Big Live@edu announcement at the 2009 Educause event!
November 3, 2009 8 Comments
So this week I will be at Educause 2009 in Denver, Colorado, spending time with the Higher Education technology community and spreading the word about what Microsoft is doing with Software Plus Services for connected learning communities… if any of my readers are at the event, please come by our stand for a chat as we have some great info to share.
Our Worldwide VP for education, Anthony Salcito, and fellow blogger, has posted on the BIG announcements we are making. I wanted to add some of my own perspective on the Live@edu related stories here as someone that has spent a lot of my career working with the education sector.
“In the past four months more than 5,000 schools have enrolled with Live@edu, joining the thousands of other institutions in more than 100 countries already providing Live@edu to tens of millions of students worldwide.”
Wow… those are some big numbers, yet we are still really only scratching the surface. I have seen some massive pushes for new technologies in my time with education… widespread adoption of the internet in the 1990’s, then wireless networking on campuses, then an explosion in personal laptops, then the adoption of social networking… and now the drive towards moving key enterprise workloads into the cloud. I often tell customers that I have never before witnessed such a voracious appetite for a set of offerings.
To me, the tipping point here appears to have come about through a combination of the desire in education institutions to save money given our economic situation (you have less…) combined with an increased focus on the student: preparing them for a highly competitive workforce by offering the most compelling tools (…now do more). I guess that our success with Live@edu lies in the fact that we are an IT company that has been offering enterprise email solutions for around 13 years now and hosting email as a consumer service for almost as long. This pedigree is something we take great pride in… and with that the innovation continues…
New collaboration opportunities:
This is the BIG one!
“We are also announcing new SharePoint Online-based collaboration and productivity services will be added to the Live@edu suite next year”
The key to anyone’s success these days is an ability to work well in teams. Collaborative working has been part of the classroom/study group/etc for as long as anyone has known. An exceptionally popular product that we have offered to make online team working a reality for almost a decade now is SharePoint. In conjunction with the Live@edu program, we will be bringing a solution to market for students, based on SharePoint Online, for free. So what does that mean? Well, lets look at some possibilities:
- Work with a class group on a research assignment – documents, background research, project plans can all be stored online and worked on from anywhere.
- Office Web Apps support means that a user can access Office files on almost any machine to simply view the content, or to make essential modifications.
- Microsoft Office integration ensures they get a rich, integrated experience with SharePoint Online and the Office Web Apps, if required… and of course offline access to files.
From an IT Admin’s perspective we will be providing the controls you expect to manage this online environment and keep your users safe and secure.
I hope you agree that this is an exciting roadmap development for Live@edu? Continued innovation in our online services for the benefit of the world’s students and educational institutions is an exciting thing… I love the reaction I get from customers when I explore the possibilities, and I certainly hope you get the same buzz from working with us to deliver them.
More to come!