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TheStreet Open House

Dalhousie University Bets Its Collaborative Future On Microsoft Office 365

Leverages power of the cloud to drive efficiencies, focus on core competencies and hold the line on costs

MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Dalhousie University, one of Canada's top research-intensive institutions, is leading the way again as it initiates an aggressive project to adopt Microsoft Office 365 for its entire community of students, faculty and staff. With 20,000 students, over 1,000 professors and another 5,000 staff, the university's shift to Office 365 for its communication, productivity and collaboration needs ranks as one of the more significant cloud deployments in the Canadian education space to-date, and promises to revolutionize Dalhousie's ability to deliver world class education to an ever more diverse and demanding audience.

"This is the best possible news for the university because it'll allow us to focus more on the core benefits and roles of the university rather than having to focus on the day-to day services that our stakeholders demand," says Dwight Fischer, Assistant Vice President and CIO. "Office 365 frees our Information and Technology Services division to deliver collaboration tools at a level far beyond what we'd otherwise be able to do internally."

Fischer says Office 365 lets the university meet intensifying demand for more integrated services over a rapidly proliferating range of online and mobile platforms. Fast-growing remote-campuses are further driving distance education needs. Against that backdrop, Office 365 fills in a number of gaps in ways no other solution can match. Fischer says only Office 365 gets Dalhousie this amount of functionality, within a reasonable timeframe, while reining in costs.

"We lack true collaborative tools in our existing environment. While we do have a learning management system in place, we don't have across-the-board unified communication tools, video, voice, instant message or availability awareness," says Fischer. "We need better document collaboration and common calendaring between all areas of the university. Lync, SharePoint and Outlook, in particular, address these needs in a scalable, secure and manageable way. We also need a fully integrated experience that encompasses the full suite of collaborative tools that students are using today. Office 365 meets our multiple needs."

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