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RIM finally launches closer link to Office 365

Howard Solomon | Jan. 31, 2012
Mobile workers whose organizations subscribe to Microsoft Corp.'s cloud-based Office 365 service can now access some of the messaging applications through Research In Motion's BlackBerry smart phones.

Canadian organizations --- like most organizations around the world -- still lean towards on-premise applications. And Wallis acknowledges that Microsoft isn't pitching Office 365 as a replacement for its full Office suite.

According to an IDC Canada survey last fall, 6.5 per cent of the 201 medium- and large-sized companies that responded were Office 365 customers. Another 6.5 per cent said they were planning to add the service in the next 12 months.

By comparison, 23 per cent said they were using Google Docs, and another 4.5 per cent were planning to adopt in 2012.

"I wouldn't say it's a game-changer," commented Christian Kane, an infrastructure and operations analyst at Forrester Research, "but given how many BlackBerrys are inside the enterprise it's a great piece for RIM in general. It's an added value for them."

Similarly, Wes Miller, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft said BCS is a logical extension of the partnership between Microsoft and RIM and will appeal to organizations loyal to the BlackBerry platform.

"One of the key points is that if you have faith in the BlackBerry cloud, then this really enables you to take advantage of Office 365 while you do that. The other (mobile) platforms don't have BES."


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