Looking to improve collaboration on the campus, the University of Arizona (UA) has selected the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite to provide 18,000 faculty and staff members with next-generation communications tools.
Microsoft (News - Alert) Business Productivity Online Standard Suite is a set of messaging and collaboration solutions hosted by Microsoft, and consist of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting, and Office Communications Online. These services provide streamlined communication with high availability, comprehensive security, and simplified IT management.
Offering Office Web Apps and Windows Live SkyDrive among other services to deliver an integrated and standardized platform across faculty, staff and students, the UA also plans to start providing students with the option to sign up for a Windows Live ID on Microsoft's Live@edu service. With the goal of having all campus employees on the new system by this fall, the University's migration to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite will begin in the next few weeks.
"This agreement offers vast benefits to the entire UA community, and other higher education institutions should take notice," said Sig Behrens, general manager for U.S. Education at Microsoft. "Microsoft's online services bring an easy, highly productive experience across computers, phones and browsers so faculty and staff will be able to work anytime, anywhere and anyplace with Microsoft applications they already know and trust."
Microsoft's online services offer important enterprise depth of features such as full two-way synchronization for e-mail, calendaring, contacts, notes and tasks; ability to delegate calendaring and e-mail functions to other users; archive and backup and restore services; and improved security and privacy features.
Recently, Microsoft announced that it will be discontinuing the development of Windows Essential Business Server as of June 30. The software suite included bundled versions of Windows Server, Microsoft System Center Essentials, Microsoft Exchange and other programs and was targeted at small- to medium-sized businesses with 300 computers or less. The change will not affect the next version of Windows Small Business Server (SBS).
Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Alice Straight