Microsoft wins big in SA Education

Summary:Flinders University is rolling out Microsoft Exchange-based mail to its 2000-strong employee roster, while its 16,000 students are moved onto Microsoft's Live@edu. Meanwhile, TAFE SA's 80,000 students and staff will also migrate to the Live@edu service.

Flinders University is rolling out Microsoft Exchange-based mail to its 2000 strong employee roster, while its 16,000 students are moved onto Microsoft's Live@edu. Meanwhile, TAFE SA's 80,000 students and staff will also migrate to the Live@edu service.

Michael O'Brian
(Credit: South Australian Government)

Flinders University infrastructure services manager, Dean Gawler said that the university was currently deploying exchange mail for its staff to replace its older in house system. The university was in the planning stages at the moment, but would be rolling out the new mail boxes over the next six months to over 2000 staff, he said.

The university had also considered an IBM email system, he said, but had decided to go with exchange due to "cost at the end of the day", according to Gawler. He could not provide a dollar value for the implementation as the company was still in the planning stage.

Flinders will also use Microsoft for its student mail, migrating to the free Live@edu service. Gawler said that the university had given main rival Google's Gmail consideration, but that Live@edu's integration with other applications on campus and its flexibility had won the day. The students will have their mailboxes provisioned by mid next year.

Staff would hopefully be the first cab off the rank for the implementation, Gawler said, although it could turn out that students received their new mail first.

TAFE SA will have Live@edu ready for the 80,000 students and staff on all its campuses for the start of classes next year. It had advertised for a hosted email system in June, a tender which Microsoft won, snagging a three-year contract. Dimension Data will implement the mail for the TAFE, for which the South Australian government will pay $250,000.

"Students can chat live to one another or to a lecturer via the instant messaging service; they can collaborate on group assignments by being able to view and edit documents online; they can use the hosted email service, accessible by logging onto the internet," South Australian Employment, Training and Further Education Minister Michael O'Brien said in a statement.

"[Live@edu] also includes student or lecturer's blogs or social media, such as forums and photo sharing," he said.

The three-year contract includes licensing for email and calendar; Microsoft Office web apps, blogs, file and document sharing, photo publishing, video conversation, forums, message boards and shared study areas.

Topics: Microsoft

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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