Dalhousie University bets its collaborative future on Microsoft Office 365
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
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
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