A new era for Australia’s most complete cloud

pipmarlowPip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia

Today customers and partners can realise new opportunities and grow Australian innovation with the general availability of Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online from Australian data centres.

Customers expect their data to be protected, they expect to remain in control of that data and they expect to be able to satisfy their compliance obligations – all while having trusted foundations in private clouds, hybrid clouds and public clouds. To that end I’m glad to announce that Microsoft Office 365 has just completed a formal security assessment for Unclassified Sensitive government data via Australian Government’s Independent Registered Assessors Program (IRAP).

Microsoft Office 365 is the first cloud productivity service to be able to provide this level of assurance in Australia, which builds on our recent assessment of Microsoft Azure under the same scheme. A similar IRAP assessment for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is also underway.

This news builds on our recent ISO 27018 announcement for Microsoft Azure, Office 365, CRM Online and Intune and is incredibly relevant to federal government agencies, state government, education, healthcare and commercial enterprises. Our comprehensive approach to global and local certifications ensures we are delivering a cloud you can trust – verified by third parties.

The new, local services will provide even faster performance, offer geo-redundant back-up and help customers address data residency considerations, particularly in sectors such as healthcare, education, government and financial services. Customers are already using Office 365 and CRM Online to transform their business, reinvent their productivity and gain business efficiencies through better collaboration and connectivity.

A leading example of this innovation is Harcourts, already a rapidly growing international power house in real estate, Office 365 has enabled them to quickly adapt to their clients changing expectations. Clients are more mobile, demand more timely information and now, with Office 365 and tools like Yammer, OneDrive, SharePoint, Lync and Office 365 Video they’re able to innovate to meet those changes needs and do business better.

And with a 20 year goal of becoming the world’s number one real estate franchise, Harcourts is looking to the reach of Office 365 and Microsoft Azure to support that international expansion.

Harcourts worked with CloudFirst, one of our amazing partners for our Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program who are helping us drive uptake of our cloud platforms by layering their own innovation on top of Office 365.

CloudFirst has developed Franchise First, a cloud platform specifically tailored for franchises to enable them to take their brand anywhere in the world. The company is in the process of taking Harcourts from 100 users to nearly 2,400 users in virtually one go.

Similarly, one of Australia’s newest banks, the customer-owned mutual Beyond Bank, will use Office 365 and CRM Online across its organisation to help make the bank more customer-centric. New social listening applications will let Beyond Bank assess the social sentiment of customers, identify customer service opportunities, address issues proactively and analyse the social buzz created by marketing campaigns.

I’m thrilled that we are bringing these technologies into our market locally to help Australian organisations innovate more and compete globally.

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