Microsoft Canada Co.

Microsoft Canada Co.

March 02, 2009 09:30 ET

Does Your IT Staff Seem Overworked? It's Because They Are

As Canadian business leaders signal that IT departments should be prepared to do more with less, Microsoft announces a new software-plus-services offering that can help offset the IT strain

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2009) - Canadian IT workers may soon feel the pressure as businesses slow their pace of technology acquisitions and upgrades amid a weakening economy, according to the results of a new Ipsos-Reid survey released today by Microsoft Canada. While 75 per cent of business decision makers continue to invest in technology, 61 per cent agreed that their IT staff is now expected to do more with less.

Although businesses understand that technology is a key business driver, 41 per cent of respondents said their priority to upgrade or invest in technology has shifted due to the economic downturn, and 30 per cent said they are putting fewer resources into technology. However, despite this change in spending, almost half of respondents said they are still looking at new technology to help strengthen their business.

"Canadians businesses are torn. On one hand, they are seeking the same value from their existing technology, but on the other hand, would rather not invest any additional resources to achieve this," said Darren Meister, Associate Professor and Faculty Director, HBA Program, Ivey School of Business. "As a result, workers are stretched. This points to a need for businesses to make strategic investments in technologies that will help them compete and grow, without requiring a lot of IT spend."

When asked what IT investments are a priority, almost half (45 per cent) said they see a software plus services solution driving their business. But these expectations come with a price - 63 per cent of respondents admit their IT workers are stretched to meet their current business needs.

"Technology powers innovation and productivity, and business decision makers are looking to a mix of software and services to help them achieve their goals," said Bryan Rusche, Product Manager, Unified Communications and Collaboration. "At Microsoft, we understand the challenges businesses face, and that is why today Microsoft Corporation is bringing to Canada a cost-effective software-plus-services solution designed to help organizations of all sizes control costs, better leverage their resources and further drive productivity."

As part of its ongoing commitment to deliver communications and collaboration software as enterprise-class services, Microsoft Canada today announced that the Business Productivity Online Suite, part of Microsoft Online Services, is available on March 3, 2009 for trial to Canadian businesses of all sizes, with general availability on April 13, 2009.

Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite is a set of messaging and collaboration solutions hosted by Microsoft that consists of Exchange Online, SharePoint® Online and Office Live Meeting. These online services are designed to provide businesses with streamlined communication, high availability, comprehensive security, and simplified IT management. In addition, businesses will benefit from always up-to-date technologies that are deployed rapidly, maximizing IT resources and reducing the need for infrastructure investments.

Additionally, as part of the Business Productivity Online Suite, Microsoft is releasing Office Communications Online for instant messaging and presence, and the Business Productivity Online Deskless Worker Suite, the most economical e-mail, calendaring and collaboration service for the occasional user.

The Deskless Worker offerings are designed to meet the needs of people who typically spend a small portion of their workday using a computer, but who still need to be connected and share information with colleagues and partners. This suite offers businesses an affordable e-mail and collaboration solution for occasional users and, by providing a cost-effective subscription rate, makes it possible for businesses to give all employees access to the same messaging and collaboration systems.

"Our goal is to provide enterprise-level technology at a fraction of the price. With these new solutions, users can manage and help grow their business without the limitation of time, location and cost, and ensure workers can easily collaborate anytime and virtually anywhere," said Rusche.

Canadian businesses can try or buy the new services at www.microsoft.ca/online.

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has 10 regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit news.microsoft.ca.

Contact Information