Florida Virtual School rolls out Exchange Online, and saves $2m

imageFlorida Virtual School (FLVS) is a leader in providing virtual Kindergarten–12 solutions to students throughout Florida, the United States, and the world. FLVS depends on email messaging more than most schools to connect students and teachers because of its virtual environment. However, the school’s aging IBM Lotus Notes messaging system provided limited email access options, and the IT staff worried about rising costs. To solve these problems, FLVS switched to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite to gain cloud–based email, collaboration, instant messaging, and web conferencing. FLVS will save U.S.$2 million over five years and be able to keep pace with rapid growth at reduced prices. The number of messaging–related support calls has dropped 40 percent, freeing the IT staff to focus on better supporting employees, who can now access email from smartphones and other devices.

We just released a full case study, obtain it for your reading pleasure here.

Jonny

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Welcoming Fraser Public Schools to Live@edu!

Fraser Public Schools in Michigan is fostering learning outside the classroom with a new suite of online messaging and collaboration services from Microsoft. The district chose Microsoft Live@edu instead of Google Apps for Education to give students experience with the tools they’ll encounter at work and college. Teachers are using Live@edu to build innovation into the curriculum, offering students a new paradigm of collaborative online learning.

Read more about it here.

Jonny

Using transport rules to create an “Ethical Firewall”

Hello again, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!  Just before the holiday break I had a few customers ask me about transport rules so I decided to put together a little demo.  This video will show you how to use the transport rules in Live@EDU to build an “Ethical Firewall”.  The firewall allows you to block mail flow between groups of users such as elementary students and high school students. This is just one of the many uses for transport rules.  I hope you find it useful!

-Chris

 

Welcome Vanderbilt to Live@edu!

Check it out!

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/myvu/news/2011/01/14/new-deal-offers-free-software-to-vanderbilt-community.129843

Go Commodores!

How to update multiple SMTP addresses using PowerShell

 Hello out there in Live@EDU land!!  Recently I have had several requests for more information on updating multiple SMTP addresses via PowerShell.  In response I have put together a short video that outlines the guidance given on help.outlook.com and shows you how to put that to use in the real world.  The video will cover how to connect to a .csv file to pull the new SMTP addresses then connect to Live@EDU and update the user accounts.  I hope you find this information useful!

-Chris

Entire state community college system in Rhode Island rolls out Live@edu!

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Smile  How’s that for a headline!  Commonwealth College of Rhode Island is *the* community college system in the state, and it each year it enrolls over 18,000 students across a range of courses.  There are also 1200 faculty and staff … and then when you add in alumni, the number rises to about 50,000 unique user accounts… it soon adds up.

We have just released a case study on this deployment, which I recommend you take a look at.  Go Knights!

There are some nice quotes from the case study we have just released:

“50 percent increase in active email users, while its IT costs have declined by U.S.$285,000”

“With Live@edu, we’ve gone from spending time and money on an email system that students didn’t use much, to saving money on a system that’s more useful.”

“We considered Google Apps,” says Stephen Vieira, Chief Information Officer at the Community College of Rhode Island. “But we wanted to educate students on the Microsoft software that they’ll encounter in the workforce, so it made no sense to provide that training, then send students off to use Google Apps as a campus mail system. Google didn’t offer much interoperability with the systems we already had. Also, we had concerns about security and about the added expense of features we needed, such as storage.”

“Creating student accounts doesn’t require much effort or thought now,” says Vieira. “It’s “automated. Students get all of their accounts, including email, within five minutes of being accepted at the college—instead of the next day.”

Enjoy!  And don’t forget you can follow CCRI’s lead, and enroll your institution on Live@edu for free here.

Jonny

Southern Connecticut State University makes a fine decision–deploys Live@edu of course!

ServeLogoResourceSouthern Connecticut State University had an aging student email system that offered very limited functionality. The university selected Microsoft Live@edu to give students powerful communication and collaboration tools—with benefits that include richer functionality, increased convenience and collaboration, and mobile support. Its move to Live@edu also helped the university reduce annual costs by U.S.$80,000 and help-desk calls by 50 percent.

Go Owls!

Jonny