First an apology! –this months “Tech Tip” took over all the available space for this newsletter, sorry but it’s not often that I quote a press release from a tech company as they are usually of little importance to the general business community, however this recent announcement may affect many of you in a good way.
Microsoft New Zealand has announced that Office 365 is now available for hosting through Microsoft’s Australian data centres, joining Microsoft Azure to create one of Australasia’s most complete clouds. Frazer Scott, Microsoft NZ’s Director of Marketing and Operations, says delivering these services from more locally based datacentres will provide New Zealand businesses with “…even faster performance, offer geo-redundant back-up, and help address data residency considerations.”
“This is a significant milestone as we and our partners work to help Kiwi businesses and organisations do more and achieve more, anywhere, anytime, on any device – on a cloud service they can trust.”
What is Office 365?
This is Microsoft’s premier productivity suite of applications, Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. (up to 5 separate
installations per user), supplied on a monthly or annual “rental” plan with significant enhancements such as OneDrive (online cloud storage) SharePoint (business intranet, content management, and document management in an online portal) Skype for business (multi way video conferencing) and much, much more –all for less than the purchase price of the retail box set of the Office suite.
So what does this mean to me?
Well if you already have an Office 365 account or are looking to get one, then the data is now hosted in Sydney AND Melbourne – Why both? – Because these two datacentres offer a full live backup copy (Geo Redundancy) so your data is safe in the event of a major catastrophe and it is also now closer than the Singapore or USA based centres we have been hosted on.
What’s the difference you ask? Well even at the speed of light electrons take time to travel from New Zealand to the USA and back. With a typical information request needing several “Handshakes” to achieve the desired results I have seen substantial delays on complex requests for information with processing required at each end! Being much closer to us these new datacentres can reduce the round trip time to about a third or less of the previous time.
But is it Secure?
They have implemented extremely high security and state: “Clearly, to have confidence in the cloud, you need a trustworthy cloud service – and we’ve set the bar high, offering data storage in Australia with industry leading certifications, including being the first vendor to complete the Australian Government’s Independent Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) formal security assessment for Office 365.” While they also meet the ISO 27018 standard that makes it suitable for government agencies, education, healthcare and commercial enterprises. With claims of over 1 billion customers in over 90 Countries it has to be solid.
When can I get it?
“As of today, any new Kiwi customers that subscribe to Office 365 or Dynamics CRM Online will have their service run through the Australian data centres.” he says and Microsoft NZ will begin moving existing Office 365 customers in New Zealand to the Australian datacentres by September 2015.
“With the arrival of this new era and these enhanced services, we are looking forward to helping New Zealand businesses reinvent productivity and drive new levels of innovation.”
But I NEED to know more!
Then call me at ProcessIT to discuss your needs, innovation plans and options now…