4-page Case Study
Posted: 12/23/2012
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Bharati Vidyapeeth India Educational Institution Builds a Community, Brings Collaboration and Reduces Costs

Bharati Vidyapeeth (BVP) is a prime educational institution with approximately 4,000 teachers and 80,000 students across India. It had been using an on-premise open source communication solution but due to high operating costs and limited features and functionality, it decided to move all entities within the group to Microsoft Office 365 for Education. This hosted enterprise communication and collaboration services brings students and teachers to a common platform that completely transforms how BVP students and faculty interact. With the ability now to access emails and calendars using any smart device, with a 99.99 percent service uptime and highly reliable and secure platform, the institution has seen significant productivity, collaboration and cost reduction in capital expenditure as well as in staff and administration expenses.

Situation

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* Post Microsoft Office 365, we have observed annual direct and indirect cost savings of up to INR 900,000 (U.S.$ 18,000 approximately), along with uptime reliability. *

Satyajit Hange, Director (Technology), Bharati Vidyapeeth
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Founded in 1964 in Pune, India, Bharati Vidyapeeth (BVP) has one of the largest networks of educational institutions in India. The university has 15 high-tech campuses across seven cities in Maharashtra and New Delhi; over 160 educational institutes across India from pre-primary to K-12 schools, colleges and postgraduate institutions, and also a professional deemed university. The BVP group employs over 4,000 faculty members and enrolls more than 80,000 students from over 36 countries each year.

Until 2009, administrative staff and faculty members used either personal email accounts, or paper and telephonic communication. This scenario was not ideal for a progressive educational institute.

BVP was apprehensive about cloud solutions until a few years ago, as it was worried about security and confidentiality. Therefore, it chose an on-premise open source solution to collaborate and communicate with faculty members. It was also using a dedicated server at a data center. Additional costs included maintenance, cost of leased line to the data center, and firewall and other software license costs.

However, over a period of time, it realized that this solution had a number of limitations. Communication across campuses was difficult without a global address book with distribution lists to maintain hierarchies, department or management lists, etc. Finding the right resources across 4,000 faculty members was becoming a challenge.

Setting up and managing security via multiple firewalls eventually began to hinder the organization, as it would block some websites. BVP lost the flexibility and was limited by aging features such as small mailboxes, mail delivery issues, etc. “We also felt the absence of audio and video chat, IM, presence and conferencing facilities, which have become commonplace in the last four years,” says Satyajit Hange, Director (Technology), Bharati Vidyapeeth. “The solution also lacked compatibility with smart mobile devices for email access for our students and faculty – anywhere, anytime.”

In addition, the open source solution was available only for the faculty. What BVP wanted was a comprehensive, three-way communication and interaction among the faculty, administration, and students. “It is important to track the academic life cycle of each student and communicate with them regularly,” says Satyajit Hange.

Solution

Bharati Vidyapeeth considered Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365. While comparing these two, BVP identified multiple advantages of the Microsoft solution over Google. Microsoft is focused on preparing students for the future, since most companies require proficiency with Office. Also, as Microsoft applications are used widely, students and faculty are familiar and comfortable with the interface.

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* The Microsoft team visited our campus to help us identify the challenges, assist us and demonstrate usage. This built confidence in the solution and the support we could expect… Microsoft offers 25 GB space per user against 10 GB by Google *

Mayur Shah, Head (IT Maintenance), Bharati Vidyapeeth
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“The Microsoft team visited our campus to help us identify the challenges, assist us, and demonstrate usage. This built confidence in the solution and the support we could expect. Additionally, there are substantial product differences. For instance, Microsoft offers 25 GB space per user against 10 GB by Google,” recalls Satyajit Hange, Director (Technology), Bharati Vidyapeeth. Cost effectiveness was another major advantage with a hosted solution. Satyajit continues, “We expected Microsoft Office 365 for Education would help lower IT administration and hosting costs, avoid capital expenditure, and maintenance. Besides, Microsoft scored far more on reliable end-user support.”

BVP deployed Office 365 for Education in the Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi campuses. Its priority was to bring all its students online, ensuring there is a collaborative platform connecting all and there is increased productivity. “Students take to new technology with greater ease, and thus we started with the students,” explains Satyajit Hange, Director (Technology), BVP. Within a week, Microsoft created 20,000 email IDs for students.

For the first two years, BVP continued with the open source messaging solution for faculty, and the Office 365 solution for students. Today, 77,000 students are using Office 365, while 20,000 alumni were active, creating a vibrant alumni association. “Over 75 percent of our students from all the campuses are using Office 365, and we expect it to be 100 percent in another six months,” states Satyajit Hange, Director (Technology), Bharati Vidyapeeth.

