Office 365: Toyota Rolls Out Global Collaboration Initiative

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has made a significant gain with Office 365. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), which deployed Windows Azure last year for telemetrics services, is rolling out Microsoft Office 365 services to its more than 200,000 employees around the world.

Using Office 365, Toyota is building its communications and collaboration infrastructure for its entire family of companies. The automotive company kicked off its deployment in June and will continue to roll out Office 365 to its employees globally over the next two years. The end goal, according to the company, is to better support its plethora of mobile devices while reducing costs and improving employee collaboration with enterprise social networking, conferencing, messaging and information-sharing tools.

“By seamlessly integrating both cloud and on-premises environments, Toyota will enable its employees to effortlessly collaborate and communicate with each other, whether they are within the same four walls or in locations around the world,” said Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO, in a prepared statement.

With plenty of different options to choose from using Office 365, Toyota is also deploying Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Windows Server for scalability — essentially making it a strong Microsoft shop for on-premise solutions and cloud-based services.

This expansion of the initial April 2011 investment in Microsoft cloud services (beginning with Azure) is a big win for Microsoft and its growing cloud practice. Although the channel likely had little to do with the Toyota deployment, Microsoft cloud resellers may be able to use this as proof that major enterprises can get the collaboration and cost benefits out of Office 365. That could turn into sales even down into the SMB market. It also puts one in the Microsoft’s win column in its battle against Google for online productivity supremacy.

“The building of a communication infrastructure for the 200,000-plus users in Toyota and its group companies in Japan, America and throughout the world is one of the largest projects that Microsoft has ever undertaken,” said Yasuyuki Higuchi, president and CEO, Microsoft Japan.