Yell brings Office 365 to SMBs

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Yell has announced a new partnership with Microsoft to help bring its cloud products to small and medium businesses (SMBs).

The initial prong of the deal will see the Microsoft and Yahoo partnership provide targeted advertising for the SMB community across its search platform, as well as in mobile and local ads.

Yell will also become a reseller for Microsoft's latest cloud offering, Office 365, along with the CRM and communications programs the Redmond giant provides targeted at the SMB market.

Yell hopes the two elements will help the company create its own "local, cloud-based marketplace" and help grow its customer base as well as better serving its current 1.3 million customers.

"Small and medium sized businesses are looking for digital solutions to help them grow their businesses, transact with customers, and be more efficient," said Mike Pocock, chief executive of the Yell Group.

"Our plans to form a global strategic alliance with Microsoft will help us [serve] the growing needs of our customers by providing comprehensive digital advertising, productivity and business solutions at scale, bringing small and medium sized businesses ever closer to consumers and bringing reduced costs and competitive capabilities to SMBs that have, to date, only been available to larger enterprises."

The thoughts of Pocock echoed those of Gordon Frazer, managing director of Microsoft in the UK, at the launch of Office 365 last month.

He claimed the key market for the cloud-based productivity suite was SMBs. However, as Microsoft confirmed at launch, the SMB version for between 25 and 50 users did impose limits and the full suite was not available.

For now though, Yell remains positive it can bring its expertise together with the software giant to improve the running of smaller companies.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.