Update: The information in this blog post is from 2011. For the newest information we have on the Microsoft Charity Program, please read this post.
Most people don’t know that outside of health-care, non-profits and churches are Mavidea’s next largest customer base. I think there are several reasons for that. A big part of it is that when we were forming this idea of a company that would become Mavidea, it was very important to all of the owners that we give back to the community in which we live. The book “The Go Giver” has been a huge influence on Mavidea’s culture, and we have a policy where each year our employees get to choose 3 charities / non-profits they want to work with and then we raise money for them. Giving back is how each of us was raised by our parents, and it is how we are going to influence the next generation of leaders that are currently working at Mavidea.
You’ll find Mavideans active in Rotary, Easter Seals, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, their churches, ISU and IWU, the McLean County and Illinois Farm Bureaus and working with multiple Chambers of Commerce around Illinois. It could also be that we’re really bad at telling people who need our help.
I also know that a big part of our popularity in non-profit and religious organization circles is because we are really good and finding them the best prices on computer hardware, software, and services. We spend a lot of time helping make the precious dollars stretch, and we discount our services to them as well.
All of that being said, I’m excited to let everyone know that Mavidea, as a member of Microsoft’s Cloud Champions Program , can bring our non-profit customers Office 365 at a 60% discount! Office 365 is a suite of Microsoft software hosted in the “cloud” that is almost guaranteed to increase employee productivity. At the basic level, the Office 365 E1 plan includes Microsoft Exchange Server for email / calendar, Microsoft SharePoint Server for file collaboration / storage / organization, and (most exciting to me) Microsoft Lync Server for instant messaging, presence awareness, and audio/video conferencing. When you roll these 3 base components together, you get a powerful force of productivity enhancement! (insert links to product demos videos?)
Cloud computing hasn’t made a lot of sense for non-profits in the past because they get the software so cheap that the ROI hasn’t worked out. They could just buy a slightly more powerful server and load all the cheap software on it and they were good. Now that Office 365 is being offered at the 60% discount, the pendulum swings back the other direction.
Here is the non-profit pricing model for the Office 365 suites:
Office 365 E1 plan (Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync) = $4.00 per user per month.
Office 365 E2 plan (Exchange , SharePoint, Lync, and Office Web-Apps) = $6 per user per month.
Office 365 E3 plan (Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Office Web-Apps and a full version of Office 2010 Professional) = $9.00 per user per month.
Now my disclaimer is that each non-profit has to be approved by Microsoft. We have been told that most registered non-profits will qualify for this program, but we have to check one-by-one. If you are interested in finding out how to take your computing environment to the next level, contact us at Mavidea and we will get you set up for a free 30 day trial to Office 365 and then submit your information to Microsoft for non-profit pricing approval.
Kudos to Microsoft for showing this kind of leadership in the non-profit space and offering Microsoft Office 365 for nonprofits at such a great price!