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January 24, 2017updated 25 Jan 2017 3:18pm

Microsoft steals a lead over cloud productivity app rivals

Continued success sees more companies looking to integrate with Office 365 such as Sage.

By James Nunns

Microsoft can claim a new award to put on its mantelpiece – the most popular cloud productivity application.

The widely deployed Microsoft Office 365, which has had a path forged for it by its predecessors Microsoft Office, is the most popular cloud productivity app, however, competition is growing.

That’s according to the Okta Business @ Work report, which found that Office 365 increased its lead as the most popular app in its network. The lifecycle management app is trailed by the likes of Box and G Suite, while it is also by far the most popular app accessed by the company’s customers on mobile devices.

While Office 365 continues to be a popular choice, the likes of Yammer and HipChat have both seen a steady decline, partly due to the success of Slack.

Although the Microsoft offering can claim to be the most widely used, it is the customers of G Suite that are engaging much more with other apps. It was found that G Suite customers use 30% more apps on average than Office 365 customers – 29 apps compared to 22.

The report said: “More isn’t always better, but it certainly can be. Our data shows G Suite customers are employing a best-of-breed IT strategy to build out their cloud ecosystem. G Suite customers are more likely to use apps like Salesforce, Slack, Amazon Web Services and GitHub than their Office 365-subscribed counterparts. They’re adopting apps to meet specific needs versus investing in an entire cloud app stack up front.”

The ongoing success of the Microsoft Office 365 cloud application leads to a regular stream of companies looking to integrate with the offering. Sage for example, has unveiled Sage 50c, which the company is calling, “the transformation of Sage’s most popular on-premise accounting solution,” is powered through deep integration with the Microsoft offering.

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Sage has included new features such as Sage Contact, so that customers can sync with Microsoft Outlook. Mobile invoicing and expenses, bank feeds, Sage Capture, Intelligence Reporting, Cloud Document Storage, Business Performance Dashboard and Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium, are all included.

Jacqueline de Rojas Managing Director: UK & Ireland – Northern Europe, of Sage said: “Our partnership with Office 365 massively extends the benefits of Sage 50c, by combining the power of Sage and the power of Excel to service millions of Small & Medium Businesses around the world.

“50c gives small businesses the freedom to make day-to-day business processes more productive and more efficient, enabling them to enjoy the flexibility of web-based working without necessarily undertaking wholesale changes to their day-to-day process.

“At Sage, we believe that Small & Medium Business owners can use our technology to create enough competitive advantage to put them on the same playing field as their enterprise rivals. This is what can be achieved by working with the world’s best innovators and demonstrates the power of smart partnering.”

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