Microsoft Office 365 for Education Customer Solution Case Study Office 365 Transforms College’s Email System, Provides Competitive EdgeOverview “With a name like Microsoft and the success we haveCountry or Region:United KingdomIndustry:Education had with Live@edu, we knew we could trust Office 365.”Customer ProfileKilmarnock College offers career training Brad Johnstone, ICT Service Leader, Kilmarnock Collegeand vocational certification toapproximately 5,500 students in EastAyrshire, a council area of Scotland in the In 2009, Kilmarnock College subscribed to the Live@edu cloudUnited Kingdom. service for its student email and collaboration services, aBusiness Situation solution that has proven to be a resounding success. LearningThe on-premises email solution used bythe college’s staff was frustrating for that Live@edu is being upgraded to Microsoft® Office 365, theusers due to mailbox limitations, and college recognized the opportunity to replace the aging anddifficult for the five-person ICT staff tomanage. restrictive on-premises email infrastructure used by both curriculum and service areas. As a result of the migration, theSolutionKilmarnock College opted to move staff college has reduced hardware costs, greatly reduced supportemail to Office 365. With students calls and the need to conduct nightly backups, and freed its ICTalready using Live@edu, this move is partof a longer strategic initiative to migrate (information and communication technology) staff to startall operations to the cloud. thinking about how it can use Office 365 for more strategicBenefits initiatives. As part of a phased approach, students and staff alike Reduced server costs will ultimately be using the same online service—and Kilmarnock Eliminated manual backups Dramatically reduced help desk calls College email provision will be operating completely in the Gave users greater flexibility cloud. Set the stage for a new content management system if required
Situation account, and we don’t have to manage Located in East Ayrshire, a local authority anything.” area of Scotland in the United Kingdom, Kilmarnock College serves approximately However, Kilmarnock College’s 300- 5,500 full and part-time students annually. member staff email was still being hosted Founded more than 50 years ago, the and run on-premises using Microsoft college’s mission is to play a lead role in Exchange Server 2003. Over time, the ICT the development of skills, the economy and team noticed a big divergence in service. community life. To that end, it offers a wide Students using Live@edu had a seamless,“We had backups range of career-oriented programs, trouble-free experience that requiredeverywhere, and some including the arts, social sciences, beauty, absolutely no maintenance. As Johnstone business, hospitality, tourism, computing, notes, the ICT team hasn’t had to touch theusers were saving ICT, administration, early education and system since it first went live. Meanwhile, childcare, engineering, health and social the on-premises solution was posing somemultiple copies of emails care, motor vehicle, science, and sports. In challenges.just to make sure they addition to offering certification through full, part-time, and evening classes, A small 50 MB mailbox limit had usersdidn’t lose anything. Kilmarnock also partners with several saving files across PCs and the network, universities should its students wish to making saving and finding data aSupporting the user was move to a full degree program. challenge. Performance was suffering, anddifficult for ICT as staff the ICT team was receiving at least four or For any college in the United Kingdom, five helpdesk calls a day. The possibility ofcouldn’t always technology is a key differentiator. the system going down was a very real Employers have the expectation that concern, requiring time-consumingremember where they students will graduate with an backups every night. In addition to thestored their emails. Now, understanding and proficiency in the most frustration and loss of productivity popular industry tools, including email, experienced by users, the small ICT team ofstaff don’t have to save collaboration tools, and Microsoft Office five members was spending far too much applications. Providing students with these time reacting to issues—and not enoughin multiple places as it’s fundamental skills is essential to preparing time on more strategic initiatives thatall backed up for us and students for the workplace. Savvy students would give Kilmarnock College a understand this and a college’s enrollment competitive advantage.replicated to ensure and satisfaction depends on providing the best technology value possible. Kilmarnock College considered upgradingredundancy.” to a newer version of Exchange Server, but In 2009, Kilmarnock College subscribed to backing up the system was still an issue. In the Microsoft Live@edu cloud service as a addition, the ICT department simply didn’t Brad Johnstone, ICT Service Leader, Kilmarnock College way to host and manage its students email have the resources to deploy and maintain system. This solution has proven to be a another on-premises solution. Therefore, resounding success. “Live@edu has been a when Johnstone discovered that Live@edu fantastic solution for us,” says Brad was being migrated to Office 365, he saw a Johnstone, the ICT Service Leader for real opportunity for transforming the entire Kilmarnock College. “Previously, not every messaging and collaboration system to one student got an email address and entirely hosted in the cloud. “With a name managing the system was a challenge. like Microsoft and the success we have had Now, every student automatically gets an with Live@edu, we knew we could trust Office 365,” he says.
