Microsoft Office 365 officially launched in Seychelles |18 May 2017
Microsoft officially launched the ‘Microsoft Office 365’ in Seychelles in a ceremony yesterday at the Savoy Hotel.
Laurence Janssens, the general manager of Microsoft Indian Ocean Islands Ltd and the principal secretary in the department of information and communication technology (ICT), Benjamin Choppy, launched the programme.
“With more cyber attacks worldwide, Office 365 is an evolution not a revolution,” noted the representative of Microsoft.
“I think that everyone will agree that ‘Office’ is one of the signature products of Microsoft. It is definitely a very successful product worldwide and the Seychelles is no exception. From the government’s perspective, all tools that can enhance work productivity is a plus. Microsoft Office is one such tool that, if used properly, can allow productivity to be enhanced in many work settings. As a tool, it can potentially allow businesses to operate with increased levels of speed and efficiency,” said Mr Choppy.
He also explained that “now we have Office 365, which is a marriage of Office with Cloud technology, we have a software as a service or SAS. We have collaboration in addition to productivity, anywhere for any business of any size. This is powerful as a concept, especially in leveraging ICTs to enhance the operations of SMEs. It is now widely recognised that SMEs not only play an important role in the economy of a country, but are crucial to economic stability. The effective use of information and communication technology (ICT) by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can greatly enhance their operational efficiency and competitiveness as well as facilitate their business development, thereby contributing towards economic growth”.
Being an IT savvy, Mr Choppy added that the advent of Cloud technology now allows SMEs to adopt ICT solutions that are more suitable for their scales of operation with relatively low start-up costs. The use of Cloud services can also significantly reduce the need for technical know-how and manpower resources to cope with system maintenance and upgrade.
“Given the importance that government is putting on entrepreneurship and SMEs, the launch of Office 365 in Seychelles by Microsoft is a positive development which we welcome,” he said.
Will the government offices start using Office 365? Mr Choppy noted that “already the government has an agreement with Microsoft but no decision has been made yet to move to the new software”.
Mrs Jessens, Microsoft country manager for the IOI region, explained that ‘Office 365’ refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (Cloud services). Office 365 includes plans for use at home and for business. Office 365 plans for business include services such as Skype for Business web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive for Business. Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications, which users can install across multiple computers and devices. The fully installed applications include: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. (Publisher and Access are available on PC only.) And you can install them across multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, Android tablets, Android phones, iPad, and iPhone. When you have an active Office 365 subscription that includes the desktop version of Office, you always have the most up-to-date version of the applications.”
What is Cloud? “The Cloud" is a friendly way of describing web-based computing services that are hosted outside of your organisation. When you use Cloud-based services, your IT infrastructure resides off your property (off-premises), and is maintained by a third party (hosted), instead of residing on a server at your home or business (on-premises) that you maintain. With Office 365, for example, information storage, computation, and software are located and managed remotely on servers owned by Microsoft. Many services you use every day are a part of the Cloud - everything from web-based email to mobile banking and online photo storage. Because this infrastructure is located online or “in the cloud,” you can access it virtually anywhere, from a PC, tablet, smartphone, or other device with an Internet connection.”
All Office 365 plans are paid for on a subscription basis, monthly or annually. Already some businesses are using this service in Seychelles and some of them complained about the low bandwidth that spoils the experience of using Office 365. Many IT professionals and IT educators attended the workshop organised by Microsoft.