November 28, 2014

GoDaddy and Microsoft Announce One-Stop Email and Office Apps

GoDaddy email office apps

If you are a GoDaddy customer, you now can sign up for a special version of Microsoft email and office software such as documents and spreadsheets;  have everything available for online and offline use; and have one company to call if you need support.  Oh, and you can get consolidated billing instead of bills from both companies — and set it up without having to deal with technical issues such as looking up MX records.

It’s part of a strategic partnership announced today by GoDaddy and Microsoft, for the small business market.  By partnering together, the two companies say they’ve made it seamless for the business owner or manager.  You do not need an IT administrator and you don’t need to jump back and forth from one provider to another. 

A “Unique” Email and Office Apps Offering

The new offering, according to GoDaddy senior vice president Steven Aldrich, is a unique version of Microsoft’s Office 365.  It is not available in the special configurations anywhere else but GoDaddy, and is designed to meet the unique needs of small businesses. Also, the consolidated setup, billing and support reduces complexity over other solutions on the market today, he says.

Three tiers of the Office 365 offering are available.  The lowest tier, which starts at $3.99 per user per month (i.e., less than $50 per year for one person), is just for email, calendar and contacts.  Two higher tiers layer on added email storage, cloud file storage using Microsoft SkyDrive Pro, Lync video conferencing, online versions of office apps such as Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, and even desktop versions of Microsoft Office for MACs and PCs.  The mid-tier is $8.99 per user, and the highest tier is $12.49 per user, monthly.

GoDaddy, which today has 12 million customers across the globe, worked with Microsoft to tailor the offering with micro-businesses in mind — those with 5 employees and under.  However, according to Aldrich, you’re not limited to five.  You can opt for as many as 25 users under each service tier.  And if your organization has some users who need higher tier levels than others (say, some need full office apps but others only need email), you can mix and match to add up to 75 users total, 25 per tier.

All email addresses will have your business’s own custom domain name associated with them — such as sarah@mycompanydomain.com.

John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, noted that Office 365 is “the fastest-growing Microsoft product in history.”  Office 365 is the cloud equivalent of Microsoft’s famous desktop Office software.

The special Office 365 offering by GoDaddy is currently available in the United States and Canada. It will be rolled globally in the next 3 months.

Overall, Aldrich says, GoDaddy wants to make “the business of doing business easy” on you.   He added, “If you went to buy email from another company, you’d need to know your MX records, and other technical information. You’d have to look details up in one control panel.  Then you would have to enter that information into another setup panel on the email site. If you pick our Email Essentials offering, you just enter your username and password and click the set-up button.  GoDaddy and Microsoft have done the work to make it all happen seamlessly.”  

He also pointed out that the Office 365 offering by GoDaddy features streamlined admin panels (example pictured below) designed for the small business person, not an IT administrator.

Office 365 GoDaddy admin panel

Existing Workspace Customers Still Supported

GoDaddy customers who use the company’s existing Workspace email offering will be able to use that service indefinitely.  GoDaddy will continue to support it.  Eventually GoDaddy plans to phase it out, although no date has been set.  Says Aldrich, “We will take the time to plan an orderly migration at some future point, but we haven’t even started that planning process yet.”

GoDaddy for the past two years has been working on a product strategy that goes well beyond providing domain names, what the company was originally known for.

The Microsoft arrangement is the culmination of product design activities and partnership explorations that started over a year ago.  Says GoDaddy’s Aldrich, “We talked with existing GoDaddy customers, as well as small businesses that do not use GoDaddy today.  We discovered three needs. Small businesses wanted email and apps to be available both online and offline. The offerings needed to be a product line small businesses were already familiar with.  And the solutions needed to be easy to implement.”

Aldrich added that GoDaddy looked at various email and office offerings on the market.  It negotiated with Microsoft because the Redmond, Wash. company’s product offered the best fit, and the two tailored it even further.  GoDaddy says it will be responsible for providing  24/7 support via its 2,500 customer care agents. They are located domestically in Arizona and Iowa.  There’s also a customer care center in India to serve the Indian market.

Image credits: GoDaddy

13 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

13 Reactions

  1. I wonder how this is different from the simple Microsoft Office. I know that it is a special service for Godaddy users but is it worth it? I wonder what will make it better than its other counterparts?

    • Price and 24/7 personalized service.

    • I agree with Ed’s two points.

      I would add a third difference: the ease of signing up.

      If you’re a GoDaddy domain customer (or sign up to be) and you also want email for yourself and/or employees using that domain name, it’s going to be faster and easier. You don’t have to read through and understand all the technical details over at the Office 365 site, and transfer details such as MX records from one account to the other. It’s all transferred automatically, according to GoDaddy. So signing up is less technical.

      – Anita

  2. I’m the leader of GoDaddy’s Productivity business and wanted to give the highlights of how O365 from GoDaddy service has a few important benefits. The Email Essentials version of 365 is only available through GoDaddy. All three of the O365 from GoDaddy offerings have one-click set-up to add the small business’ domain to the account, simplified control panel and our 24/7 customer care included in the price.

  3. I was just on my GoDaddy account and didn’t see anything about this. Where should I be looking? Is it separate from my account page or just buried somewhere on the site? It sounds like it can be very helpful, any time I can link two or more business tools, I am excited.

  4. I have a GoDaddy account, but I don’t think I have a need for Office 365 at this time or in the foreseeable future. But who knows, I might do in the future.

    I’ll have a snoop around anyway. Call it curiosity. :)

  5. Thanks Godaddy for making it easier!!!

  6. It seems like a win-win basis for the customers in this strategic partnership by GoDaddy and Microsoft. They’ve made it seamless for the business owner or manager.

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