Microsoft announced Bookings yesterday in a move that would see an expansion of its Office 365 cloud service. Bookings will allow users schedule, cancel or re-schedule appointments online. There’s a number of scheduling services but as with any big company, Microsoft is counting on its existing users. As of April 2016, Office 365 had over 60 million commercial users and counting. The new service is expected to make it easier for you to set up bookings and appointments from your 365 dashboard which saves you time and probably extra money from other third party tools.
“Your customers aren’t the only ones who can forget appointments, so Bookings automatically adds new or updated customer appointments on your calendar or your staff’s calendars. Bookings works great with your Outlook calendar in Office 365. If you or your staff use an Outlook.com or Google calendar, no problem—it integrates with those calendars as well.”
Your business is provided with a unique web interface (mobile and desktop) from where customers can choose dates based on your availability. From there on out, both you and the customer are reminded until the appointment time or in the event of a cancellation.
As time goes on as well, businesses can add more staff and booking pages and your staff don’t have to be on Office 365 as the service is currently available to customers who subscribe to the Office 365 Business Premium plan and will roll out to all Business Premium customers worldwide in the coming months. Once it rolls out, anyone with an Office 365 Business Premium subscription can access Bookings in the app launcher within the Office 365 web experience.
This shows Microsoft’s aggressive push further into the Cloud. CEO Nadella has never hidden his Cloud aspirations for Microsoft which saw the biggest software company in the world just buy the largest professional network in the world last month in a move that many see as Microsoft trying to expand its Cloud service push. It was evident when Microsoft released its earnings two days ago in which earnings bear expectations. Microsoft’s revenue rose to $22.6b/8tr Naira against a Wall Street expectation of $22.14b/7.7tr Naira but a further look at the report shows that Cloud revenue rose to $6.7b/2.3tr Naira while Azure revenue rose 120 percent year on year.
Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes grew 5% (up 8% in constant currency) to $7.0 billion, with the following business highlights:
- Office commercial products and cloud services revenue grew 5% (up 9% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 54% (up 59% in constant currency)
- Office consumer products and cloud services revenue grew 19% (up 18% in constant currency) with Office 365 consumer subscribers increasing to 23.1 million
- Dynamics products and cloud services revenue grew 6% (up 7% in constant currency) with Dynamics CRM Online paid seats growing more than 2.5x year-over-year
Revenue in Intelligent Cloud grew 7% (up 10% in constant currency) to $6.7 billion, with the following business highlights:
- Server products and cloud services revenue increased 5% (up 8% in constant currency) driven by double-digit annuity revenue growth
- Azure revenue grew 102% (up 108% in constant currency) with Azure compute usage more than doubling year-over-year
- Enterprise Mobility customers nearly doubled year-over-year to over 33,000, and the installed base grew nearly 2.5x year-over-year
Revenue in More Personal Computing declined 4% (down 2% in constant currency) to $8.9 billion, with the following business highlights:
Xbox Live now (Xbox game Cloud storage) has 49 million monthly active users plus other growths are recorded. With this, Microsoft is telling you that Cloud pays while we await what Cloud services Microsoft will integrate into the over 430 million strong LinkedIn user base.