4-page Case Study
Posted: 12/27/2012
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IIM Bangalore Alumni Association IIM Bangalore Alumni Association Opts for Reliable and Scalable Cloud-based Email to Connect 7,000 Alumni

The IIMB Alumni Association (IIMBAA) was founded in 2008 by Rakesh Godhwani, an alumnus from Post Graduate Program in Software Enterprise Management (PGSEM), batch of 2004, along with the Director and Deans as ex-officio members. For smooth governance of the association, it decided to deploy robust, scalable communication solution. IIMBAA deployed Microsoft Live@Edu with the help of Gaboli, a cloud services specialist. This was later upgraded to Microsoft Office 365 for Education. This enables the alumni to interact and network effortlessly. The alumni get regular updates and can catch up with their batch mates or local alumni chapters. It also helps the alumni give back to the alma mater by coaching or mentoring students and fund-raising. Social media feeds allow alumni to share opportunities for internships and placements for the students or within the alumni community.

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* Office 365 help bridge the gap between alumni, students and the institute. Its features enable knowledge sharing and allow everyone to stay connected. *

Rakesh Godhwani
PGSEM’04, Head, IIMB Alumni Association

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Situation

Founded in 2008, the IIMB Alumni Association (IIMBAA) is first professionally managed alumni organization of IIM, Bangalore. Rakesh Godhwani, an alumnus, along with 5 members, started the association. It creates a platform for the alumni to connect and build support for its alma mater, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

IIMBAA aims to strengthen ties between the institute and alumni by encouraging them to participate in fund-raising, and social activities. It also manages and operates the alumni website, a bi-annual alumni magazine, periodic newsletters, hosts reunions and alumni events.

After giving shape to the alumni body, Rakesh faced the daunting task of contacting and collating information of the alumni scattered around the world. The first batch at IIM-B passed out in 1976. This meant collecting the email IDs of around 10,000 people across the globe and ensuring the list is up-to-date at all times. Instead, of tracking email IDs, Rakesh decided to follow the global trend of creating a robust and scalable messaging platform that would not only provide email IDs but also facilitate instant messaging, chat, networking and audio, video and web conferencing.




Solution

As Rakesh had spent over a decade in the technology industry, he was familiar with the solutions available in the market. He decided to go with a state-of-the-art messaging and collaboration platform.

While evaluating cloud technologies for messaging, IIMBAA considered Microsoft Office 365 for EDU (erstwhile Live@Edu), a solution extensively used by educational institutes globally. “Some of the best universities are using Office 365 for Education. During evaluation we realized this is because it offers a full feature collaboration platform with communication tools that can be accessed from mobiles, desktops or any other device of choice, functionalities that were amiss in Google solutions,” adds Rakesh. Cost and rapid implementation were other parameters that supported our decision.

Gaboli Online Services, a specialist in offering cloud based web solutions for the education and enterprise markets, helped IIMBAA to deploy the solution. Explains Vineet Java, Gaboli Online Services, "Microsoft’s broad cloud offering made it a favorable choice over other solutions. Accessing the cloud on customers’ own terms made Office 365 for Education stand out against Google Apps."

Since no on-site hardware is required, implementation could start immediately without capital investment. The solution was deployed in August 2011 for 6,000 users initially. It provides a lifelong email identity to all the alumni. Later the solution automatically upgraded to Office 365 with same email IDs as Office 365 replaced Live@Edu.

As all users have a personal and professional email address, so, it becomes cumbersome to access an additional email account to check only IIM-B information and updates. Thus, Gaboli has set up an auto forward to a mailbox of user’s choice that he or she accesses regularly. This ensures that users do not miss any updates and enables them to be actively involved. The association plans to bring year’s events onto a central calendar using Microsoft Exchange Online so that alumni can plan visits and tours around the activities.

In last 4 years, the Office 365 alumni users have steadily grown to over 7,000, with highly encouraging conversion and usage rates. “Currently, there are about 10,000 users in the alumni for who this solution is being rolled out. And this is going to grow as each student who passes out will get an IIMBAA email ID by the institute,” explains Rakesh.

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* Microsoft’s broad cloud offering made it a favorable choice over other solutions. Accessing the cloud on customers’ own terms made Office 365 for Education stand out against Google Apps. *

Vineet Jawa
CEO,
Gaboli Online Services

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Benefits

The IIMB Alumni Association has a reliable, robust, and secure communication and collaboration platform with outstanding support from Microsoft.

Members can communicate through mail, instant messaging, voice chat, group video and social networking site features. Quick and efficient communication, disseminating information, taking regular feedback gives members a sense of ownership, and provides an avenue to contribute to, towards the direction of the association. Explains Rakesh, “Office 365 help bridge the gap between alumni, students and the institute. Its features enable knowledge sharing and allow everyone to stay connected.”

Creates Vibrant Alumni Community

With Office 365 for Education, the alumni are able to catch up with old college mates and share updates. It also creates a central repository for the association to create a climate of engagement and benefaction.

“Smoother interactions and information dissemination to the alumni helps us in the mammoth task of raising funds for the institute,” says Rakesh. “This platform makes it easy for alumni to engage and support the institute with their time and personal resources.” Also, alumni now share personal news, photos, articles, and updates from the institute. “Microsoft Office 365 helps in fostering lifelong connections within the global IIMB community,” continues Rakesh.

Makes Networking Easier

A central address book, and distribution groups creates networking opportunities. Alumni contribute via guest lectures or online classes, share high-resolution videos, or guidance to students from virtually anywhere. And they can reach many more students. “Each passing year, the sense of alumni community becomes stronger, and the new solution contributes to bring the alumni and institute in closer proximity.”

Saves Capital Expenditure

Online services using Office 365 saves IIMBAA from any infrastructure investments on hardware, software and their maintenance. Microsoft takes care of patching, upgrading, and updating with 24x7 customer support on phone, thus removing worries about software upgrades and maintenance.

Promises Scalable, Reliable Cloud Solution

The cloud-based solution scales seamlessly for large numbers of simultaneous users. As such, it maintains performance and uptime as the association grows. Rakesh concludes, “Microsoft Office 365 broadens communication and facilitates more effective interaction. Also it gives an identity to the alumni, which is a great asset when they leave campus.”

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 IIMB Alumni Association, call (080 2699 3463) or visit the websitewww.iimbaa.org or write to us atalumni@iimb.ernet.in

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



Organization Size: 6 employees

Organization Profile

The IIMB Alumni Association (IIMBAA) connects faculty, students and fellow alumni. It also aims to develop synergistic plans to support the institution and enable it to add value to all its stakeholders.


Business Situation

IIMBAA needs communicate and collaborate with alumni across the world. This required the association to broaden its communication capabilities.


Solution

IIMBAA opted for cloud based Microsoft Live@Edu, later upgraded to Office 365 for Education to create a robust, scalable messaging and collaboration platform.


Benefits

  • Creates vibrant alumni community
  • Makes networking easier
  • Saves capital expenditure
  • Promises scalable, reliable solution


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Exchange Online
  • SharePoint Online

Vertical Industries
Higher Education

Country/Region
India

Languages
English

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