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March 2, 2009

Vodafone to offer Microsoft online services with voice and data

Expects to reduce routine maintenance and management tasks for businesses

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft and Vodafone Group have signed an agreement under which Vodafone will offer businesses a single communications and collaboration system composed of fixed and mobile voice and data, customer equipment and handsets, and Microsoft Online Services.

Hosted by Microsoft and available through Vodafone in this offering, Microsoft Online Services deliver enterprise-class communications and collaboration software as subscription services to businesses of all sizes, including the following: Microsoft Exchange Online for e-mail and calendars through the PC, phone and browser; Microsoft SharePoint Online for portals, collaboration, search and customized team sites; Microsoft Office Communications Online for instant messaging and presence; and Microsoft Office Live Meeting for webconferencing and videoconferencing.

Microsoft Online Services are available presently in the US and will be available in other markets in the first half of 2009. Vodafone will initially offer the combined service in Germany and Spain beginning later in 2009. Following the German and Spanish launches, Vodafone is expected to offer the service in additional markets.

With the Microsoft and Vodafone offering, business customers are expected to be able to take advantage of Microsoft Online Services and Vodafone’s voice and data services in one easy-to-manage service. The fully hosted Vodafone and Microsoft services will help reduce routine maintenance and management tasks, allowing IT staff to concentrate on more business-critical objectives. Customers will be able to take advantage of the range of services offered, with one bill and one provider, making the experience fast, easy and effective.

Vodafone will support the customer directly, while Microsoft will host Microsoft Online Services in its datacenters.

Tom Craig, global business services director at Vodafone Group, said: The demands on our customers are changing dramatically in today’s complex business and economic environment. By combining Vodafone’s fixed and mobile communication services with Microsoft Online Services we can provide all the elements of a fully hosted communications solution, delivering the real benefits of agility, flexibility, productivity and choice that our customers are demanding.

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