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Reputed universities are turning to Microsoft Live@edu for cloud applications to save money and deliver more productivity services to campus.
REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 4, 2010 –/PRNewswire/– Around the world, more and more higher education institutions and schools are clamoring for more effective ways to save money and provide an outstanding experience to students. Today, Microsoft Corp. announced higher education institutions using Microsoft’s cloud services and Live@edu. New universities joining the Live@edu ranks include California State University schools including San Francisco State University; CSU, Long Beach; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; and State Center Community College District (California), as well as University of Montana, Northern Kentucky University, the College of DuPage, Washington University in St. Louis and Aston University in the United Kingdom.
These universities join a rapidly expanding community of more than 11 million people in more than 10,000 schools around the world who are using Live@edu. Live@edu’s cloud application advantages include Office Web Apps and Windows Live SkyDrive for sharing information and working together with teams of people and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Outlook Live for e-mail, calendar sharing and managing tasks and contacts.
“Universities require security-enhanced, world-class cloud services, but today’s budget constraints present an extraordinary challenge,” said Sig Behrens, general manager for U.S. Public Sector Education, Microsoft Corp. “Live@edu combines Microsoft’s exceptional products that incorporate the company’s deep investments in cloud computing to provide the enhanced privacy and security features that institutions require. Although this enables significant cost savings, Live@edu also offers competitive and current communications and collaboration tools students will need in the workplace. There is a difference between a job and a career. We help students prepare for a career.”
Redefining Collaboration Through the Cloud
At San Francisco State University, with the move to Live@edu, more than 54,000 students and recent alumni are experiencing a major improvement in storage quota with a 40x increase in capacity so they have more control over their documents and can more easily collaborate. While the California State University campus is saving money on software, hardware and licensing costs, they are able to offer support on multiple devices and provide a lot more client functionality, as well as extend e-mail service to those who graduate so they can stay connected as alumni for life. With faculty and staff on Exchange 2010, the introduction of Live@edu and the compatibility between the two products and feature sets has made provisioning new accounts and help desk support easier since IT staff don’t need to know two different systems.
The evaluation process that selected Live@edu considered a wide range of factors, including provisioning, authentication, functionality, security, support and accessibility. One of the reasons that Live@edu was selected was Microsoft’s commitment to making products that are accessible to students with disabilities. “One of the ways Microsoft made Live@edu mail accessible is by offering an option that is more compatible with screen readers,” said Jonathan Rood, chief information officer at the San Francisco State University. “Many have asked us why we didn’t just suggest to students that they select an e-mail service and simply provide us their e-mail address; however, providing an ad-free e-mail environment was a benefit we wanted to offer to students.”
The University of Montana (UM) moved more than 15,000 students to Microsoft’s cloud to provide more robust and flexible e-mail and collaboration tools. Not only does Live@edu offer more online storage than the university couldn’t afford to provide, but the level of uptime of services has increased because the campus has never before had 24×7 support. To provide the equivalent services UM estimates it would need to invest more than $600,000 in the first year and upward of $120,000 each year thereafter. From a technical standpoint, Live@edu was really compatible with the current Exchange infrastructure on campus, people are familiar with Office and Outlook, and the APIs provided allowed IT staff to integrate their campus portal with Live@edu with minimal programming. Students are beginning to use Office Web Apps to collaborate on group projects and write theses with the comfort of knowing their work is security-enhanced and backed up in multiple places.
“From a legal perspective, privacy is very important to us. We need to be FERPA and ADA compliant and Microsoft’s contract language is very clear,” said Dr. Loey Knapp, associate chief information officer, University of Montana. “With Live@edu, we are confident our students’ data is fully protected. We know and can control who has access to the data, and we have assurances that the data won’t be mined.”
Expanding Roster of Customers
Other prominent universities that recently selected Microsoft Live@edu include these:
About Microsoft Live@edu
Live@edu is a no-cost communications and collaboration hosted platform for students, staff, faculty and alumni, providing industry-leading services to the global education market. E-mail and calendars with a 10GB inbox, 25 GB of additional file storage, document sharing, instant messaging, video chat, mobile e-mail, and Office Web Apps are just part of the feature set. Live@edu provides students with the professional tools to prepare them for college or a career from day one. Live@edu is accessible through popular Web browsers for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems â€” and easy to set up, administer and manage. More than 10,000 schools in more than 130 countries have enrolled in Live@edu, serving 11 million people worldwide. More information is available at http://www.liveatedu.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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