Advanced new cloud solutions have delivered so much to organisations right around the world. Microsoft's Office 365 platform has been leading the way with powerful cloud productivity solutions such as Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Power BI and Microsoft Office subscriptions.

There has, however, been one stumbling block for many Australian businesses considering a move to the cloud, namely that the Office 365 data centres were located in Singapore and Hong Kong. For a large proportion of Australian organisations, this has raised concerns around performance and data sovereignty.

But now all that can change. On 31st March 2015 Microsoft announced the general availability of Office 365 and CRM Online from the company's new Australian data centres, located in Sydney and Melbourne.

Already taking advantage of this new development is Centacare (Wilcannia-Forbes) which, in partnership with Professional Advantage, will shortly be migrating to the Australian Office 365 platform.

This migration project will change the way Centacare (Wilcannia-Forbes) works by dramatically improving the way this not-for-profit organisation shares knowledge, communicates information and delivers its social services programs to Western NSW communities.

The Centacare project will include the migration of Centacare's Mail to Office 365's Exchange Online as well as the configuration of Office 365's SharePoint Online for Intranet, Document Management and Search.

"This is an exciting and important project for us in terms of the operation of our IT infrastructure and in how we communicate with colleagues, discover and share information and keep operational costs to a minimum", said Phil Lawler, Chief Executive Officer, Centacare (Wilcannia – Forbes). "Our Office 365 communications collaboration and Intranet project, designed by Professional Advantage, will enable our teams to participate in online meetings for the first time, collaborate on documents in real‑time and post questions and answers that can be used as a knowledge base that is searchable across a number of geographic centres. We fully expect that this project will quickly deliver a strong return on investment and serve us well for many years to come."

Professional Advantage will work with Centacare (Wilcannia- Forbes) managed service partner, Complete Insight Solutions, to prepare the desktop and local infrastructure for the transformation and ensure ongoing local resources for support where needed.

"The project with Centacare (Wilcannia-Forbes) to take on an integrated work experience with the latest cloud products from Microsoft is becoming the norm for organisations looking to update their IT systems and applications," said Andrew Mackenzie, Business Development Manager, Professional Advantage. "With Microsoft's continuous improvement program providing quarterly feature release cycles we are starting to see on‑premise deployments falling away in preference to advanced cloud solutions.

"The availability of the Office 365 data centres in Australia is a huge win for the Australian business community and should remove most of the obstacles to fully embracing Microsoft's fastest ever growing business, Office 365."

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