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New Academic Institutions, Medical Schools Adopting Microsoft Office 365 for Education

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October 22, 2012

New Academic Institutions, Medical Schools Adopting Microsoft Office 365 for Education

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

New academic institutions and medical schools are continuing to leverage Microsoft (News - Alert) Office 365 for Education, the company's next- generation cloud productivity service, to improve communication and collaboration across campuses while helping to meet security, privacy and other regulatory requirements as mandated by the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

In fact, institutes of higher learning that have already transitioned to this cloud-based solution include Duke University, Emory University, Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Iowa and the University of Washington. They have all selected Office 365 after a consortium of technology, legal and compliance experts from the academic, public and private sector worked closely with Microsoft to develop a business associates agreement (BAA) to address HIPAA requirements.

Further, these institutions and medical schools represent 188,000 additional students, faculty and staff that are now successfully using the cloud productivity service.

"A robust, reliable and secure email system is vital to the daily operations of the university and health system," said Tracy Futhey, vice president of Information Technology and chief information officer, Duke University, in a statement.

"Moving to the Microsoft cloud environment will enable us to achieve greater efficiency and ensure that our users will have the level of protection necessary to keep Duke's data private, including guaranteeing that our data servers would stay in the U.S.," addd Futhey.

Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) and Jefferson Medical College, one of the oldest academic medical centers in the United States, were the first academic customers to sign the Office 365 BAA agreement, with more than 5,300 faculty and staff, including 900 practicing clinicians.

"A key deciding factor for TJU was that Office 365 helps enable us to be HIPAA compliant. With Google (News - Alert), we would have never have known where our intellectual property and records were stored," commented Doug Herrick, chief information officer, Thomas Jefferson University.“Microsoft had the willingness to understand our business and be transparent about how it handles security and privacy, which meets the demands of a real enterprise."

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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