AT&T and Microsoft have partnered to create the AT&T Mobile Office Suite, a solution designed to keep small to medium-sized businesses productive on the go.
Announced on Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the companies said the new software suite was developed in order to make the lives of small and midsized businesses easier when employees need to collaborate by voice, video and the web.
AT&T Mobile Office Suite, usable on "virtually any mobile device," is touted as a means to help "improve employee productivity while in the office or on-the-go."
Available in the United States, AT&T Mobile Office Suite is a cloud-based "mobile collaboration" solution which bundles useful software from both partnering firms on a single subscription cost basis. Small businesses signing up will have access to voice calls, email, calendars, messaging, HD video conferencing and file sharing, among other functions.
The key elements of the suite include:
- Microsoft Office 365: Includes access to productivity tools such as Lync, Exchange, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneDrive from a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet;
- Voice connection: Expanded click-to-call function for Lync Online that enables small business users to make and receive any type of domestic or international voice call while in the US;
- Wireless plan: Compatible with the AT&T wireless rate plan;
- Technical support: Transition planning and onboarding, data migration and deployment services, as well as ongoing 24/7 technical support.
The suite is available on new or existing AT&T Windows Phone models, including the Lumia 640 XL -- announced this week -- and the Lumia 830, as well as AT&T devices running on iOS or Android operating systems.
AT&T and Microsoft say the suite has become necessary in a world where the rapid pace of business requires companies and their employees to be able to effectively collaborate at any time, whether they are on the road or in the office.
"While there are an increasing number of cloud-based solutions available, small businesses have not been able to fully implement and adopt these solutions due to limited budgets and technical support," the companies' announcement states. "[AT&T Mobile Office Suite] "overcomes these challenges."
AT&T also plans to add Global Audio Conferencing later this year.
Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility said:
"Microsoft and AT&T are creating powerful opportunities for small and midsized businesses to leverage collaboration technology that was once out of their reach. We're bringing together our leading cloud, mobility and software assets to create an integrated solution that's easy, affordable, highly-secure and backed by the nation's most reliable 4G LTE network."
In related news, Microsoft announced the Lumia 640 and 640 XL phablets at Mobile World Congress this week. The Lumia 640 is a five-inch HD device, whereas the 640 XL is a 5.7-inch phablet. A new Windows 10-powered flagship device has also been promised for launch later this year.
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