• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Enterprise IT, News - Written by on Friday, April 27, 2012 17:20 - 4 Comments

    Telstra to cut Microsoft Office 365 prices

    news The nation’s largest telco Telstra is reportedly planning to follow Microsoft’s international lead and cut prices on the local version of Redmond’s Office 365 cloud productivity suite, which Microsoft offers locally in partnership with the telco.

    News of the price cut has been reported by Loryan Strant, a Microsoft Office 365 Most Valuable Professional, writing on local technology media outlet BoxFreeIT. “Telstra has notified partners of its T-Suite cloud software platform that it would reduce prices of Office 365 from 1 May,” Strant wrote this afternoon, noting he expected the prices to be in line with price cuts unveiled six weeks ago by Microsoft in the US.

    The US price cuts saw 20 percent slashed from the cost of using Office 365, with Microsoft staffer Kirk Koenigsbauer noting in a blog post at the time that the cost of running the platform had become more efficient over time as the company had “rapidly” added customers to the multi-tenanted environment.

    “This is the beauty of the cloud where we can deliver economies of scale through our worldwide data centers and economies of skill with our engineers, administrators, and support teams operating the service,” he wrote at the time. “With these efficiencies, we’re able pass on savings to make it even more affordable for customers of all sizes to move to Office 365.”

    It is believed that those efficiencies would also apply to the version of Office 365 which Microsoft offers in Australia through Telstra, with the platform believed to be hosted outside the country. It is not believed that Microsoft hosts any significant datacentre infrastructure in Australia, with most of its services locally being provided from Singapore. However, Telstra has expressed a desire to host the platform on-shore.

    Currently, according to Microsoft’s global site (following the 20 percent price cut), pricing on Office 365 ranges from US$4 per user per month for simple email provision to $20 per user per month for a complete version of Office Professional Plus 2010 hosted in the cloud, with unlimited email storage and hosted voicemail support.

    In comparison, when Office 365 launched in Australia, the two companies locally set prices significantly higher than they were internationally, charging up to 76 percent more for access to the same services delivered online. Locally, Australians have been charged from $7.90 per month to $40.10 per month, a significant difference.

    Globally, Koenigsbauer noted in his Microsoft blog that the company has signed up companies like JetBlue, Patagonia, Campbell Soup Company, Groupe Marie Claire, and Tata Steel Europe to use the Office 365 offering, but locally Microsoft and Telstra have struggled to attract customers to the hosted platform, with the exception of the email component, which has proven popular amongst educational institutions such as universities, where it has gone head to head with Google’s rival cloud email platform under the label Live@EDU.

    I feel strongly that Microsoft and Telstra will continue to see slow adoption of their cloud computing productivity suite in Australia, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve decided to cut prices on the platform less than a year out from launch. The truth is that the desktop software deployment model for Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office productivity suite isn’t broken, and where it is broken, enterprises are working around it via virtualising the desktop as a whole, rather than following the Software as a Service model which Office 365 provides.

    I think there will be several exceptions to this rule, however.

    The first is clearly email. Organisations far and wide across Australia have recognised that email is a commoditised service and should be provided from the cloud as a managed service by a provider like Microsoft or Telstra, or another partner like HP. Increasingly, organisations will be looking at the email component of Office 365 over the next few years.

    The case for wider usage of Office 365’s other productivity features, I feel, will be largely limited to so-called ‘light’ or ‘edge’ user cases within organisations for the time being. I’m talking about university students who might need occasional Office use at university, although they would likely have the full suite installed at home, or branch company offices with only light use. Nurses in hospitals would be another case — their normal duties wouldn’t involve much heavy paperwork, but they would need it now and then. But core staff in all these cases will, no doubt, continue to use on-desktop deployed office productivity software.

    I don’t really see price changes as changing this. Microsoft needs to do more to make the case for Office 365 than cutting the price by a few dollars a month. It needs to demonstrate that there are clear advantages to the model compared with deploying Office on desktops. And right now, it hasn’t done that just yet.

    Update: Telstra has published the updated prices here.

    Image credit: Robert Scoble, Creative Commons

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    1. Joel Webb
      Posted 28/04/2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The Telstra T-Suite website and offering were always confusing and since the 365 upgrades things don’t seem to have improved much.

      That being said there are very few places that you can find a ‘big business backed’ 25GB hosted exchange account for under $10 per user per month. For small businesses a hosted mail offering it works really well.

    2. Posted 30/04/2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Telstra is pleased to pass on savings of up to 30 percent to our T-Suite customers from tomorrow, when price reductions made by Microsoft overseas take effect here.
      We’ve had very strong demand from Telstra Business customers and terrific feedback about the value of the Office 365 productivity range.
      Sales have been anything but ‘sluggish’, nevertheless we look forward to more small and medium buinesses now making the shift to online software.

    3. Posted 30/04/2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Update: Telstra has published the updated prices here.

    4. Will
      Posted 10/06/2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Any news regarding if Office365 is ever going to be hosted in Australia locally… the download speeds are just two slow coming internationally for use in Australia :(

    Leave a Comment


  • Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT

    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications

    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry

    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights