Microsoft, GoDaddy Partner on Office 365 for Small Biz
- By Kurt Mackie
- January 13, 2014
Hosting service provider GoDaddy and Microsoft have entered a deal to offer Microsoft's Office 365-branded hosted e-mail services to small businesses, the two companies announced Monday.
Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud-based service, offering access to Exchange, SharePoint and Lync applications over the Internet. GoDaddy will roll Office 365 out to businesses in the U.S. and Canadian markets to start.
There are three GoDaddy Office 365 service plans, ranging in price from $3.99 to $12.49 per user per month, based on a one-year commitment. Those plans are listed at this page, which is difficult to find from GoDaddy's home page.
In addition, GoDaddy offers other e-mail plans, which perhaps are designed for larger companies. For instance, it offers three "Express Email Marketing" plans, three "Business Class Email" plans, and two "Hosted Exchange 2010" plans.
Microsoft and GoDaddy have been collaborating for years on providing e-mail services based on Exchange Server. GoDaddy's collaboration with Microsoft has made it easier for organizations to associate their Internet domain names with e-mail. The idea is to add a "more professional" flair to e-mail addresses. GoDaddy actually warns small businesses not to use Microsoft Hotmail (Outlook.com) or Google Gmail for business purposes because it's deemed to be unprofessional looking.
"We've created a simple way to attach Office 365 to a domain name, helping small-business owners look professional and work anywhere, making the business of running their business easier," explained Steven Aldrich, GoDaddy's senior vice president of business applications, in a released statement.
This ease-of-use in creating domain names works both ways. Users of Office 365 can create and purchase domain names customized through GoDaddy directly from within Office 365 by using an integration wizard. Microsoft noted that capability back in June, showing in a video how the wizard can be used to create a domain name and then associate it with an Office 365 account. That process used to be a more complex one for small businesses, involving manual configuration.
Microsoft added the wizard to Office 365 because half of its Office 365 customers use custom domain names, and more than a third went to GoDaddy to get the customized names.
A global expansion of the GoDaddy Office 365 e-mail service is in the works. It's planned for release over the "next three months," according to an announcement issued by the companies.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.