REDMOND, Wash., May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced that several new organizations have selected Microsoft Office 365 for improved communication and collaboration after having deployed or piloted Google Apps. The organizations include Sensia Halsovard AB, SEPCOIII, and Arysta LifeScience. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO) These companies join other recently announced customers, such as Caltex Australia, FHI 360, and Santa Clara County, which chose Office 365 for its enterprise-class capabilities, compliance, security and privacy features, all delivered in a cloud service with a 99.9 percent financially backed uptime guarantee from Microsoft. "Businesses use technology to be competitive and meet the needs of their customers, which is why they can't afford to compromise on a service that was retrofitted for the enterprise," said Michael Atalla, director of product marketing for Microsoft Office 365. "With Office 365, Microsoft has combined the familiarity of Office with the capabilities businesses need, delivered as a cloud service they can trust." Arysta LifeScience is one of the largest privately owned agrochemical companies in the world, with sales and services in more than 125 countries. In attempting to connect 34 different email environments, Arysta initially opted for Google Apps but quickly found employees were unhappy with the experience — they couldn't share calendars and had limited offline capabilities — so Arysta switched to Office 365. With Office 365, employees can now integrate email and shared calendars and use IM and webconferencing to connect with colleagues around the world while they are on the road or working from home. "Google Apps was difficult to use and lacked the capabilities our employees had grown accustomed to in Office," said Dustin Collins, global head of IT infrastructure, Arysta LifeScience. "With Office 365 we're able to interact and engage with each other more, allowing us to efficiently and quickly respond to new opportunities. As a result, we're a more agile, competitive organization." Robust certification and standardsOffice 365 offers the most robust set of certifications and standards options of any major cloud-based productivity service, and it is the first and only major cloud productivity service to address the rigors of the federal government's HIPAA requirements. Office 365 is compliant with world-class industry standards, including ISO 27001, EU model clauses and Federal Information Security Management Act. Microsoft is committed to working with its customers to meet their unique security, compliance and privacy needs, including those that must meet Criminal Justice Information Security. Based in Durham, N.C., FHI 360 is a global nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. It also switched from Google Apps to Office 365 because it met the organization's security and privacy requirements. "As a nonprofit organization, we work on educational and public health issues and must comply with privacy regulations related to the U.S. federal government," said Douglas Wilkins, director of IT infrastructure at FHI 360. "Not only did Office 365 have privacy features in line with our requirements, but we know where our data is stored — it's essential for us to have control and set parameters on who views it. That was not possible with Google." Freedom of choiceIn today's business environment, many organizations require the flexibility to enable employees to work anytime, anywhere across devices and platforms. With Office 365, employees can sign in from virtually any device, and their documents and personalized settings roam with them, allowing them to quickly pick up right where they left off. With more than 4,000 employees spread across multiple countries, FHI 360 can easily connect and share best practices and improve services with Office 365 while being more strategic with spending. The organization expects to save approximately US$20,000 annually by utilizing IM and webconferencing capabilities in Office 365. Unlike Google Apps, Office 365 enabled FHI 360 to move to the cloud on its own terms by supporting both on-premises and cloud deployments in its environment. "Our global work environment sometimes requires us to work in countries where cloud services aren't yet available or feasible because broadband connections are limited," Wilkins said. "With Google, we had to be all in or nothing at all. Having the flexibility to make the deployment choices that were right for our business means we can consolidate systems onto the same platform regardless of whether we're using the cloud or an in-house server."