NEW DELHI and REDMOND, Wash., April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. and All India Council for Technical Education ( AICTE) announced today that AICTE is deploying Microsoft Live@edu over the next three months to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India. The cloud deployment will expand students' access to high-quality technical education and collaboration.
Live@edu is a hosted communication and collaboration service that offers email, Microsoft Office Web Apps, instant messaging and storage to AICTE's more than 7 million students and nearly 500,000 faculty members, for a total reach of 7.5 million users — roughly double the size of the Los Angeles population — making AICTE Microsoft's largest cloud customer ever. Live@edu is the first step in AICTE's deployment of Microsoft cloud computing for education. AICTE also plans to deploy Microsoft Office 365 for education when it becomes available later this year, providing access to Microsoft Exchange Online email and calendar, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and Microsoft Office Professional as the technical infrastructure to support member colleges and institutes.
"Microsoft's cloud platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country's technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students," said Dr. S. S. Mantha, chairman of AICTE.Part of India's Ministry of Human Resource Development, AICTE is the governing body for technical education in India, certifying and managing technical colleges and institutes in a country where the technology industry and higher education are both becoming increasingly vital to the economy. To carry out its charge of evaluating the curriculum and quality of education for all technical institutes across the country, AICTE needed to have consistent and timely communication with these colleges, some of which are located in the remotest districts of India. AICTE and the ministry wanted to deploy a technology system that would provide an efficient platform for students and the institutional framework and would foster efficiency and support broader educational reforms. AICTE reviewed solutions from a range of vendors, including Microsoft, IBM and Google. One of the major factors in the decision to choose Microsoft's cloud services for education was Microsoft's comprehensive commitment to education across all the company's products and programmes, as well as the system's seamless interoperation with the entire Microsoft product portfolio. The council was also impressed by Microsoft's extensive experience in higher education and ability to deploy a system across geographically distributed locations without adding significantly to the institutions' IT management costs or complexity.
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