Here is where the Office 365 opportunity lies

As of late June, Office 365 has officially been released for half a decade. In that time, has it caught on or become the IP of the future that Microsoft had hoped for?

One indicator of course, as we reported last week, is revenue. Based on FY 2016 earnings, Microsoft is on track to reaching $20 billion in revenue run rate by FY 2018 for all of its cloud properties, including Office 365.

Yet according to SkyKick, whose business centres around Office 365 migration, backup and management, there is room for growth.

Research conducted by the company suggests that among U.S. SMBs (companies with 250 and fewer employees), 83 per cent have yet to use Office 365 in some form while 92.5 per cent have yet to adopt Office 365 email.


While some of the data is not applicable to Canada, a few insights can be gleaned. Of the 109,000 businesses surveyed, SMBs in the industry and business services verticals had the highest adoption. This included coal mining, pipelines, railroad transportation, housing, computer facilities management services, investment offices, computer integrated systems design among others.

Verticals with the lowest adoption included the agriculture and personal services verticals, namely fishing and hunting, forestry, agricultural services, agricultural production, laundry, barber shops and shoe repair.

“There’s a huge opportunity for partners to capture that market,” Evan Richman, co-founder and co-CEO of SkyKick told CDN.

Nevertheless, he and Todd Schwartz, SkyKick’s other co-founder and CEO admitted the company did not measure demand in their survey of adoption.

In their view, smaller companies have had less exposure to things like cloud and SaaS. It’s a matter of time before even the small businesses will want to upgrade.

Furthermore, while a barber shop may not need Office 365, the CEOs said there should be opportunities within verticals that are already on the higher end of adoption.

According to the study, it seems the larger an SMB, the higher the rate of Office 365 adoption. Yet even so, adoption peaks out at 17 per cent of the largest SMBs.

“No one is even approaching 50 per cent,” Richman said. “It took Facebook nearly a decade to get to a billion users. To think that office 365 will get high adoption in just a few years is optimistic at best. We’ve got a long ways to go.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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