Leverages power of the cloud to drive efficiencies, focus on core
competencies and hold the line on costs
MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Dalhousie University, one of
Canada's top research-intensive institutions, is leading the way again
as it initiates an aggressive project to adopt Microsoft Office 365 for
its entire community of students, faculty and staff. With 20,000
students, over 1,000 professors and another 5,000 staff, the
university's shift to Office 365 for its communication, productivity
and collaboration needs ranks as one of the more significant cloud
deployments in the Canadian education space to-date, and promises to
revolutionize Dalhousie's ability to deliver world class education to
an ever more diverse and demanding audience.
"This is the best possible news for the university because it'll allow
us to focus more on the core benefits and roles of the university
rather than having to focus on the day-to day services that our
stakeholders demand," says Dwight Fischer, Assistant Vice President and
CIO. "Office 365 frees our Information and Technology Services division
to deliver collaboration tools at a level far beyond what we'd
otherwise be able to do internally."
Fischer says Office 365 lets the university meet intensifying demand for
more integrated services over a rapidly proliferating range of online
and mobile platforms. Fast-growing remote-campuses are further driving
distance education needs. Against that backdrop, Office 365 fills in a
number of gaps in ways no other solution can match. Fischer says only
Office 365 gets Dalhousie this amount of functionality, within a
reasonable timeframe, while reining in costs.
"We lack true collaborative tools in our existing environment. While we
do have a learning management system in place, we don't have
across-the-board unified communication tools, video, voice, instant
message or availability awareness," says Fischer. "We need better
document collaboration and common calendaring between all areas of the
university. Lync, SharePoint and Outlook, in particular, address these
needs in a scalable, secure and manageable way. We also need a fully
integrated experience that encompasses the full suite of collaborative
tools that students are using today. Office 365 meets our multiple
Office 365 for Education - which includes secure tools such as email and
calendaring, instant messaging and web conferencing, online file
storage and sharing, Office Web Apps and connectivity from virtually
any device or platform - changes the game on a number of levels, all
without compromising ITS's ability to meet current messaging,
productivity and collaborative needs.
"Office 365 is indeed best-of-breed technology, but it's only the
start," says Shann McGrail, Microsoft Canada's National Director,
Education Customer Segment. "Partnership is what allows
multidisciplinary institutions like Dalhousie to truly realize the
transformational value of their investment, and industry-leading
partnership is what Microsoft brings to the table. No one is as
committed to serving the needs of the education space as we are."
Dalhousie is initiating a multi-phased implementation plan that will
ultimately save it upwards of $1.8 million over the next three to five
years in reduced data center, operations and capital acquisition costs.
ABOUT DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1818 in Halifax, NS, Dalhousie is a premier research-driven
institution, offering 4,000 classes in over 180 degree programs, and
conducting $140 million in funded research annually.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses
realize their full potential.
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SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Inc.
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