After a year-long transition, Ithaca College in New York has switched from its old webmail service to Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Live@edu, a cloud-based, Microsoft Exchange-hosted service that offers the Outlook Web App for students and faculty.
Darius Conger is a professor of economics at Ithaca and a member of the faculty liaison committee commented on the change. “Let’s face it,” Conger told The Ithacan. “The system was so bad, so atrocious that smoke signals would have been an improvement.”
According to research from NuCloud, 43 percent of colleges outsource e-mail hosting, and over half outsource their video platforms. Eighteen percent of colleges outsource web content management, nien percent of colleges outsource network storage and six percent store data offsite.
“There’s a comfort with what they know, and a mindset of, ‘This is the way we’ve always done it, so we’ll continue to do it this way,’” explained Kyle James, CEO and co-founder of NuCloud.
“Colleges have a tendency to want to keep things in house. … They want to save money by [not outsourcing services], but they don’t think about the hidden costs, like maintenance.”
With expectations as low as those at Ithaca, Live@edu has nowhere to go but up. For example, the college, after experiencing numerous reliability issues with their old provider, discovered that the provider planned to raise costs by 50 percent for the coming year.
“I believe our previous vendor introduced a patch that actually caused some problems that then they couldn’t help us fix,” said Beth Rugg, the assistant director for technology and information support service at the college. “So we needed to find something that just was better and that you could rely on. “
Both students and faculty will switch to the Outlook Web App, which provides 10 BG of e-mail and calendar storage as well as 7 GB of online file storage. Users can also blog, maintain calendars and access the system from their mobile devices.
Live@edu is merging with Microsoft Office 365 and will be eventually renamed Microsoft Office 365 for Education.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Brooke Neuman