AT&T and Microsoft have partnered to create the AT&T Mobile Office Suite, a software suite designed to keep small- to medium-size business (SMB) teams productive even when working away from the office. Announced at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, the Mobile Office suite enables communication via voice, video and the Web, on virtually any mobile device.
Now available in the U.S., the AT&T Mobile Office Suite is a cloud-based mobile collaboration solution that brings together software from Microsoft and AT&T under a single subscription. Small-business customers who sign up for the service will have unified access to voice calls, e-mail, calendars, messaging, HD video conferencing and file sharing, among other functions.
Good on the Go
Gary K. Carpenter, a beta customer for the software suite and principal at Haddonfield Asset Management, found the AT&T/Microsoft solution was particularly convenient for his global financial team, giving added flexibility to serve his firm's clients from almost anywhere.
"With one phone number assigned globally," Carpenter said, "we can receive and place calls interchangeably from our desk phones and mobile devices in the U.S. It allows us to respond to client requests in real-time, giving us an advantage in a competitive financial industry."
Some key elements of the suite include:
Office 365 Revisited?
- Microsoft Office 365, which includes access to productivity tools such as Lync, Exchange, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneDrive from a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
- Voice connection, which includes expanded click-to-call function for Lync Online that enables small-business users to make and receive any type of domestic or international voice call while in the United States.
- A wireless plan compatible with the AT&T wireless rate plan.
- Technical support including transition planning and on-boarding, data migration and deployment services, as well as ongoing 24/7 technical support.
When we reached Michael Finneran, principal with wireless advisory firm dBrn Associates, he indicated that while the new software suite might be suitable for smaller companies that haven't made the leap to cloud-based communications, it probably wouldn't be necessary for companies that already have a subscription-based software system in place.
"(There's not) much to say about it," Finneran said. "It looks like they're just reselling Office 365."
The suite is available on new or existing AT&T Windows Phone models, including the Lumia 640 XL -- announced this week -- and the Lumia 830, as well as AT&T devices running on iOS or Android operating systems.
AT&T and Microsoft say the suite might be essential in a setting where the rapid pace of business means that companies and their employees must be able to effectively collaborate at any time, both on the road and in the office.
AT&T also plans to add Global Audio Conferencing later this year.