Microsoft launches Office 365 in Kenya
SOFTWAREBy BiztechAfrica - June 27, 2012, 12:43 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Software maker Microsoft will on Thursday launch its newest Windows operating system, Office 365, in Kenya.
Office 365 is cloud-based, meaning that it can be accessed remotely. It brings together Windows operating systems such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online, all of which enable computer users to use enterprise email, shared documents, instant messaging, video and web conferencing, portals and more within a short time.
The firm will, however, slap a monthly fee on the new system in line with what it is doing in other parts of the world.
Microsoft says this fee will mainly be determined by use. In other markets, such as the US where the service has been launched, the monthly subscription fees ranges between Sh168 (USD2) and Sh2, 268 (USD27) per user.
Louis Otieno, Microsoft’s general manager for East and Southern Africa, said with Office 365 businesses will not need to invest in internal servers or data storage facilities thereby reducing their IT costs by up to an estimated 50% while boosting productivity.
“With Office 365, businesses or even the government can work on files and documents at the same time and share ideas as easily as they can share calendars it also gives people new ways to work together with ease, on virtually any device,” said Mr Otieno.
Microsoft is targeting, government, corporate and small medium business with this latest product.
“With this product it will be possible for the government to issue its entire staff across the country with e-mail accounts in less than an hour,” said Otieno. Retail prices for Microsoft traditional software are pegged on the user groups, for example students, home users, and NGOs that pay lower amounts compared to enterprise users.
Two weeks ago, Kenya’s Finance Minister, Njeru Githae, removed import duty on software, a move aimed at making it cheaper for users and also to attract foreign investors into the IT industry.
Vendors sell their software either by loading them onto CDs or offering a user licence. Software loaded on CDs attracts a 25% import duty and 16% value added tax (VAT). Customers who buy the user license only pay the VAT.
The Microsoft launch will also include the Nigerian and South African markets, where the firm says this has been made possible by the improved telecoms infrastructure.
Kenya has four undersea cables: Seacom, Essay, TEAMs, and LION, which connect the country to the rest of the world and vast inland fibre optic infrastructure across the country.
This has allowed telecommunication firms such as Kenya Data Networks, Safaricom and Dimension Data to launch storage facilities for electronic documents (data centres) which was not possible before.
MORE SOFTWARE NEWS
Lagos: Oracle partnership addresses skills shortageThe Lagos State government said it partnered with technology giant Oracle Corporation to address a dearth of ICT skills. Read More
Marval Africa appoints CEO to bolster growthMarval South Africa, a specialist provider of Service Management (SM) solutions, education and consultancy, has announced the appointment of David Anderson as Chief Executive Officer. Read More
Is VUCA the answer to a rapidly changing global market?The VUCA concept is very helpful in closing the gaps between business and IT, says SAP Africa. Read More
SA Mint enhances SAP with Decision Inc.Decision Inc., a SAP BusinessObjects partner, has assisted the SA Mint Company in developing a data warehouse with analytics and reporting capabilities that integrates with its existing SAP environment. Read More
SAP Fiori apps rapid-deployment solutions quickly enable world-class user experienceSAP Africa has announced four new user experience (UX) rapid-deployment solutions that enable businesses to adopt the latest user UX innovations from SAP, including SAP® Fiori® and SAP Screen Personas software. Read More
Huge opportunities for African software developersEnterprises across the continent are in desperate need of good software developers, says Petr Havlik, Managing Director of SA-based CyberPro Consulting. Read More
VMware expands validated vertical solutions across multiple industriesEducation, financial services, healthcare, government and manufacturing sectors will benefit from specialised offerings of VMware Horizon to address their needs. Read More
Ctrack shifts its manufacturing system to Sage ERP X3Ctrack, a specialist provider of fleet management and vehicle tracking solutions to a global client base, has implemented the Sage ERP X3 business software to support the production process at its Durban factory. Read More
Liquid Telecom completes build of East Africa Fibre ringA new regional fibre ring improves Internet resilience with previously unavailable routing options in East Africa. Read More
IBM prepares Kenyan application developers for cloud revolutionIBM experts have completed intensive training for 50 Kenyan students and software developers looking to enhance their technical and entrepreneurial skills. Read More
FEATURED STORYWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern
Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.
COMPANY NEWSHow the cloud can power entrepreneurship and urbanisation in Africa
Cloud computing is not only fundamentally changing the way business operates, it is also driving a new wave of job creation opportunities, says SAP Africa.