Asia Pacific, SINGAPORE, Nov 11, 2013 – Microsoft Asia Pacific today revealed the results of a survey of 2,017 Microsoft partners in 11 countries in Asia Pacific who shared the most common misconceptions about cloud services still prevalent among their customers. This new data signals the need for greater awareness of the benefits of cloud services and has driven Microsoft Asia Pacific to step up efforts to reduce barriers to cloud adoption so more companies, especially SMBs, can benefit from increased productivity and agility.
IDC predicts that spending on Public Cloud Services in Asia Pacific (excl. Japan) will grow from US$9.0bn in 2013 to US$19.5bn in 2016. Of this, about 50% is attributed to software-as-a-service solutions like Office 365.
“While there’s no denying that cloud adoption is accelerating amongst some businesses, there is a lack of awareness among other decision makers of how their concerns can be easily addressed. We have seen customers across all industry verticals the world over benefitting greatly from adopting Office 365. These myths prevent organizations from becoming more agile and having a cost-effective way to improve productivity in a new world of work where employees are demanding more flexibility, more mobility and who collaborate better with social tools,” said Alvaro Celis, Vice President, Microsoft Asia Pacific.
Myths can be easily addressed
In the online survey, Microsoft’s partners ranked the misconceptions most commonly brought up by their customers and prospects about the cloud and shared their outlook on the growth of their cloud business.
The top five misconceptions that organizations in Asia Pacific have about the cloud include:
- Lack of privacy
- Lack of security
- Concern that the technology is not yet mature enough for business environments
- Lack of ownership of the software
- The inability to be productive when offline
Other misconceptions that customers had about the cloud were around the cost and reliability of the service, the lack of value-add compared to on-premise versions, that it’s too complicated and the lack of a clear return on investment.
Roger Teo, Business Director of Singapore Microsoft partner Sapientia Holdings, explained that several factors tend to change potential customers’ minds. “We assure them that Microsoft is here to stay. Customers don’t want a cloud service provider which may discontinue their services in the next year. Microsoft’s ‘all in’ effort won’t stop in the next year. There is a roadmap to integrate more services in the future. After customers observe the market, their competitors or subsidiaries which have adopted cloud solutions, they come back and agree that what we are saying is true,” he said.
In response to these insights, Microsoft is working to debunk each of these myths with more education in the market via a webcast and access to resources such as the Office 365 Trust Center website where many of these concerns can be addressed. In addition, more details of the 11 myths and the facts can be found via this interactive infographic here.
Said Mr. Celis: “Acknowledging the need to continue to be productive at all times, Microsoft’s Office 365 was designed to address many of these concerns right from the beginning. In contrast to other cloud solutions, Office 365 takes full advantage of the cloud while still enabling customers to be productive off-line in certain scenarios. It also enables new device and social scenarios and simplifies IT control and management.”
Office 365 is also supported by industry leading security and privacy policies and a financially backed 99.9% uptime guarantee which are shared in further detail at the Office 365 Trust Center website.
Additional insights from Asia Pacific respondents include:
- 46% frequently (daily or at least once a week) encounter decision makers who have relatively little understanding of cloud services
- More than half of the respondents already have more than 10% of their business focused on cloud services
- The majority agreed that Gen-Y decision makers are more knowledgeable of the benefits of cloud than other business decision makers in general
- The top three benefits of adopting Office 365 by customers in Asia Pacific are: Enabling employee mobility, Cost savings on IT infrastructure, Agility and flexibility in business operations.
“SMBs are indeed a key growth and innovation engine in most Asian countries. Our mission therefore is to ensure that we step up efforts to educate and help more business leaders gain confidence that the cloud is and has been ready for their business needs,” said Mr. Celis.
Office 365 cloud momentum in Asia Pacific
Launched in mid-2011, Microsoft’s market-leading Office 365 is now the fastest growing business in Microsoft’s history. One in five enterprise business customers are using Office 365 today. In Asia Pacific Office 365 grew three times faster than the overall public cloud services market fuelled by trends such as bring-your-own-device, an increasing need to work anywhere and collaboration through enterprise social tools. Today, Microsoft has over 13, 500 partners across Asia Pacific offering cloud services to companies of all sizes. Examples of Office 365 customers in Asia include the Red Cross in Asia Pacific; Coles, Link Healthcare and V8 Supercars in Australia; MedcoEnergi in Indonesia; MPH Group and KPJ Healthcare in Malaysia; Auckland Transport and Icebreaker from New Zealand; Coca Cola FEMSA in the Philippines, as well as Kah Motor, SATS, and Tiger Airways in Singapore.
On November 8th, Microsoft also announced several product updates that will help even more people get productive:
- Microsoft Office Web Apps. Microsoft has updated Office Web Apps with two highly anticipated features – the introduction of autosave in the Word Web App and real-time co-authoring, a feature that allows multiple people to contribute to and edit documents simultaneously in the Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App or Excel Web App.
- New Sharing Updates to Office 365 Home Premium. Starting next month, Office 365 Home Premium subscribers can now share subscription benefits where users can get an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage, and manage their own installs from their My Account page on office.com
- Yammer. All Microsoft Office 365 plans now ship with Yammer Enterprise, and all existing Office 365 customers will receive Yammer Enterprise licenses. In addition, Office 365 customers no longer have to purchase individual new licenses for external users within their external networks. Microsoft has also created the Yammer Partner Enablement Program, designed to provide deeper insight and best practices for how to sell, implement and integrate a successful enterprise social solution.
In addition, Microsoft Asia Pacific has launched a movement, Get It Done Social Week, in selected Asia Pacific countries to spark action from people who seek to balance life’s demands on their own terms. The contest encourages customers, partners and employees to share how they can get productive work done with Office 365 on Microsoft’s respective Facebook pages.
To find out more about Office 365, please click here.
About the survey
Conducted in October 2013, the online survey received 2,017 responses from Microsoft IT channel partners from 11 Asia Pacific countries including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. More details of the 11 cloud myths and facts for each country can be found here.
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