REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the Microsoft U.S. Public Sector CIO Summit, Microsoft Corp. announced cloud computing agreements with 16 new government and education customers. In his keynote address, Curt Kolcun, vice president of U.S. Public Sector at Microsoft, welcomed several of the newest users of Microsoft Online Services, including Portland Public Schools, Oregon; University at Albany -- SUNY; Fashion Institute of Technology -- SUNY; Vanderbilt University; City of Alexandria, Va.; City of Virginia Beach, Va.; and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians tribal government in southern Alabama.
These public sector organizations join a rapidly expanding community of government agencies and schools that have recently implemented Microsoft cloud computing solutions, including the state of California, the state of Minnesota, U.S. Department of Agriculture, California State University campuses at Long Beach, Pomona and San Francisco, the State University of New York (SUNY), New York City Public Schools in partnership with ePals Inc., Kentucky Department of Education, and the University of Georgia. In addition to cost savings and efficiency gains, public sector organizations are choosing Microsoft cloud solutions for their security features, interoperability with existing technology investments and the 24/7 voice support services. Microsoft's newest government customers join more than 190 state and local government organizations in nearly every U.S. state, bringing the total to more than 3 million government employees utilizing some form of Microsoft Online Services. In addition, Microsoft Live@edu is currently one of the most popular communication and collaboration cloud suites for education, serving more than 15 million people in more than 10,000 education institutions worldwide.
"Public sector organizations are looking for enterprise-grade cloud solutions, and that means providing high levels of security, functionality and support," Kolcun said. "We're seeing government and education organizations of every size and dimension using Microsoft cloud solutions to help reduce costs and increase productivity in support of their missions."
Portland Public Schools Leads the Path in Oregon to the Cloud
Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of Oregon with more than 46,000 students across 85 schools, is planning to move to Microsoft Live@edu as its core collaboration and communications suite for students, teachers and staff to drive improved teaching and learning in the classroom. Portland was looking for a new e-mail solution as its current on-premises Novell GroupWise system was coming to end of life, and it wanted to provide new services to students. After a thorough analysis of both Live@edu and Google Apps for Education, Portland chose Live@edu because of Microsoft's training and support structure, security, and interoperability advantages.
"Choosing Live@edu best aligned with the larger technology direction we are taking at Portland where we are working to expand and enrich the tools and services available to our customers," said Nick Jwayad, chief information officer at Portland Public Schools, who joined Kolcun on stage at the Summit. "Live@edu promises to enhance the services we currently provide to teachers, broaden the reach of services to students and reduce our costs by at least a third."
Portland plans to deploy Live@edu to 8,500 faculty and staff in the fall, and to high school students in the 2011–12 school year. Portland Public Schools joins the following school districts in Oregon that are also Live@edu customers: Ashland Public Schools, Columbia Gorge, Coos Bay School District, Phoenix Talent School District, McMinnville School District, Redmond School District, St. Cecilia School and Sisters School District. Microsoft is also working with the Oregon Department of Education on a statewide Microsoft cloud agreement so that other schools can easily signup for the benefits of Live@edu.
New Microsoft Cloud Customers
In addition to Portland Public Schools, the following public sector organizations have recently implemented Microsoft Online Services for cost and efficiency benefits:
- University at Albany -- SUNY. After a pilot test and extensive campuswide evaluation of Live@edu alongside Google Apps, the University at Albany has selected Live@edu for its more than 23,000 of students, faculty and staff. For the first time, people will be able to more easily communicate, schedule meetings and share information with the entire campus using a common platform. The University plans to begin implementation immediately and hopes to have everyone using Live@edu in fall 2011.
- Fashion Institute of Technology -- SUNY. With 12,000 students and classrooms around the world, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a premier design, fashion, business and technology school. FIT decided on Live@edu because its cloud collaboration tools most closely aligned with the tools students already use in the classroom and that they will need to use in the business world. Student projects require group participation and most of the content is very graphic and visual in nature, so collaborating via Office Web Apps and the integration with the Mac will be most useful. FIT plans to rollout Live@edu in April.
- Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt University in Tennessee is now offering Live@edu to its 12,000 students, while faculty and staff will be upgrading to Exchange Server 2010 and begin using Windows Live services for better content creation and collaboration across campus. Through its Microsoft Campus Agreement, Vanderbilt is leveraging the entire Microsoft communications and collaboration stack, on-premises and in the cloud, including Windows Live SkyDrive and Windows Live Mesh 2011 to help reduce file servers, transform collaboration, aid in disaster recovery, and provide convenient access to data and information no matter where they are located. The totality of the Microsoft technology and services capability enables an anywhere, anything, on any device strategy for the Vanderbilt community.
- Winston-Salem, N.C. With manageability, security and rich productivity features factoring as top of mind, Winston-Salem is migrating off 600 seats of Google Apps for the Enterprise and 2,150 seats of Novell GroupWise, moving a total of 2,750 employees onto the Microsoft BPOS cloud platform this spring. The city will benefit from the full value of Office and will save money through worker classification.
- City of Alexandria, Va. The City of Alexandria was the first jurisdiction in Virginia to move to the cloud with Microsoft. Its implementation of Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite will drive significant cost savings by reducing capital investment and providing greater flexibility, allowing employees to access information from more locations, building greater continuity of operations.
- City of Virginia Beach, Va. As a hurricane path city that must prepare for situations of natural disaster, Virginia Beach is taking advantage of the opportunities that cloud computing presents in the area of voice communications to ensure continuity of operations. The city has started a project called "Next Generation Communications Architecture," which incorporates a number of Microsoft technologies including cloud-based unified communications, which will benefit the city's 5,000 voices when it is deployed.
- King County, Wash. King County is lowering maintenance and support costs while improving collaboration capabilities through cloud-based versions of Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office Communicator and Microsoft SharePoint.
- Sound Transit, Washington. In need of an advanced archiving solution, Sound Transit, Washington recently fully deployed a cloud approach to e-mail, moving to Microsoft Hosted Exchange and hosted archiving for more than 1,100 seats.
- City of Andover, Minn. The City of Andover, Minn., is using Microsoft Exchange Online for hosted e-mail.
- Vernon Hills, Ill. The Police Department in the Village of Vernon Hills is using a Criminal Investigation System (MCIS) that was developed in Microsoft Windows Azure. This solution, which was first developed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, provides the investigators with complete control over data ownership and interagency visibility.
- State of Colorado, Department of Labor and Employment. The state of Colorado is leveraging Windows Azure Connect (community technology preview) to use an on-premises SQL Server to power a Web-based unemployment insurance self-service portal. Citizens can easily check the status of their claims and the timing of their benefits in the cloud, while the state anticipates 86 percent cost savings over its current hosting solution.
- State of Idaho, Department of Labor. The State of Idaho's Department of Labor created an application based in Microsoft Windows Azure to help citizens streamline their job search efforts.
- City of Chicago. The City of Chicago wanted an interactive, online map that its residents and visitors could easily use to plan a visit to the annual Taste of Chicago event. The city asked West Monroe Partners to cost-effectively develop a map, which it did in just two weeks by basing the map on the Windows Azure platform and Microsoft Silverlight browser plug-in technology. The map was a success, helping attendees make the most of their time at Taste of Chicago.
- Reedy Creek Improvement District. The Reedy Creek Improvement District in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., is utilizing Microsoft Exchange Online for hosted e-mail, including hosted archiving and seamless integration for Blackberry users.
- Michigan State Senate. The Michigan State Senate has deployed Microsoft Exchange Online for hosted -email and is now adopting Microsoft SharePoint Online for collaboration in the cloud.
- City of Carlsbad, Calif. Faced with stringent budget limitations, the city chose a Microsoft Online Services solution that provides hosted communication and collaboration services. The new solution delivers the security and functionality the city needs for desktop and mobile e-mail, online collaboration tools, and Web conferencing. In these tough economic times, Carlsbad is saving approximately 40 percent annually opting for a hosted solution that provides productivity-enhancing tools for its workforce.
- Poarch Band of Creek Indians tribal government. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians depends on e-mail to run all aspects of tribal government. To avoid an expensive messaging system upgrade, the government migrated to Microsoft Exchange Online, a cloud-based messaging and collaboration service. The tribal government avoided a $30,000 capital expense, eliminated e-mail maintenance work, and gained access to the latest e-mail software, all while improving business continuity and providing better service for remote workers.
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SOURCE Microsoft Corp.