Vodafone in Microsoft hosted services deal

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Vodafone has agreed an exclusive deal with Microsoft to offer cloud services with its OneNet and OneNet Express products, Mobile News understands

A number of Vodafone dealers claimed last week Vodafone has secured a wholesale deal that will see it as the only UK operator to bill for Microsoft services directly.

The Microsoft suite includes its Microsoft Office 365 SME product, which allows customers to securely store and access work information, including Microsoft Exchange, in the cloud, and accessible from any computer or smartphone.

The service will be compatible with OneNet and OneNet Express products, something dealers claim has restricted its ability to sell, and will enable customers to converge services such as their contacts and CRM.

It has been suggested Vodafone has committed to delivering 250,000 users of the Microsoft packages, although the timeframe and territories for sales are unclear.

It is also claimed the deal has been brought forward, and Microsoft services could be available via the channel as soon as April, following trial.

A Vodafone dealer said: “OneNet is in continual development and one of the problems with it was a lot of the companies interested want convergence with their CRM, company telephone book, Outlook and all the rest, which hasn’t been possible.

“Vodafone has realised the issue and so is doing what it can to bring forward those things. The OneNet roadmap is extensive but Vodafone has to prioritise certain things and it needs hosted services. It’s an important issue, and something we require to play in this relatively new market.”

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “We have a long standing relationship with Microsoft which will continue to develop.”

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