Microsoft, Sydney Uni ink email deal

Software giant scores a win with 46,000 seat roll-out

Microsoft and the University of Sydney have inked a deal that will see the institution’s 46,000 students use the Redmond giant’s Live@edu email solution.

The roll-out began last week, and so far 33,000 students have moved across to the new system. The Live@edu email system, which is a web-based email system similar to HotMail or Google’s rival GMail service, replaces a 15-year-old University-developed system.

“Our expression is that [the capacity] of the old system was laughably small,” said Mark Pigot, director of service management at the University of Sydney.

The new system provides mailboxes with a ten gigabyte capacity, and the ability to handle 20 megabyte attachments. There is also contact management and calendaring functionality.

Pigot said that there is no upper limit to the number of mailboxes that the system can handle. “Once you’re a student here you have a university email box for life,” he said.

The service desk has logged around 1000 support calls, he said. “The vast majority of them are simply procedural – the student needs a walk-through of the system,” he said.

Rival cloud email systems have been installed at various university and state educational facilities around the country. “Macquarie University, the University of Adelaide, and 1.5 million accounts at the NSW Department of Education use GMail,” said a Google spokeswoman.

“What makes this interesting,” said Pigot, “is that this is a real world example of cloud computing.” The value of the deal between the University and Microsoft was not disclosed.

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Tags MicrosoftGoogle Apps

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