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University at Albany Adopts Microsoft Web Apps

University at Albany, part of the State University of New York, is adding Microsoft's Live@edu services to its IT portfolio. The announcement came during a recent gathering of public sector CIOs at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond.

Live@edu includes e-mail; a shared calendar and contacts; instant messaging services; mobile access to mail; personal storage space online; and Web access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote features.

This university has recently begun its migration to Live@edu, and plans call for implementation to be done by fall 2011. The set of Web-based applications will be available to a user base of 23,000, including all students, faculty and staff.

"Our planning documents and budget committees have continuously recommended re-examining services in order to eliminate duplication and streamline processes, said President George Philip in a announcement to the campus community. "Live@edu will provide numerous new features, including more online space, while reducing institutional costs and complexity. This project is exemplary in its effective use of resources in support of our core mission."

Philip's letter came after a lengthy evaluation that also considered Google Apps for Education, in-house service options, and other products. That evaluation included at least 25 meetings with users across the university as well as a pilot project with 125 participants that ran both Live@edu and Google Apps.

The project includes an upgrade to Exchange 2010 and Office 2010. By April, according the the university, the IT organization will begin provisioning new accounts in Live@edu.

At the same CIO event, Microsoft said that the Fashion Institute of Technology, also part of the SUNY network, and Tennessee's Vanderbilt University are implementing Live@edu as well.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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