Several Australian Microsoft partners are claiming the vendor’s latest 2010 platform releases will provide stronger integration across the stack and drive new collaboration opportunities.
Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Visio and Project 2010 were released to manufacturing this week. The software will become available to customers from April 27 in the US. Australian pricing has also been announced and customers can expect to pay $379 for the boxed version of Office Home and Business or $269 for the product key card. Office Professional costs $849 or the product key card is $499.
“Customers are keen for it, but they also have to do some preliminary infrastructure planning to be ready,” Unique World CEO, Eddie Geller, said. The new Office and SharePoint 2010, brought a whole new dimension of collaboration into the management space, he added.
“Online collaboration and the ability to edit saved documents while others are editing it at the same time is finally what organisations were looking out for,” he said. “We’ve enormous interest in the last six months, ever since the beta was released.”
Intelligent search capabilities within SharePoint were a big plus for enterprise organisations looking for that type of capability, Geller said. He pointed out there had also been significant improvements with records management capability in the 2010 version.
“Before you could do a lot of the SharePoint capabilities with a lot of custom development, but now it’s much simpler with 2010,” he said. “You can do a lot more with the out-of-the-box platform.”
Data#3 CEO, John Grant, got a glimpse of the new architectures at a Microsoft Partner Conference last year.
“I walked away from that conference really thinking that Microsoft has taken a big leap forward in terms of the application foundation and how the products now work all together, right down to the security and real-time collaboration they’re going to deliver with SharePoint and Exchange 2010,” Grant said. “I think that’s a huge deal for business. I personally believe collaboration and the impact it can have on productivity is the next big thing for users. It’s a very exciting time.”
Grant agreed the new line-up would entice customers to upgrade or even adopt the 2010 releases.
“The business case is much more solid,” Grant said. “There are quantifiable returns.”
Simply International only sells software licences, but general manager, Kirk Jones, said the more enhanced the products, the better it was for customer demand.
“We’ve already had customer’s inquire about the benefits of upgrading to Office 2010,” he said. “Customers are looking at what technical benefits it can add to their business.”
The most notable change of Office 2010 is its online component, which offers lightweight versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. Previous reports have indicated Microsoft had 7.5 million people download the beta version of Office 2010 since it was released in November. This was three times the number of downloads of the Office 2007 beta release.
Dimension Data general manager of Microsoft solutions and application integration, Mark Miller, said he had been running off the new technology for several months and noted the stability and quality.
“I’ve been using the Outlook client for several months and from a productivity standpoint, managing my emails and being able gain quicker access to people, has really helped,” Miller said.
He added DiData saw huge opportunities within the enterprise content management space.
“It’s a great platform for building custom apps and leveraging a lot of the out-of-the-box functionality to rapidly respond to customer needs or for putting solutions on 2010. We’ll be able to quickly deliver to our customers with the new platform,” Miller said.
Microsoft said the products will be rolled out in stages. The first to access the software will be volume licence customers with software assurance via the vendor’s Volume Licensing Service Centre from April 27. Retail stores in the US will get the new software from June.