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AT&T Launches Microsoft Office 365 for Midsize Businesses

November 19, 2012 | Telepresence Options
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Added by Christy Birmingham, Midsize Insider,

AT&T announces it will offer Microsoft Office 365 to midsize business clients. Delivery of the cloud-based service by the US multinational carrier has potential to alter IT infrastructure and network services of businesses that sign on. There are positive and negative implications for midsize enterprises.

Cloud ServiceAs Brandon Butler writes in InfoWorld, AT&T is "seeking to beef up its products and services for small and midsize businesses." The telecommunications company will provide desktop and mobile access to 365, the cloud-based subscription software service. Businesses that subscribe for monthly plans have access to programs such as MS Word, Excel, and Lync. Midsize businesses fit into the bundle designed for unlimited number of users, which includes features such as unlimited online meetings with HD video conferencing and shared calender and contacts. Standalone products are also available.

The subscription comes with the corporation's TechSupport 360 service if IT professionals require, to help them modify current systems to the cloud-based 365. Services are on demand and on a per use basis.

There are many implications of the announcement for IT specialists in midsize businesses. On the positive side, midsize enterprises that subscribe to the service enjoy distinct advantages that a mobile carrier has over other cloud service providers. A carrier has appropriate network bandwidth and high security. While a common debate among IT professionals is whether data is secure when stored in the cloud, security levels are already high in such a large corporation that focuses on telecommunications.

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