2 page Case Study
Posted: 3/19/2013
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Dunamare Education Group Dutch School System Chooses Microsoft Office 365 to Reduce Costs and Improve

Because communication and collaboration are important in education, Dunamare had deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 to provide email for 14,500 staff and students. While the email solution was popular and reliable, students quickly filled up their mailbox quotas and were asking for more storage. Unwilling to invest in more storage, and looking to reduce its costs for administration, the school system began looking for alternatives. Working with Wortell, Dunamare decided to migrate its users to Microsoft Exchange Online, a service of Microsoft Office 365. Dunamare found that migrating to Microsoft Exchange Online helped it provide better service and dramatically reduce costs.

Business Needs
Headquartered in Haarlem, Netherlands, the Dunamare Education Group oversees educational programs for 24 secondary schools in 35 locations across the region. Its 1,550 teachers and administrators serve approximately 13,000 students through college preparatory and vocational programs designed to fit students’ needs.

* We are saving a lot of money. We have retired seven servers and repurposed our storage. We are saving money on hardware, administration, and data center costs. *

Bas Groeneveld
Chief Technology Officer, Dunamare

Dunamare incorporates the latest technology into the learning environment to improve educational opportunities for its students. The school system has provided a messaging solution for students and staff for many years. Teachers and students use email to communicate about lesson plans and other important classroom information.

Dunamare had deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, but found that the costs to maintain its large email environment were growing quickly. Students and staff wanted larger mailboxes to handle large attachments and be able to save their email for the entire school year, but the school system did not want to invest in additional storage.

Dunamare worked with its outsourcing partner, Wortell, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network with multiple Gold competencies, to find a better solution. Wortell brings knowledge of the latest innovations and uses best practices to manage IT resources at Dunamare. “Dunamare wants to be a forerunner in information technology, and we felt that a knowledgeable partner would help us do that,” says Bas Groeneveld, Chief Technology Officer at Dunamare. “Wortell really understands our needs. They are a true partner.”

Wortell and Dunamare decided that a hosted solution using Microsoft Office 365 would meet the needs of the school. Dunamare initially transitioned only student accounts to Microsoft Exchange Online. The migration was successful with reliable service and improved capabilities, so Dunamare then migrated its teacher and administrator accounts as well.

Wortell managed the migration, which was transparent to students and staff. “The migration to Exchange Online was very smooth,” says Groeneveld, “Wortell made the necessary changes to our infrastructure and managed the entire process.”

With Exchange Online, students, teachers, and staff members have 25 gigabyte (GB) mailboxes. Students and teachers can also set up Exchange ActiveSync to receive email on their mobile devices. Since the service is always kept up to date by Microsoft, Dunamare will be able to take advantage of the new capabilities in Exchange such as offline access to Outlook Web App, and the unified contact store, which consolidates contacts across Exchange Server, Microsoft Lync Server, and social networks.

Dunamare also uses Microsoft SharePoint Online as a document repository for classes and administrative materials. For now, the Microsoft Lync Server 2013 deployment remains on-premises because it serves as the school’s telephony system.

By migrating students and staff to Exchange Online, Dunamare has been able to reduce its costs and provide a better, more reliable email service to users.
  • Reduce costs. Exchange Online is available at no cost to students and school staff so it was an easy decision to migrate to the service. “We are saving a lot of money. We have retired seven servers and repurposed our storage. We are saving money on hardware, administration, and data center costs,” says Groeneveld.

  • Provide larger mailboxes. Exchange Online provides 25 GB mailboxes for all students and staff at Dunamare. Now receiving large attachments up to 25 MB is not a problem and students do not have to continually delete emails to keep their mailboxes within the size limits. “Our students had fairly small mailboxes before and we had lots of requests to increase mailbox size, but we didn’t want to make the necessary investment in storage,” says Groeneveld. “Exchange Online provides large 25 GB mailboxes and I have not heard a complaint since the migration.”

  • Migrate seamlessly. The migration to Exchange Online was transparent to Dunamare’s students, teachers, and staff. “Our staff and students really can’t tell that their mailboxes have been moved to the cloud,” says Groeneveld.

  • Improve reliability. Exchange Online is hosted in geographically distributed data centers, with continuous data backup, premier disaster recovery capabilities, and around-the-clock monitoring. Microsoft also provides antimalware and antispam filtering and guarantees 99.9 percent uptime on the service.

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Solution Overview

Organization Size: 1550 employees

Organization Profile

Formed in 2007 in Haarlem, Netherlands, Dunamare Education Group is committed to providing quality education for the 13,000 students it serves.

Software and Services
  • Exchange Online
  • Microsoft Lync 2013
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • Microsoft Outlook 2010

Vertical Industries
Primary & Secondary Edu/ K-12


Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Team Collaboration
  • Unified Communications
  • Data Protection and Recovery

IT Issue
  • Cloud Services
  • Personal Productivity