Microsoft announced today that it had an agreement with Vodafone in which they will team up to build a package that will allow small and medium-sized businesses to communicate and collaborate.

Hosted by Microsoft , Vodafone Group Plc with approximately 289 million proportionate customers will work on a Microsoft Online Services that could offer businesses a single communications and collaboration solution composed of fixed and mobile voice and data, customer equipment and handsets.

Today's announcement is a significant step forward in our partnership with Vodafone, said Martha Béjar, corporate vice president of the Communications Sector at Microsoft.

Microsoft Online Services including Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online, and Office Live Meeting will deliver enterprise-class communications and collaboration software. The solutions which will be fully hosted will initially offered in Germany and Spain beginning later in 2009.

Microsoft will work with Vodafone to help decrease maintenance and management task for businesses.

By combining Vodafone's fixed and mobile communication services with Microsoft Online Services we can provide all the elements of a fully hosted communications solution, delivering the real benefits of agility, flexibility, productivity and choice that our customers are demanding, Craig added.

According to the two company, they plans to continue the collaboration and development that will defer business solutions and capabilities with Vodafone Voice Services and Virtual PBX.