- 11 Dec 2013 8:00 AM
The service package Office 365 was first introduced to Hungary by Vodafone at the beginning of October. What are the experiences of the first weeks? How many subscribers has the company obtained since?
- The specific number of new subscribers is considered as confidential business information, so I can only talk about tendencies. Based on the feedback from our sales representatives, I can say that the general interest in the package has gone beyond our expectations. This is hardly surprising, as we had put several things into it, such as legitimate office applications for a fixed monthly fee of 3.990 HUF (net). Let me add that the opportunity is offered even to those companies that do not have proper computer skills, as with the package we also provide continuous professional support; this way the cost of an inside IT expert can be saved. After consultations on the phone, our sales representatives are ready to assist the users with on-site help, so that they can successfully master the operation of the system.
Other service providers have also come up with their own constructions of Office 365 offers. Have you made a comparison? What would you change?
- Our offer was preceded by in-depth preparation work, in the course of which we were able to gather experience from other fields. Before we launched Office 365 in Hungary – based on a global agreement with Microsoft – the Vodafone group had already introduced its similar services to other markets. The experiences gained in these countries shaped the Hungarian offer.
Of course, at the time I had taken a look at our competitors’ offers, but if we were to change anything at any point, it would not be based on our competitors’ experiences, but as usual, we would make changes according to our own local experiences with customers.
The competitors’ offers, for example, feature the option of a web subscription, or with the package the customer gets a low-price offer for a device...
- In the case of selling this particular package, we believe in personal contact. As I have mentioned, in many cases the customers lack the required professional skills based on which they could make a well-established decision regarding the subscription. Our sales representatives can provide sufficient information to help with the decision-making. International experience has proven that online subscription opportunities result in fewer new customers than direct sale.
As for the device itself, we don’t think that Office 365 would require a separate offer, as the majority of subscribers opt for the office package together with one of the Vodafone Red business packages, and these include flexible device offers and device insurance possibilities.
On the other hand, our new customers may immediately subscribe for the full-scope Office 365 without loyalty. Of course, we have also considered those small businesses and medium-sized enterprises which already have an Office licence. For them, the package without licence which includes Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online and Lync Online access, is free of charge if in addition they choose one of the “Business RED” tariffs or the RED Smart Addition option.
Note: Office 365 is a cloud-based service package which offers the latest group work tool (Sharepoint Online), correspondence (Exchange Online) and IP video conference (Lync Online) solutions and the complete Office application package (Word, Power Point, Excel, OneNote) to every enterprise. This way, small businesses and medium-sized enterprises may access safe, large company sized tools for a predictable monthly fee and without initial investment.
Interview by Gyöngyi Sági, Bitport