across more than 1,745 stores, 200,000 employees, and its corporate offices in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Office 365 will help the home improvement retailer improve customer service by providing collaboration tools to increase communication among its stores and employees. Learn more about Lowe’s and Office 365 here.

Hallmark Cards, the largest creator of greeting cards in the United States, recently deployed Office 365 to over 9,500 people across the company. With this move, Hallmark receives the latest in productivity from Microsoft and realizes the economic benefits of the cloud. The company chose Microsoft due to Office 365’s ability to integrate seamlessly with Hallmark’s existing investments in other Microsoft technologies, such as SharePoint.

“The decision to move to Office 365 is part of a broader strategy to provide an integrated, unified platform to increase productivity and connect our employees across the globe,” said Tony Marshall, director of Enterprise Architecture at Hallmark.

Burger King was founded in 1954 and is the second-largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. According to Mike Capote, chief privacy officer and senior director of IT at Burger King, “With Office 365, we have a unified platform for communication and collaboration, helping save us money and gain efficiency.”

The Hilti Group is founded and based in Liechtenstein and supplies the worldwide construction industry with technologically leading products, systems and services. The company has a large mobile workforce, including sales teams and field engineers spread around the world. Hilti looked at competitive cloud offerings and chose Microsoft for its mobile collaboration and communication capabilities. With approximately 22,000 employees, Office 365’s SharePoint and Lync capabilities will mean cost savings and more effective business execution. In addition, Hilti saw Microsoft as the company whose integration capabilities into the existing IT landscape are very good.

“Hilti is a global brand with the challenges of a global company — distributed workers and finite resources,” said Tobias Roelz, head of IT Workplace and Application Services at Hilti Group. “With Office 365, we will have the latest collaboration technology always up-to-date for use by almost 22,000 employees around the world. This will make us more connected and, in the end, more competitive.”

Japan Airlines is bringing Office 365 to its 20,000 users to unify its communication and collaboration experience. It chose Office 365 because its employees are familiar with Office’s productivity tools, and it believes Microsoft’s expertise in supporting large enterprises in the cloud is the right choice for its business.

Origin Energy, the largest retail energy generation business in Australia and New Zealand with over 4.4 million customers, is moving to Office 365 to ensure its employees stay connected. Office 365 will give Origin a single, trusted platform that unites its vast operations and disparate employees.

“Office 365 is a key cornerstone in our strategy to take advantage of public cloud services. With Office 365, we get the benefits of Microsoft’s latest versions of software and achieve greater efficiencies as a result. We will be utilizing all the Office 365 services — Exchange for email, Lync for videoconferencing, and SharePoint for collaboration. With the new Office 365 service model, we get the best global service for the best possible value,” said Geoff Wenborn, group manager, IT Strategy and Governance at Origin Energy.

Renner, the second-largest clothing department store chain in Brazil, employs 14,000 in 202 stores. To manage the whole infrastructure, the company needed a technology partner with a strategic vision. “This was Microsoft´s big advantage: It was the only company that proposed a solution that met all our business needs,” said Leandro Balbinot, CIO at Renner S/A.

The company is also going through a period of rapid growth, so it required a technological environment that not only supports but promotes this expansion. “Microsoft offered the most complete solution, including simple system administration via the cloud; a flexible price structure — important when the user is paying for the service; and integration into our physical systems, such as mobile devices. We found that the competition couldn’t deliver all our requirements to the same level as that offered by Microsoft,” explained Balbinot.

Doubled Global Footprint and Continuous Updates

To mark the anniversary of Office 365, Koenigsbauer revealed that people in 46 new markets can now get Office 365 for the first time. In addition, the service is adding support for 11 new languages. With this, Office 365 is now offered in 88 markets and 32 languages and reaches over 4 billion people around the globe.

All these markets can take advantage of the continuous improvements to the service. Microsoft has introduced more than 50 new capabilities to the service in the past year, an average of one update per week. These updates — like password reset and enhanced storage for SharePoint Online — make people more productive and IT professionals more efficient.

“Whether small or large, local or global, educational or entrepreneurial, there is an Office 365 right for everybody,” said Koenigsbauer. “The magic of the service is in its flexibility, familiarity and breadth of options.”

For more information on Office 365, visit http://www.office365.com.

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