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Tuesday, 17 March 2009 19:48

University adopts web-based email solution for students

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Students at Queensland’s University of Technology (QUT) now have a new service for communication and collaboration amongst themselves with the university’s announcement that it’s adopting Microsoft’s Live@Edu web-based email solution.

QUT’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for the Technology, Information and Learning Support, Professor Tom Cochrane, says the university began evaluating the costs and benefits of providing a hosted web-based email solution for students when existing email infrastructure reached its limit of functionality and storage capacity.

Professor Cochrane said the University carefully considered various options and the Microsoft solution was the culmination of discussions involving students, university administration and representatives of Microsoft and included an opt-in trial involving students from the Faculty of Information Technology.

“The service offers our students the advantage of a greatly increased mailbox capacity and attachment file size, a useful calendar, plus a number of improvements in related services, while retaining their identity as QUT students in their email addresses.
 
“As well as enhanced services to students, the university will benefit by having automated service upgrades, and better scalability and availability by deploying this software as a service offering from Microsoft.”  

Professor Cochrane said the suite of innovative online applications and services included Microsoft Outlook Live, Microsoft Office Live Workspace and SkyDrive storage, and during the current semester the university’s 40,000 students would have access to the suite of applications and services.
 
One QUT student, Joyi Lu said the email system was extremely easy to use and had a familiar interface. “
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“More importantly,” she said, “the Microsoft hosted email solution prepares students for the workplace when they graduate from uni, where many companies are using similar products. So I guess QUT is once again fulfilling its motto of being a ‘university for the real world’.’’

Professor Cochrane said the new service would host student email accounts and provide a significant number of benefits and opportunities including increased mailbox capacity (10GB) and 20MB attachments as well as calendaring and contact management.  Other features available included Windows Live Messenger instant messaging and file sharing; Windows Live Spaces for personal web publishing, blogging and photo sharing; and FolderShare, a private peer-to-peer network that allowed users to synchronise files between multiple devices and share files with other student users.
 
According to Professor Cochrane, Live@edu made it possible to create long lasting communities, with e-mail addresses students can keep after they graduate, and a rich set of communication services universities could use to help maintain an ongoing relationship with graduates.

Microsoft Australia’s education director, Neil Jackson claimed that momentum continued to grow as universities across the country discovered the numerous benefits of deploying the Microsoft email service.  
“This service represents Microsoft’s vision for providing schools with an economical way to meet the cutting-edge technology demands of students without compromising budgets,” he added.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Microsoft’s Live@edu you can find it at http://get.liveatedu.com .

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