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General Electric (GE) is moving more than 300,000 of its employees onto Microsoft’s online business productivity suite, Office 365.
The contract is one of the largest Microsoft is thought to have secured to date, with GE employees from more than 170 countries set to benefit from the move.
As a result, they will have access to cloud-based versions of flagship Microsoft productivity tools, including Outlook, Skype for Business and Word, across a range of mobile devices and platforms.
GE said it intends to connect some of its core line of business applications to Office 365, with the help of open application programming interfaces (APIs), to unlock new features and extend their capabilities.
Jamie Miller, senior vice-president and CIO of GE, said the deal was indicative of its commitment to improving levels of employee productivity.
“Microsoft’s innovative approach to collaboration made Office 365 our first choice for providing scalable productivity tools to our employees worldwide,” said Miller.
Read more about Microsoft's cloud tools
- Vocational training organisation City & Guilds uses Microsoft’s collaboration, video conferencing and productivity tools to keep its global workforce connected.
- Office 365 users will get a free mobile device management (MDM) system from Microsoft, as the supplier adds further enterprise features to its mobile strategy.
Computer Weekly contacted GE for clarification on the value of the deal, and was told it would not be disclosing any further details about it.
A GE spokesperson said: "[This deal] does reflect another investment we’re making to provide innovative, cloud-based and scalable solutions to our employees.
"Our goal is to deliver a productivity suite that works seamlessly across our platforms, geographical locations and infrastructure. Office 365 does just that and offers the productivity and collaboration our employees are looking for."
Meanwhile, Microsoft has taken steps to talk up the other benefits of the deal.
“Microsoft and GE share many values in common – openness, transparency, data-driven intelligence and innovation – all of which are driving forces behind Microsoft’s aim to help people and organisations achieve more,” said John Case, corporate vice-president of Microsoft Office.
“As one of the most innovative companies in the world, GE understands what it takes to unleash the potential of its employees. We’re delighted GE has selected Office 365 as the productivity and collaboration system for its global workforce,” he added.
According to Microsoft’s most recent set of financial results, Office 365 has 50 million active monthly users, while the consumer version of the product is reported to have around 12 million subscribers.