BT to host Microsoft cloud software - but not Azure

BT said today it will market and deliver Microsoft Online Services to business customers

Less than a week after Microsoft announced its Azure cloud computing initiative, BT said today it will market and deliver Microsoft Online Services to business customers, giving them access to integrated cloud computing and voice services.

Customers will have internet access to Microsoft's Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Live Meeting, all hosted by BT.

BT will embed the suite into its multi-protocol layer switching (MPLS) networks, giving customers a fully hosted service that includes power, performance management, maintenance and software upgrades.

It will add Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) digital voice services and MS Office Communications Server to integrate voice applications with the suite. This will allow it to tailor end-to-end voice and IT services for large companies, including single-number reach, SIP trunking, attendant console, and premises-based audio conferencing.

A BT spokesman said it could not disclose pricing details because each deal was negotiated separately.

Neither firm responded to queries as to how this deal related to Azure, the Microsoft-hosted processing, storage and networking package launched last week.

Microsoft prices for Windows applications under Azure start at $0.12/h for processing, $0.15/gigabyte/month for storage, and $0.01 per 10,000 transactions. Storage for the business class service starts at $99.99 for a 10Gb SQL database, while .Net Services under Azure are $0.15 per 100,000 messages.

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