July this year brought about the first anniversary of Microsoft's revolutionary Office 365 product - software designed to work within a cloud environment – and the company celebrated with a high level of success across the educational sector.
Online PR News – 19-October-2012 – Manchester – July this year brought about the first anniversary of Microsoft's revolutionary Office 365 product - software designed to work within a cloud environment – and the company celebrated with a high level of success across the educational sector.
Over the last year the education sector has taken well to Office 365 products, mainly due to the effective costs (Office 365 is either free or heavily discounted for educational institutions) and the ease of working within the cloud (It prevents businesses from having to renew Office licenses each year).
Richard Charlesworth, CIO of Tennessee Department of Education believes another key selling point for Office 365 is the subsidies that educational bodies receive for their internet connectivity.
"Our WAN circuits are the least expensive component of our network – they are cheaper than our LAN," he said.
"That's the complete reverse of what you see in an enterprise. It means that a cloud service like Office 365 is uniquely aligned to K-12 because it gets traffic to our LANs."
More than 1600 schools in Tennessee will have access to the service which Charlesworth selected over Google Docs as the platform for education in the area.
"…for us Microsoft was much more attractive in the long term," he said.
"What we see in Office 365 is a surfacing platform, a communication platform into which we can surface functionality. We want to build Web services for our schools and package them in SharePoint."
In particular, the recent acquisition of social networking company Yammer is something that Charlesworth believes could be invaluable to students.
"Microsoft's push into social networking was pretty stunted. My hope is that the Yammer acquisition is a drive to beef up social networking functionality considerably in SharePoint as it could be a very powerful element for students," he said.
Offering low costs and a range of benefits and features to education institutions, Office 365 continues to grow and develop across this industry as a real market leader.