Android platform set to broaden Microsoft Office 365 take-up across India

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Android platform set to broaden Microsoft Office 365 take-up across India

Satarupa Bhattacharya

Hot on the heels of the release of Office Mobile for iPhone, Microsoft has launched

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Office Mobile for Android devices.

Office 365 subscribers can now work on their Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from anywhere, using their Windows Phone, iPhone or Android handsets to synchronize with a PC. Microsoft is offering Office 365 in India with a plan that starts from INR 220 per user per month.

Organizations in India already using Office 365 include Godrej, Lupin, Tata Communications, FICCI, AEGON Religare, Dabur India, Infiniti Retail, SIRO and Unilog to name a few.

The launch extends the productivity suite to many more users due to Android’s popularity. According to research from Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights, 60% of mobile devices bought between September and October 2012 used Google's Android operating system (OS), compared to 1% using Apple's iOS; 8% using Windows Phone OS; and 3% Windows Mobile OS.

With bring your own device (BYOD) schemes gathering pace across India, many more workers – a large proportion of which use Android – can use applications such as Office 365 on mobile devices.

Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman of Microsoft in India, said: "Office 365 unlocks social and mobility scenarios that will allow businesses and individuals to take full advantage of cloud computing. It gives them the freedom to do things, when, where and how they want."

According to Naveen M., analyst at Ericsson: “Microsoft’s Office 365, based on cloud computing technology, is a boon for India’s robust MSME segment. It is platforms such as these that will facilitate the small businesses to go online, which will grow the entire business ecosystem.”

Like any cloud computing service, Microsoft Office 365 decreases capital expenditure ("capex") and operational expenditure ("opex") of an organization.

S. Tiwari, senior IT analyst at Seimens, said: “Office 365 is an opportunity to reduce the capex and opex of any organization, creating a flexible model of functioning without considering hardware resources as an investment.”

With a real-time data-sharing facility coupled with the ability to work on projects from anywhere, work efficiency and revenue increase can improve.

Arjun Singh from KPMG said: “With cloud computing platforms such as Office 365, we should be expecting not less than a 20% rise in work efficiency and about 25-35% revenue boost.”

Singh, a user of Office 365, added: "Now that I use Office 365 I can’t imagine how we were doing without it for so long. Not only can I edit my own documents while I go back home from office in my car but the entire productivity of my workforce has increased. 

"In today’s days of virtual teams and cut throat competition, where everyone is always on the go but cannot afford to lose out time in working on projects, Office 365 is a life-saver. Starting from marketing to operations, every function and every project has gained from its use.”