While we have talked a lot over the past six months about Office 365, its potential and problems, one of the things that no one seems to able to answer is where and who is going to use it. Microsoft itself is hoping for interest from the SMB market, while vendors have been working to develop integrations for it. The release of Bloomberg’s (news, site) Office 365 Cloud Archiving this week is one such product.

The first thing to say about this is that Bloomberg has announced that its Bloomberg Vault product, which offers financial sector companies added compliance features to their electronic communications, can be added as a managed service to Office 365 users.

Bloomberg Vault and Office 365

With it users will get real-time policy management, search analytics, e-Discovery and secure archiving for corporate emails and messages, on top of whatever other email services that Office 365 users have subscribed to with the Exchange component of Office 365.

In a nutshell Bloomberg Vault functionality for Office 365 includes:

  • Integrated and secure archiving of all electronic communications as a hosted service.
  • Specialized features designed to help financial firms meet compliance requirements through real-time policy management,
  • e-Discovery and records retention
  • Biometric security for compliance officers to enhance access controls.

…Compliance mandates are increasingly complex and the capital costs can be significant. The aim of Bloomberg Vault-Office 365 is to help financial services organizations embrace the cloud and meet stringent regulatory requirements,” Harald Collet, global business manager for Bloomberg Vault.

Office 365 Target Markets?

But there is another ‘level’ of interest here. Bloomberg Vault is used by some 300 financial service companies, according to Bloomberg, some of which would be some of the biggest companies in the world.

Bloomberg’s core business is information provision, rather than the technology behind it. In its own words, it provides “…global business and financial information…gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas.”

The technologies, which it has developed, are a core part for that information delivery and Bloomberg offers them through its Bloomberg Professional, with the Bloomberg Vault product managing legal and regulatory mandates governing corporate data.

By adding Bloomberg Vault to Office 365, the company is clearly expecting a lot of interest in the Office 365 product where there is also interest in the Bloomberg Vault. By inference, then, it seems Bloomberg is expecting substantial interest in Office 365 in its customer base, which is high-end finance.

Microsoft with the launch of Office 365 has been vague enough about where it was taking it in terms of markets, and we only know that it was targeting SMBs through its pricing schedules and some vague comments over the run-up months to that effect.

With this we see another potential market, and undoubtedly as the months go on we will see other companies and vendors developing products for Office 365 for markets that no one had really thought about. More on this as it happens.