Whether it’s in the United States or elsewhere in the world, Microsoft (News - Alert) Office 365 is being leveraged by colleges and universities to meet the administrative, research and instructional needs of students and faculty.
For example, CloudBearing was selected by the University of California, Merced – the state’s newest Cal campus – to migrate to Microsoft Office 365 after a competitive bidding process.
UC Merced is the first American student-centered research university of the 21st century, so it is important that Office 365 was selected over Google (News - Alert) Apps.
The Merced campus needed a new messaging and calendar solution. The university favored Office 365 for e-mail, calendaring and collaboration over the Google product and it will provide 25 GB mailboxes; a calendar system that integrates with mobiles devices, Outlook and the Web; SharePoint for document management and file sharing; and Lync to offer instant messaging, audio/video conferencing and whiteboards.
“Universities need technology experts to help them navigate the complicated regulatory environment and provide solutions with comprehensive security features that can help prevent data breaches and maintain sensitive data private in the cloud,” CloudBearing CEO Nicholas Vossburg said in a statement.
Some 8,500 staff, students and faculty at the campus will get Office 365 by spring of 2013.
“Office 365 for education is transformative for universities as it provides enterprise-class capabilities for better communication and collaboration,” Cameron Evans, Microsoft Education chief technology officer added. “More importantly, it helps students build know-how and skills that will enable success in the workplace. It also provides security and privacy protections that help educational institutions meet their compliance obligations such as HIPAA and FERPA.”
Microsoft and Google continue to go head to head as they both are doing their best to lure universities, colleges and K-12 schools to the cloud. Yet, it looks like Microsoft might be pulling ahead due to the fact that recently in Ireland it signed a three-year agreement with HEAnet, Ireland's education and research network, to provide cloud-based solutions to universities and colleges in the country. The students at the campuses will be given access to Office 365, Azure, and Dreamspark.
“We are passionate about ensuring that the college environment in Ireland provides students with the access to technology they need to acquire the vital skills that are now central to every aspect of someone's personal and professional lives," Microsoft Ireland Managing Director Paul Rellis stated.
Office 365 is constantly being adopted in order to drive the productivity of both educators and students. Also, students are better able to collaborate on projects and develop new applications.
It was only back in June that Microsoft formally released Office 365 for Education. "This is a huge opportunity because we're providing a level of service to schools for free that only our corporate accounts have been able to enjoy so far," Cameron Evans, chief technology officer for Microsoft Education, told CampusTechnology.com at that time.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein