GoDaddy teams with Microsoft to offer Office 365 to small businesses

Three-tiered plan helps meet the need for business-class tools and services.

Microsoft and GoDaddy have partnered to offer Office 365 as the exclusive business-class email and productivity tools service for GoDaddy's small business customers.

GoDaddy is offering customers three different tiers of Office 365 service: Email Essentials, Business Essentials, and Productivity Plus. The Email Essentials plan is only $4 per month, and is tailored to very small business customers. It lets the business set up an email using the company's own domain; comes with 5GB of email storage, plus 2GB of SkyDrive Pro cloud storage; and lets customers sync email, calendar, and contacts across devices and platforms.

The Business Essentials plan is closer to the standard Office 365 offerings. For $9 per month, it includes 50GB of email storage, and 25GB of SkyDrive Pro cloud storage. It also adds online HD video conferencing, file sharing and collaboration, and online access to the core Office Web Apps.

For $12.50 per month, Productivity Plus customers get to install the full Microsoft Office desktop suite on up to 5 PCs or Macs, and gain access to use Office Mobile Apps for Windows Phone, iPhone, and Android.

All of the tiers of service offered by GoDaddy also include the main benefits of Office 365 for small business customers. First, the infrastructure and applications are maintained by Microsoft, so it's like getting a whole IT department thrown in for free. Second, the tools included in the Office 365 service will always be updated, and customers will have access to whatever is the most current version of the software available.

There are nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States, and an estimated 92% of them have fewer than four employees. Businesses that small face a challenge because they still need business-class tools and services, but lack the resources to implement and manage those tools on their own. A Boston Consulting Group study commissioned by Microsoft found that if more small and medium businesses had access to cutting edge IT tools, it could boost revenues by a combined $770 billion and create an estimated 6 million more jobs. 

If your small business has a domain bought from or hosted by GoDaddy, you should take a look at the new Office 365 offerings and see if they make sense for you.

This story, "GoDaddy teams with Microsoft to offer Office 365 to small businesses" was originally published by PCWorld.

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