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Webjet announces flight to Office 365 and Azure

Microsoft will lift Webjet into the cloud with Office 365 and Azure, Microsoft announced today. Webjet said it made the move as it prepares to expand its business in Australia and New Zealand.

The move supports recent growth in Webjet's online visitor traffic and bookings. The website had $768 million in total commissions for financial-year 2012, a 30 per cent increase from the previous year, according to Microsoft.

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Early next year, Webjet plans to move to a hybrid cloud with Exchange and Exchange Online, and deploy Lync Online for file sharing and online communications, Microsoft said. All are part of Office 365. Webjet is using Azure for its mobile service and a revamped website, Microsoft said.

"Office 365 will allow us to scale our business activity as we continue to diversify our product offerings domestically and expand the Webjet brand globally," Webjet's head of solutions delivery, Graham Anderson, said in a statement.

"We will have the ability to add new employees and ensure that we continue to attract talent that is interested in working for a company that provides the best technological tools to help them do their jobs."

Webjet chose Office 365 "because it differentiates itself from the competition with its hybrid offering, giving us the flexibility and reliability of implementing it in the cloud or on-premise," said Anderson.

By moving to the cloud, Webjet hopes to reduce administrative time and costs maintaining servers and storage, Anderson said. That will free up IT staff to focus on "more strategic projects that support business growth and help drive the bottom line," he said.

In addition, the travel website has developed an app for Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8.

"The release incorporates the fluid philosophy initially established with our mobile platform applications," said Webjet's managing director, John Guscic. "As such it means far less key strokes for consumers and a smoother flow of the booking process and integration process from initial enquiry through to confirmation."

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