Calin Tatomir, the chief executive of Microsoft Romania, said the cloud computing application suite would be its top priority in the new fiscal year.

Tatomir defined cloud computing service as an internet-based platform that will boast IT solutions and applications.

“The benefits of using cloud computing technologies are visible both at macroeconomic and microeconomic level. Apparently, the adoption of cloud-computing services could lead to a downsizing of the IT department. But the solution lies in the fact that any innovation opens up new business opportunities in areas we can’t even think today”, said the representative of Microsoft.

The new technology is a great opportunity only for the medium and small businesses Microsoft representatives say, because apart from delivering tangible cost savings, cloud computing changes business imperatives to gain competitive edge.

Microsoft launched Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), a set of messaging and collaboration solutions aimed at streamlining communication in the company. Business Productivity Online Suite includes the following solutions: Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting available in two versions: standard and dedicated.

The company says the suite can save a company’s IT operational costs by up to 50%.

Microsoft estimates the Romanian market at 300,000 small and medium companies. Their appetite for the online environment has increased lately, which is visible in the daily traffic data and the number of active business portals that continue to grow on a daily basis.

Cloud computing market is expected to rise 32% in the world, and to account for 25% of the entire IT industry. Providers hope the cloud market to reach $28 billion by 2012, according to Gartner.

Microsoft’s main cloud computing partners in Romania are Brinel, CG&GC, Crescendo, Essentials, Eta2U, GeCAD Net, and Central Europe On Demand.