Saturday, November 1, 2008

Microsoft's Live@edu

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBaseI have the privilege of serving on our state's Active Directory / Exchange Advisory committee. This committee is made up of CIOs, state level networking team members and state level customer service managers. The charge of the committee is to evaluate and recommend a new solution for Kentucky's K-12 Exchange enviroment. (Along with where AD falls into the conversation.)

While I cannot get into details of our discussions and share information from our meetings - I can mention (because it is not a big secret) that we are currently evaluating Microsoft's Live@edu solution. I must admit that I was the first person who was skeptical of a hosted email solution. What we would do if our Internet pipe was lost? How would we retreive backups? What sort of redundant solution was in place? Those were all questions going through my head when I first learned this was a possible solution.

However, in the past week I have not only viewed a demonstration of the Live@edu solution and all its tools, applications and capabilities, but also been able to test it out myself. Here is my two cents on the solution:

  • Hosted email is not something our state should fear. Each user will be presented with a 10GB mailbox (possibly a bit overkill). Hardware issues in our district will no longer be an issue. Redundacny, 24x7 service and access to backups (better than our current solution) are all upgrades from our current enviornment.
  • Each user will be presented with a 5GB "Skydrive". This skydrive will allow users to post documents, images, etc. to a web folder and be able to access from anywhere in the world.
  • Users will have access to a collaborative workspace where they can blog, communicate and share ideas with other users from across the state - and beyond.
While I am still in the evaluation phase of this application - I have yet to find anything that makes me turn the other way. I believe this solution, if chosen by our committee, will provide the necessary tools for our faculty, staff and students to communication, share and live in a 21st century, digital society.

Click here to read more about Microsoft's Live@edu solution.

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