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Flinders University moves 16,000 students to the cloud

17 November, 2009 | Sydney, Australia

More than 16,000 undergraduate and post-graduate coursework students from Flinders University will benefit from a new communication and collaboration service following the University’s decision to deploy Microsoft’s Live@edu email solution by mid 2010.

All undergraduate students of the University will have “anywhere access” to the Live@edu suite of online applications and services, which includes Microsoft Outlook Live, Microsoft Office Live Workspace and SkyDrive storage (25 Gb). Live@edu provides students with an enhanced range of services including increased mailbox capacity (10 Gb) supporting 20 Mb attachments as well as calendaring and contact management.

The decision to adopt Live@edu followed an assessment by the University that its students’ technology needs had moved beyond its existing email system, which is based on an in-house open source solution. In late 2008, the university began looking at alternative email offerings as part of its strategic IT plan. Concurrently, the University also planned to replace its staff email service and had decided to deploy an in-house Microsoft Exchange solution following a formal evaluation process. Flinders undertook extensive research on the use of hosted student email systems both within Australia and also overseas. It reached the conclusion that Microsoft’s Live@edu service was the clear-cut winner in terms of providing the most appropriate solution for students and the university as a whole.

Flinders Manager, Information Services, Mr Dean Gawler said: “In the face of ever-increasing demands on the storage space and computing resources required to support 24x7 availability of email, calendaring, messaging and other unified communications technologies, Flinders had sought other options.

“Outsourcing these services for students reduces the resources the University needs to provide while delivering significantly enhanced services to students at no cost to them – in short, a win-win situation.”

Neil Jackson, Education Director, Microsoft Australia, said: “Students are highly mobile and IT savvy consumers and universities are looking to the cloud as a highly flexible and efficient way through which to provide world class IT services in a cost effective manner.”

In addition to providing students with an email solution, other features available through Live@edu include: Windows Live Messenger and file sharing, Windows Live Spaces for personal web publishing, blogging and photo sharing and FolderShare, a private peer-to-peer network that allows users to synchronise files between multiple devices and share files with other student users.

Live@edu makes it possible to create communities that last a lifetime, with email addresses students can keep after they graduate, and a rich set of communication services universities can use to help maintain an ongoing relationship with graduates.

Flinders University is the 11th university in Australia and the first university in South Australia to have selected the Microsoft Live@edu solution for its students.

In a related development today, the Government of South Australia also announced that it had selected Live@edu for more than 80,000 students and staff at TAFE SA from next year.

More information about Microsoft Live@edu can be found at http://get.liveatedu.com

For further information or interviews please contact:

Rudolf Wagenaar
Howorth
Tel: 02 8281 3879
Email: rudolf@howorth.com.au

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