Microsoft partners expect the arrival of Office 365 on Aussie shores to drive uptake, with some customers waiting for locally hosted services.
Chris Greatrex, chief executive of Sydney-based Artis Group, said: “There’s massive pent-up demand among government and some of our finance clients. We think it’s going to be huge, both Office 365 and Dynamics.”
Greatrex said Artis is focusing on integrating Office 365 with ERP products. Customers include a federal government agency that will go cloud for collaboration and ERP.
“That’s where the money is,” he said. “There’s not a lot of money in Office 365 on its own, but if you go in and start developing solutions for clients that have it deployed, that’s a very interesting value proposition for us. It differentiates us from a lot of other partners that used to do Small Business Server on-premise and now do Office 365. They don’t have that development capability.”
Loryan Strant, managing director of Office 365 specialist Paradyne, told CRN that one of its clients, a legal firm in Canberra that works for the Department of Defence, was waiting for local hosting to become available. “The customer is signed up, just ready to go."
Government agencies facing regulatory requirements to host data onshore are an obvious target, and Strant said legal firms and local councils had also been showing interest.
Brad Rappell, who runs Queensland-based Microsoft partner CloudFirst, said his company had been deplying cloud solutions held outside Australia “and although the solutions are very robust, there’s always been some level of concern from some Australian customers about ‘where does my data reside?’
“Those questions now are pretty much taken out. The customers can see that their data is not only held, but also backed up in Australia."
CloudFirst has just revealed a 2,500-seat Office 365 deployment for real estate franchise Harcourts.