Domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy announced a long-term partnership with Microsoft today that will provide its small business customers exclusive access to the tech giant's email and productivity service, Office 365.
The announcement is the latest effort in GoDaddy's quest, under the guidance of relatively new CEO Blake Irving, to distance itself from its previously risqu? image (remember those Super Bowl ads ?), and become the go-to platform for small-business owners looking to establish, define and promote their online presence.
"By taking Microsoft's productivity offering, Office 365, and customizing if for a small businesses owners, we've jointly developed a unique product to meet our customers' needs," says Steven Aldrich, senior vice president of business applications at GoDaddy.
The partnership will provide small businesses -- which GoDaddy defines as companies with twenty or fewer employees, although the majority of its customer base consists of businesses with five or fewer employees - with seamless access to professional email accounts connected to their domain names and a full suite of Microsoft productivity solutions, including shared calendars, instant messaging, and online conferencing, all delivered through the cloud.
"This is really a leg-up for small businesses; it allows them to be at the forefront of IT at an affordable price point," says John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office.
"From speaking with small businesses, we know that more and more of them are doing business on the go, from a variety devices," adds Aldrich. "Their customers expect that they will be available around the clock. Small business owners and employees have to be able to easily access their calendar, email, contact lists, documents and spreadsheets from anywhere, at anytime."
Both men insist that until now, there has been a gap in the market. "No one else is providing this one stop shop for all of a small businesses' technology needs," says Case. With Office 365, "GoDaddy and Microsoft focus on the backend, allowing owners and employees to focus on what matters: serving their customers."
Office 365 from GoDaddy is currently available in the U.S. and Canada, with exclusive Office 365 plans starting at $3.99 per month.
Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.