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					                                             Microsoft Live@edu
                                             Customer Solution Case Study




                                             Scottish University Revolutionises Service,
                                             Saves £60,000 with Collaboration Solution


                                             “The new student mail service is easy to use, and I
Customer: University of Aberdeen
Web Site: www.abdn.ac.uk
                                             can customise it much more than the last mail
Number of Employees: 3,000                   system.”
Country or Region: Scotland
Industry: Education                          David Morton, law student, University of Aberdeen
Partner: Oxford Computer Group
                                             The University of Aberdeen wanted to replace an outdated e-mail
Customer Profile
The University of Aberdeen in Scotland has
                                             system to better facilitate and reflect the way students work and
a history of producing quality education     interact online. Microsoft® Live@edu provided the functionality and
and research. Founded in 1495, the
university’s academic community currently
                                             administrative features vital in an education setting while
includes 14,500 students and 3,000 staff.    preserving the university’s reputation as a technologically
Software and Services
                                             advanced education and research institution. In addition, student
 Services                                   use of the university system increased by more than 100 per cent.
  − Microsoft Live@edu
 Microsoft Office
  − Microsoft Office Outlook Live
                                             Business Needs                                      Overall use of this e-mail system reflected its
                                             Founded in 1495, the University of                  limitations. By 2008, less than 35 per cent
                                             Aberdeen, in Scotland, has a long history of        of the 14,500 students on campus used
                                             excellence in science and technology. In fact,      their university e-mail. Brian Henderson,
                                             four Nobel prizes have been awarded for             Head of Service Delivery at the University of
                                             work carried out there.                             Aberdeen, says: “We couldn’t be confident
                                                                                                 that we could quickly and effectively make
                                             The university has provided e-mail services         contact with students.” Considering that
                                             to students for at least 20 years. But the          university policy required a formal route of
                                             application used for the past 10 years was at       communication to notify students of
                                             the end of its life cycle. Student e-mail           emergencies, policy decisions, and general
                                             addresses were awkward and difficult to             information, administrators needed to find a
                                             remember. Mailboxes for the Web-based e-            new solution. “In keeping with the
                                             mail were too small to hold many messages           university’s reputation as a technologically
                                             and students could not send or receive large        advanced education and research
For more information about other Microsoft   attachments. The address book was limited           institution, we needed to improve the service
customer successes, please visit:
                                             and the application did not include                 we provided to the students, in keeping with
www.microsoft.com/casestudies
                                             calendaring or any collaborative features.          expectations partly developed outside the
                                                                                                 university,” says Henderson.
According to Henderson, students’ online                                colleagues implemented the system within             Anytime, anywhere access. Students can
experiences are often shaped by external                                eight weeks. All existing student e-mail              use their e-mail from the university’s
interactive applications such as Facebook and                           accounts were moved over to the new                   internal Web site at more than 1,000
Twitter, as are their expectations of IT                                system by August 2008. Whyment says: “It              computers on campus, or from any
services. “To fulfil student expectations, we                           was important to have Live@edu in place in            machine with an Internet connection.
needed to provide those types of collaborative                          time for this academic year starting in 2008.        E-mail use increased by more than 100
services as well as excellent core messaging                            If we couldn’t do that we would have had to           per cent. Increased student usage of e-
functionality,” he says.                                                wait for another 12 to 14 months.”                    mail opens new channels of
                                                                                                                              communication. “We can now be far more
Solution                                                                Now students can access their e-mail from             confident that the university can
Administrators identified several possible                              any computer with an Internet connection.             communicate with the students,” says
options to replace their outdated e-mail                                Live@edu integrates with the university’s             Whyment.
system. However, Microsoft Live@edu,                                    Active Directory® service, the software              Good fit with student lifestyle.
including the Microsoft Office Outlook® Live e-                         system that stores, organises, and provides           Collaboration and communication features
mail solution, was the best fit for the                                 access to information needed to administer            are relevant to the way students use IT in
university’s needs. It offers features above                            e-mail addresses. Administrators set up               a social and academic context. “Students
and beyond e-mail that incorporate the tools                            user-friendly e-mail addresses allowing               love the new system. Even when they see
students already use in their digital lives, such                       students to choose their own address from a           members of staff off campus—for
as instant messaging, collaboration, and                                pre-populated list based on their first and           example, in the supermarket—students
online storage. It was also important to                                last names, and year of entry. Once students          have approached them to say how good
provide an advertisement-free environment.                              have an e-mail address, they can keep it for          the new student mail offering is,” says
“Microsoft provided exactly what we needed,”                            life. Discussions are already underway with           Whyment.
says Henderson.                                                         the university alumni section to provide this        More features for less money.
                                                                        service for past graduates.                           Implementing Live@edu provides all
Microsoft was one of the early signatories to                                                                                 students with a robust and easy to use e-
the EU Safe Harbour agreement, a data                                   Benefits                                              mail platform that has saved the university
protection agreement between the United                                 The provision of an excellent service that            £60,000 so far. Implementation costs are
States and the European Union that allows                               better reflects the way students interact             significantly reduced so resources can be
the uninterrupted flow of personal                                      online has already increased student use of           directed towards services that add more
information. As a further commitment to                                 e-mail by more than 100 per cent. It has              value.
protecting customers’ data, Microsoft has                               opened up communication between staff                Safety and security protected. Microsoft’s
implemented a regional data centre strategy,                            and students and raised the profile of the            regional data centre strategy for Office
which means that for all European                                       university as a technologically savvy                 Outlook Live means that European
implementations data will remain inside                                 education and research institution that looks         customers’ data remains in Europe
European legislative boundaries—currently in                            to the future while providing a safe and              supporting EU safe harbour legislation.
Dublin. Mike Whyment, Project Manager at                                secure environment. David Morton, a law              Creating a community for alumni. E-mail
University of Aberdeen, says: “This strategy is                         student at the University of Aberdeen, says:          addresses that stay with students after
critical to Aberdeen and how we made the                                “The new student mail service is easy to use,         graduation maintain their identity with
decision—it ensures that there is no                                    and I can customise it much more than the             their university. Henderson says:
government access to e-mail without legal                               last mail system. We also get a much bigger           “Maintaining links with alumni is a good
authority.”                                                             mailbox, a calendar so I won’t miss lectures,         way for the university to potentially partner
                                                                        and an e-mail address that is not just a              with industry for communication, research,
Working with the Microsoft Exchange team                                collection of letters and numbers.”                   and even fundraising activities.”
and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Oxford
Computer Group, Henderson and his




This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

Document published March 2009

				
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Description: The University of Aberdeen wanted to replace an outdated e-mail system to better facilitate and reflect the way students work and interact online. Microsoft® Live@edu provided the functionality and administrative features vital in an education setting while preserving the university’s reputation as a technologically advanced education and research institution. In addition, student use of the university system increased by more than 100 per cent.