Microsoft is signing up mobile carriers as syndication partners for its Office 365 suite of Microsoft-hosted apps.
Verizon Wireless is adding Office 365 to its Small Business Essentials suite of tools for small businesses, the two companies announced on August 6. Last week, Microsoft signed up Sprint to offer Office 365 the same way to its small- and mid-size business users.
The Office 365 capabilities being added to Verizon's suite include SharePoint ONline, Exchange Online, Lync Online and Office Web Apps (the Webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote). Verizon customers interested in the new offering can go through their Verizon small-business portal or retail site to get Office 365 as of today, August 6.
Office 365, included with the Verizon Wireless Small Business Essentials suite, costs the usual $6 per month that Microsoft charges for the small-business-focused version of Office 365. However, in order to get Office 365 through Verizon, users need to have a service-level agreement with Verizon Wireless.
Verizon Small Business Essentials is a number of individual software and service offerings from a variety of vendors from which small business customers can choose. An advisor app/site that helps less tech-savvy customers choose technologies for their needs is part of the offering.
Over 90 percent of Office 365 customers are businesses with less than 50 users, restated Microsoft officials at the New York City announcement of the syndication deal. They played up the ability of Office 365 -- Microsoft's hosted apps bundle which competes with Google Apps -- to eliminate the need for "long-term IT hardware installations."
Microsoft had a similar deal in place with Verizon for its Office 365 predecessor, known as Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).