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York U Business School Adopts Cloud-Based Collaboration Suite

Toronto, Ontario-based York University's Schulich School of Business is bringing in a new cloud-based collaboration tool in an effort to expose students to new trends in business communication and to lower IT expenses and improve efficiencies in the process.

The school has adopted the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business portfolio for student use.

Among the uses of the technology, during the fall 400 students involved in a semester-long project used IBM's social networking services to develop a comprehensive business plan.

Features available with the portfolio for student use included:

  • Online meetings;
  • File sharing;
  • Assigning tasks and deadlines;
  • Creation of online communities;
  • Secure, structured communication; and
  • Project management.

"The students were already familiar with consumer social networking sites, but this project exposed them to how people communicate and collaborate in a real-world business setting," said Jean Adams, a professor at the Schulich School of Business. "Exposure to IBM social networking and cloud computing better prepares my students for employment in leading edge, technologically advanced work places when they graduate in four years' time."

In addition to showing students how businesses are increasingly used cloud-based technology to communicate, the initiative is also paying off in helping students themselves communicate from their off-campus residences. Previously, according to the school, the distances sometimes limited student interaction. Today, distance is becoming less important.

More information about IBM's cloud offerings can be found at

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