This week I had the privilege of announcing the general availability of Office 365 in China, operated by 21Vianet, from our launch event in the heart of Shanghai. Microsoft has more than 20 years of experience delivering our products and services to China. Now through our unique partnership with 21Vianet, we are delighted that we are able to offer Office 365 from local data centers within China. This announcement follows the general availability of Microsoft Azure, operated by 21Vianet,announced last month.
It is very exciting to take another significant step to help customers in China take advantage of cloud productivity services including Office, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online plus specialized services like Visio Pro for Office 365 and Project Pro for Office 365.
China is rapidly adopting cloud services – The Shanghai government, for example, is an early adopter of Office 365 operated by 21Vianet. Led by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information, different departments of the Shanghai government explore the advanced productivity capabilities provided by Office 365 operated by 21Vianet in order to improve efficiency and build a service-oriented government.
In addition, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet is used by the Shaanxi government to set up their IT infrastructure and foster regional growth in the Xi Xi’an new area. Commercial customers ICBC Leasing, Cigna & CMB, Dongfeng Renault, TCL were all at the Shanghai launch event as early adopter customers.
Educational institutions are also benefiting from Office 365. For education, it provides a range of teacher-student learning solutions that increase collaboration and accelerate achievement. This week we also announced a new partnership with the China Education and Research Network (CERNET), the largest national academic Internet backbone provider in China, to deliver Office 365 to universities and colleges across China. CERNET serves more than 1,800 universities and colleges, and more than 20 million end users in China. In partnership with Microsoft, they will build a team to provide deployment, training and support to Office 365 technology to CERNET membership institutions and 3 million users in the next year.
The launch of Office 365 operated by 21Vianet – together with Azure – provides customers in the market with the full power of public cloud services from Microsoft and we look forward to the journey ahead.