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Many organizations seeking to consolidate resources and save money on their infrastructure and email storage need to balance the benefits of moving to the cloud with assurances on how data is secured and accessed from the cloud.
Microsoft today announced new academic institutions that are adopting Microsoft Office 365, to improve communication and collaboration across campuses while meeting security, privacy and other regulatory requirements mandated by the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Office 365 is the first and only major cloud business productivity solution to address the rigorous HIPAA requirements.
For a number of years, we tried to get by with an email service called SquirrelMail, which ran on a Linux server in our office, but it just wasn't as reliable, scalable, or easy to manage as we needed it to be. One of the major headaches was how difficult it was for people to access email remotely. Staff could only log on to the system from their work computer, which restricted their mobility. And the service didn't offer a built-in feature for sharing calendars. Figuring out staff availability and scheduling meetings usually meant sending a series of email messages back and forth. It's hard to believe, but we actually kept our office calendar on a dry-erase whiteboard.
Today, Toyota Motor Corporation announced the company will provide Microsoft Office 365 to more than 200,000 employees of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. and other affiliates in North America to streamline its communications and collaboration capabilities.
Forrester Research, Inc., has named Microsoft as a leader in the cloud collaboration market in its August 2012 report entitled "The Forrester WaveTM: Cloud Strategies of Online Collaboration Software Vendors, Q3 2012."
Among eight vendors, Microsoft's Office 365, which includes SharePoint Online, earned the highest score for "Current Offering." Recent Microsoft acquisition Yammer landed the top score for "Strategy."
Two Italian nonprofit organizations - Oxfam and Emergency - have turned to Microsoft Office 365 for a secure and reliable cloud service, allowing them to expand the scope of their international initiatives of combatting poverty, providing aid and promoting human rights across the globe without putting an increased burden on IT.
In 2009, department store chain Lojas Renner was one of the first companies in Brazil to embrace cloud computing by deploying Google Apps. While moving from an on-premises deployment to a cloud solution helped reduce IT costs, that system didn't sufficiently meet the company's needs. Renner migrated to Microsoft Office 365 in early 2012, and is now enjoying better functionality, higher productivity, and improved employee collaboration.