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Microsoft eases app integration

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Kathy Gibson reports from Reimagine 2015 – Microsoft is determined to re-invent productivity to empower people and companies to do more.

Jesper Lachance Reabild, who works at the Microsoft development centre in Copenhagen, points out that the company has made a major investment in the cloud for business.

This consists of the platform, Azure, applications like Office 365; and business apps like Dynamics.

Azure is the industry leading cloud platform and it is already running Skype, Bing, Xbox and Office 365.

Among the benefits of Azure is that it is always up, always on, with 99,95% availability and 24×7 technical support. In addition, it is economical and scalable, able to quickly scale up or down to march demand so you pay only for what you use. It also runs everywhere, and is available now on a growing number of Microsoft data centres.

Reabild points out that 1,2-billion people around the world currently use Office. With O365, these services are rendered in the cloud, and it is now available on the devices that users have regardless of make or model.

In terms of business apps, the Dynamics suite includes the core business apps that span financial management, operations and sales, marketing, customer care and service.

“We believe it is a unique combination of solutions that no other vendor can give you,” Reabild says.

He demonstrated how individuals and teams can access all the information they require through Office 365, with the relevant data drawn from the applications where they are held.

Importantly, when users switch to a different application, the look and feel is the same as the O365 experience – and data can be easily ported into any Office application and shared via SharePoint.

The user can access all applications via the Web browser, with the same user experience at all times and using a single sign-on enabled by Acive Directory.

Reabild shows how he uses his iPad to access all his Microsoft apps, and stresses that Microsoft applications all run on any device, with the same user interface and interoperability. To install on a mobile device, it’s a simple matter of downloading the client from the relevant app store and click to configure it to the company’s specific server.

Microsoft SA’s Adnan Theba shows how he can access both O365 and Dynamics on his smartphone as well; with a similar level of interoperability available on the handheld device.

He also shows how teams can access data from multiple sources, and can use that data either in the cloud or in offline applications, and perform complex analytics with ease.