Requires an IT services company.
Microsoft said customers upgrading from the small business to the enterprise version of its upcoming cloud suite Office 365 would require the services of an IT company as there was no simple upgrade path.
“From the P-SKU (the small business version) to the E-SKU (the enterprise version) there’s not a simple upgrade path,” said Jaron Cohen, a Microsoft business development executive in the communications and media sector.
A company couldn’t upgrade by clicking a series of buttons, “Next, Next, Next – ‘you’ve just moved up’”, Cohen said. “You need to get a professional services organisation in there to help manage that process.”
Microsoft has set a maximum number of users for the small business version of Office 365. While Microsoft wouldn’t confirm the user limit, industry sources have claimed the small business version will cut out at 50 users.
Microsoft also wouldn’t reveal prices before the Office 365 launch, rumoured to occur on June 28. However, Microsoft’s beta site for Office 365 indicated that a similarly featured enterprise version would be as much as four times the price of the small business version, charged per user per month.
Cohen said businesses needed to make “an active decision at the point of purchase which SKUs fit their business model and their growth over the next few years”.