I was browsing through the list of case studies on the Microsoft website today, and saw that we'd published a case study at the end of January on the adoption of Live@edu for colleges in South Australia.

Image from Till Westermayer licensed under Creative CommonsI'm new to Australia, so the story reads a little bit like Alphabetti Spaghetti because of the acronyms like DFEEST (Department of Further Education Employment Science and Technology DFEEST), TAFE (Technical and Further Education) and SA (South Australia) - which then produces service delivery names like 'TAFE SA Connect'.

Acronyms shouldn't surprise me really, as my own job role is as in the EPG PTU as Education IMDM - and that's not something that I've worked out how to say in a real-world friendly way.

Anyway, back to DFEEST and Live@edu. They needed to build a new messaging platform for their 85,000 staff and students, either using their existing Novell Groupwise solution, or using an external email service. Once they'd decided to go to a Cloud service provider, they evaluated both the Microsoft and Google solutions, and chose the Microsoft Live@edu service. They used a Microsoft Gold Partner, Dimension Data, to deploy the service and migrate their existing email users to the cloud, and gave their users access to the full set of email, collaboration file sharing and instant messenger tools. And the whole shebang was implemented within 12 weeks.

The big benefit for DFEEST is that they're saving money, at the same time as delivering a better services to their users. As Richard Rains (the ICT Services Manager at TAFE SA Adelaide North Institute) put it:

  If we had extended the existing hosted electronic messaging system to 85,000 students and staff in the TAFE SA network, it would have been cost-prohibitive. The total implementation and management costs for Live@edu were significantly less, so there has been quite a substantial cost saving.  

You can read the full case study on the DFEEST Live@edu implementation here