Based on high collaboration features and student feedback, along with the in-built security, BVP extended O365 to its faculty. The non-technical faculty and administrative employees were provided training on Office 365.

BVP is also planning to create its intranet portal soon on the SharePoint Online platform. “In the near future, we will be able to share information, work on online documents with other users, participate in discussion forums, and access routine business processes with ease,” says Satyajit Hange, Director (Technology), Bharati Vidyapeeth.

Benefits

The cloud-based solution ensures data security and communication in real time, practically anywhere, anytime. Users’ mailbox storage capacity has now increased to 25 GB for email, calendar, and contacts in one place, accessed via Outlook Web Apps.

Improves Collaboration and Communication

Office 365 unifies the campuses, faculties, and students across the country. “Microsoft offers many more functions than Google, with anywhere, anytime access to mails and calendars through smart devices. It improves connectivity and online availability, and minimizes delays over important decisions,” states Satyajit Hange. Director (Technology), Bharati Vidyapeeth. Quick, effective communication between faculty, students, and administration over the common platform has encouraged even non-technical staff. Students no longer have excuses, and the assignments or important announcements are delivered on time.

Improves Reliability, Saves Costs

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* Office 365 provides secure access across platforms and devices. We benefit from cloud computing and enterprise-grade security. At the same time, we save time and costs associated with securing the IT systems *

Mayur Shah, Head (IT Maintenance), Bharati Vidyapeeth
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“While using the open source communication solution, BVP experienced significant downtimes,” says Mayur Shah, Head (IT Maintenance), Bharati Vidyapeeth. “But online Office 365 is always available and has completely resolved downtime and unreliability issues. The time spent on maintenance and management has gone down from 18 hours a year to less than two hours a year.”

With the cloud-based Office 365 solution, the institute saves resources deployed earlier for the maintenance and upgrading of servers and firewalls at data centers. Microsoft is responsible for technology, upgrades, and patches. ”O365 frees us from the costly manpower required to manage anti-virus, anti-spam, back-up, and disaster recovery solutions in-house,” continues Mayur.

The IT administration cost been reduced but the institute also saves on travel and telecommunication costs by conducting online meetings, including audio, video, and web conferencing. “Post Microsoft Office 365, we have observed annual direct and indirect cost savings of up to INR 900,000 (U.S.$ 18,000 approximately), along with uptime reliability of 99.99 percent,” concludes Mayur Shah, Head (IT Maintenance), Bharati Vidyapeeth. “We haven’t yet encountered even a single incidence of security lapse or downtime in close to three years.”

Ensures Security

Three years ago, the BVP management was concerned about security, data protection, privacy, and data ownership to allow an external service provider to store and manage its confidential data. But with the inbuilt security features of Office 365, and security offered at the Microsoft data centers, it was assured of security. “Office 365 provides secure access across platforms and devices. We benefit from cloud computing and enterprise-grade security. At the same time, we save time and costs associated with securing the IT systems,” confirms Satyajit Hange, Director (Technology), Bharati Vidyapeeth.

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 brings together cloud versions of our most trusted communications and collaboration products—Microsoft SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online—with the latest version of our Office desktop suite and companion web applications for businesses of all sizes.

Office 365 helps save time and money, and it frees up valued resources. Simple to use and easy to administer, it is financially backed by a service level agreement guaranteeing 99 percent reliability. Office 365 features robust security, IT-level phone support, geo-redundancy, disaster recovery, and the business-class privacy controls and standards that you expect from a world-class service provider.

For more information about Microsoft Office 365, go to:

www.office365.com

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:

www.microsoft.com

For more information about the Bharati Vidyapeeth, call (020-24407100 or visit the website www.bharatividyapeeth.edu

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview




Organization Profile

Bharati Vidyapeeth, a leading educational institution has over 60 schools, 15 campuses, and a deemed university offering courses in medicine, engineering, management, and law among other specialties.


Business Situation

It was using an open source messaging solution for the faculty. However, high IT infrastructure costs and management issues compelled BVP to explore cloud-based services.


Solution

Bharati Vidyapeeth opted for cloud- based Microsoft Office 365 for Education to broaden its communication capabilities, and bring faculty and students on to a common platform.


Benefits

  • Improves collaboration and communication
  • Improves reliability, saves costs
  • Ensures security


Software and Services
Microsoft Office 365

Vertical Industries
  • Higher Education
  • Primary & Secondary Edu/ K-12

Country/Region
India

Languages
English

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