TMCnet Feature
December 21, 2011

MasterCard and Microsoft Team Up on Small Business Cloud Services Offer

By Laura Stotler, TMCnet Contributing Editor

A MasterCard guest blogger has announced the company is teaming up with Microsoft (News - Alert) to extend the companies' commitment to delivering technology and payment services geared toward small businesses.

Giovanni Mezgec wrote about the partnership on his Heart of Commerce Blog on the MasterCard (News - Alert) site. He is also a general manager of Microsoft Office and Office 365.

He said the partnership with MasterCard entails the company joining Microsoft's Office 365 program. This means MasterCard will provide a 10 percent savings to eligible small business cardholders when they purchase Office 365 through the MasterCard Easy Savings Program.

Additional information is available at the Easy Savings site. Participants use their eligible MasterCard small business cards to make qualified purchases at a number of participating merchants. Rebates are then automatically applied to their monthly statements. The program is free, and registration is available through the website.

Participating merchants include Avis, Budget, Bing, Firestone, DHL, Continental Airlines, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, the US Postal Service, Harry & David and more.

“There is positive change in the air for small businesses,” wrote Mezgec. ”For years, they have been forced to rely on older technologies to run their businesses because technology upgrades have been so capital intensive. The cloud changes that. Now, small businesses can get the latest technology at a predictable monthly price.”

Mezgec mentioned that Microsoft rolled out its Office 365 cloud productivity service in June 2011. The solution enables users to access their e-mail, documents, contacts and calendars from anywhere and on nearly any type of device for $6 per month. The service is available for businesses ranging in size from one person to 100,000, but is especially appealing to small businesses.

“According to the National Small Business Association, 98 percent of US small businesses believe keeping up with technology is important or very important to the success of their business,” added Mezgec. “Unfortunately, over half of those businesses also said the cost of upgrading was a significant challenge. With Office 365, that challenge is obliterated, and small businesses are keeping up with the latest technology, cutting costs and improving results thanks to world-class services that are backed by Microsoft and some of the best partners on the planet, like MasterCard.”

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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