REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 4, 2013 — The Peel District School Board, Canada’s second-largest public school board, has deployed Microsoft Office 365 to more than 150,000 students, administrators and staff members.
“Our focus is always on our students and equipping and preparing them for future success,” said Mark Keating, chief information officer, Peel board. “Our decisions on technology are driven by teaching and learning, and with the deployment of Office 365, we will be able to put more power directly into the hands of our staff and students.”
The launch provides the district with the capabilities once reserved for the world’s largest corporations and, according to a recent IDC study, allows the board to give students the technology needed to gain the third most-valued skill, Microsoft Office proficiency, for the high-growth, high-wage jobs of the future. The district considered offerings from other companies but chose Office 365 because it supports multiple operating systems and mobile platforms, thereby supporting the district’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiative.
“The Peel Board has shown unwavering commitment to using technology to improve the quality of education, and we’re thrilled to be part of such a progressive approach to learning,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of education, Microsoft Corp. “We’re particularly proud of the fact we were able to develop a cross-platform IT solution for Peel that ensures all students and staff can benefit from Office 365, regardless of their chosen device.”
The district prides itself on embracing new technology and enhancing the learning experience through the latest innovations. As such, the Peel board serves as an example for other school districts to select and deploy cloud-based productivity tools, ensuring students and teachers have access to the latest and best versions of Office to best prepare them for success in school and beyond.
Office 365 includes Exchange, SharePoint and Lync, all of which have been instrumental in creating a more productive working environment for the district’s employees, as well as delivering cost-saving benefits.
“We employed very few Microsoft technologies a year and a half ago,” Keating said. “But after exploring other options, we found that Microsoft truly understands the need for cross-platform support. In order to effectively support the more than 15,000 staff and 65,000 devices, the Peel board has deployed and utilized a number of Microsoft products, including Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 that facilitate the management of devices.”
The district serves approximately 153,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12 at 242 schools in Peel Region, which includes Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, Ontario. It employs more than 15,000 staff and is the largest employer in Peel.
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