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One Reason to Look Forward to Summer: Microsoft Office 365
March 22, 2011 @ 01:19 PM | By Rodney Horton

Most of you have heard that Microsoft is moving “to the cloud.” Some of you may be wondering what the cloud is. Simply put, it’s the Internet. Yep, that’s all it is. Sure, you could get more technical and debate the merits of the “public cloud” versus the “private cloud”, but we’re not going to do that here.

The consumer market has embraced the cloud for email (think Yahoo and Hotmail), instant messaging (AIM/AOL, Windows Live Messenger, etc.) and social networking/sharing sites (YouTube, Facebook and Flickr). And on the business front, marketing and sales automation tools are often hosted in the cloud (Salesforce.com and Eloqua to name just a couple).

The business benefits are pretty clear when it comes to this approach: no need to buy or maintain software or hardware, no need to worry about upgrades (you’re always on the latest version!) and no need for dedicated IT staff to manage the solution—they can focus on other, more important issues. Plus, you can access information no matter where you are.

As I mentioned in a recent post, InterCall has been in the cloud for years. Companies have been leveraging our conferencing solutions over our network—safely, securely and reliably—for over 20 years. Bet you didn’t think of us as a cloud provider, did you?

With the launch of Microsoft® Office 365, an upcoming cloud offering expected to be available this summer, InterCall makes yet another leap into the cloud. The solution combines the Office applications you’re already familiar with, like Word, PowerPoint®, Excel® and more, along with Exchange® (Outlook email) Online, SharePoint® Online and Lync™ Online.

Lync, in case you didn’t know, is the next-generation of business productivity, combining instant messaging and PC-based conferencing into a single application. InterCall is partnering with Microsoft to offer a truly integrated audio conferencing solution for Lync Online, resulting in the ability to have callers dial in from traditional PSTN phone lines, as well as giving meeting attendees superior call control and support.

We’re looking forward to the launch this summer, and we‘ll be sharing more information with you as that time gets closer. Be sure to stay tuned!

Rodney Horton imageRodney Horton is senior director of hosted services for InterCall, the business unit for UCaaS and other hosted UC and collaboration solutions. Rodney spends most of his time providing direction and support to the hosting services area of InterCall by working with internal teams and external customers to develop solutions that will enable companies to save time and money through the adoption of cloud-based UC. When he’s not working with InterCall customers on their UC strategy, Rodney enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and exercising.

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