Enterprise

Microsoft will buy out existing cloud storage contracts for customers switching to OneDrive for Business



Microsoft is targeting its cloud storage rivals including Dropbox, Box, and Google today by offering to essentially buy out customers’ existing contracts if they make the switch to OneDrive for Business. The company says that customers currently paying for one of these competitive solutions, can instead opt to use OneDrive for free for the remainder of their contract’s term.

The goal here is to attract customers who were interested in trying out OneDrive for Business, but are locked into other services.

The offer, which runs starting today through June 30, is not open to just anyone, however.

Instead, Microsoft is specifically targeting enterprise customers with this deal, as it requires the business make a minimum 500 user commitment to OneDrive. They also can’t be an existing customer of OneDrive or Office 365.

Microsoft today has a number of larger customers for its cloud storage and sync solution. Last year, OneDrive storage and file sync tripled, says Microsoft, and it now has over 350,000 businesses and organizations using its software. This includes companies like Lowe’s, Accenture, DBS Bank, Rackspace, and others.

The move to go after rivals’ biggest customers comes shortly after one of those companies, Dropbox, has confidentially filed for an IPO, according to Bloomberg last month. Dropbox has a strong consumer base on its platform, with a total of 500 million users, but has 200,000 businesses, as of August 2017.

Box, meanwhile, has 80,000 paying customers across enterprise and government, it said during its Q3 earnings in November.

Microsoft isn’t just relying on offers like this one to entice customers to switch.

The company also announced a number of new features and capabilities for OneDrive at its Microsoft Ignite conference last fall. Since then, it has rolled out upgrades like secure external file sharing; a files-on-demand feature that doesn’t use local disk space; multi-geo capabilities for multinational organizations; a self-service recovery solution called Files Restore; and expanded capabilities, including real-time co-authoring of Office files and drag-and-drop, on iOS.

In addition to the contract buy-out, Microsoft is making migration assistance, documentation and more available through FastTrack, it says.



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