Microsoft and Vodafone have announced that Vodafone will offer businesses a "single communications and collaboration solution composed of fixed and mobile voice and data, customer equipment and handsets, and Microsoft Online Services".

This team-up will mean Microsoft's "Online Services" and Vodafone's voice and data services will be available in one solution.

Essentially, it's a new offering aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that will provide Microsoft Exchange Online for email and calendars, Microsoft SharePoint Online for team portals, Microsoft Office Communications Online for instant messaging and Microsoft Office Live Meeting for web and video conferencing.

Due sometime in the first half of this year, Vodafone will initially offer the solution in Germany and Spain, before rolling it out to additional markets.

"The demands on our customers are changing dramatically in today's complex business and economic environment", said Tom Craig, global business services director, Vodafone Group.

"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".