Solution Benefits When Kilmarnock College first signed up Although Kilmarnock College is still in the for Live@edu, it worked with Microsoft process of moving entirely to the cloud, it is Partner Oxford Computer Group for its already reaping the benefits of the new deployment and customization. Today, system. From saving money to getting a every student is automatically assigned a less frustrating email solution for staff, the Live@edu account when they enroll. They results are already clear. Even though email use Office Web Apps for document was the primary driver of moving to the creation and editing, and Microsoft cloud, Johnstone also recognizes the SkyDrive® for cloud storage. In addition, myriad opportunities that Office 365 offers, the college is using the cloud service for such as using Microsoft SharePoint® newsletters, outreach from the ICT Online for content storage and department, marketing drives, and more. management and Microsoft Lync® for a “We have had to do absolutely nothing to new telephony environment, and a great“I am really excited the Live@edu system since we first started way to develop and promote distanceabout SharePoint Online. using it, which made us confident that Office 365 would work.” learning.The product is so good, Once again, Kilmarnock College reached Reduced Server Costsit grows legs and takes out to Oxford Computer Group to help Although the college had consideredoff. Once you start using transition its staff to Office 365. Using a phased approach, the consulting firm first upgrading its Exchange Server, the ICT team knew that it simply didn’t have theit, it can manage itself.” transitioned the service staff, and then the resources to deploy and maintain the new curriculum staff by integrating the college’s system—approximately £15,000 for on-premisesMicrosoft Active Directory® hardware, £10,000 in deployment costs in Brad Johnstone, ICT Service Leader, with the Office 365 service. “Transferring the first year, and then an annual Kilmarnock College email accounts from on-premise to Office maintenance cost of at least £2,000 per 365 was simple using the tools provided by year thereafter. In fact, hosting new server Microsoft,” says James Barnes, a network on-premises simply didn’t make sense. technician at Kilmarnock College. “There “When investigating the costs relating to an are a few methods that can be used. For in-house solution our physical server was me the easiest way to transfer was using already more than the proposed PowerShell commands; this meant I was consultancy for implementation,” able to script multiple transfers at once.” Johnstone says. “We were confident that The Live@edu system will remain live for the benefits of Office 365 would sell the one more academic year, at which point the product to our senior management team.” students will also be rolled into the new Office 365 environment. Eliminated Manual Backups Previously, the ICT team at Kilmarnock Oxford Computing Group has created a College had to perform manual backups Management Agent that enables every night to protect against data loss in multitenancy environments within Office the case of disaster. Simply by switching to 365, which will streamline the process of Office 365, team members have eliminated integrating the student and staff Active a time-consuming portion of their day. “We Directories. had backups everywhere, and some users were saving multiple copies of emails just
to make sure they didn’t lose anything,” face conference and share applications or Johnstone notes. “Supporting the user was having a student who wants to chat with a difficult for ICT as staff couldn’t always lecturer and using presence awareness to remember where they stored their emails. see if there’s a mutually convenient time to Now, staff don’t have to save in multiple meet. places as it’s all backed up for us and replicated to ensure redundancy” Set the Stage for a New Content Management System Office 365 maintains a regional datacenter Currently, Kilmarnock College uses Moodle, strategy in which four copies of the user’s an open-source PHP web application for data exists—two in the primary datacenter, producing modular internet-based courses and two in the backup datacenter. For as its content management system for staff.“When investigating the Kilmarnock College, they can rest assured Although this approach has worked so far, that their data is being safely stored and the ability to use the industry standard willcosts relating to an in backed up in Microsoft’s data center enhance the skills of the staff. Johnstonehouse solution our environment. intends for SharePoint Online, included in Office 365, to complement this solution. “Iphysical server was Dramatically Reduced Help Desk Calls am really excited about SharePoint Online,” Before migrating its staff to the cloud, the he says. “The product is so good—itsalready more than the IT team was receiving four or five help desk flexibility and integration possibilities meanproposed consultancy calls every day for issues that ranged from the product could take off. Once you start finding files located across multiple drives using it, users begin to develop and expandfor implementation. We to resolving performance challenges. After the solution—it can almost manage itself.” implementing Office 365 however, helpwere confident that the desk calls have been virtually eliminated. Furthermore, choosing a cloud-basedbenefits of Office 365 For a small team, the benefits are clear: solution has opened up possibilities that they can spend less time being reactionary wouldn’t have existed otherwise. With itswould sell the product to and more time on strategic initiatives. small ICT staff and limited budget, Johnstone knows that he may not haveour senior management Gave users greater flexibility been able to deploy SharePoint on-team.” Students at Kilmarnock were already premises as easily as deploying the cloud familiar with a cloud-based solution, but based solution.xxx staff were tied to their desktop PCs at work. Brad Johnstone, ICT Service Leader, Now, with Office 365, they have far greater Rethinking the future Kilmarnock College flexibility because they can also access their Office 365 is changing how Kilmarnock email and files from PCs at home, and with College is thinking about technology—and mobile devices. Because Office 365 is the team is extremely excited about it. For supported on all major devices, browsers, instance, The ICT team is excited about the and platforms, staff have the flexibility to possibilities that Lync Online can offer. use a wide range of devices. “We’re now telling our users that the emphasis on phones is no longer there Eventually, students and staff will all be on because you have this whole the same system. As a result, they’ll be able communication tool built into Office 365. to collaborate more effectively, boosting It’s a million miles away from where we the effectiveness of college courses. would be without it,” says Johnstone. Johnstone is quick to see the possibilities, whether it’s the ability to have a face-to-
For More Information Microsoft Office 365 forFor more information about Microsoft Educationproducts and services, call the Microsoft Microsoft Office 365 for education bringsSales Information Center at (800) 426- together cloud versions of our most trusted9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft communications and collaborationCanada Information Centre at (877) 568- products—Microsoft SharePoint Online,2495. Customers in the United States and Exchange Online, and Lync Online—withCanada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing the latest version of our Office desktopcan reach Microsoft text telephone suite and companion web applications for(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. educational institutions.Outside the 50 United States andCanada, please contact your local Office 365 for education helps save timeMicrosoft subsidiary. To access and money, and it frees up valuedinformation using the World Wide Web, resources. Simple to use and easy togo to:www.microsoft.com administer, it is financially backed by a service level agreement guaranteeing 99For more information about Oxford percent reliability. Office 365 for educationComputer Group products and services, features robust security, IT-level phonecall +44 (0) 8456 584425 or visit the support, geo-redundancy, disasterwebsite recovery, and the privacy controls andat:www.oxfordcomputergroup.com standards that you expect from a world- class service provider.For more information about KilmarnockCollege visit the website For more information about Microsoftat:www.kilmarnock.ac.uk Office 365 for education, go to: http://education.office365.com Software and Services Microsoft Office 365 for educationThis case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published June 2012