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The Australian Education Blog
Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

  • Education

    Microsoft IT Plans for hybrid deployment of Office 365 messaging


    Icons_books_blueAnother good case study from our internal IT team has just been published, as they discuss their journey to the Cloud. One of the things they are managing is the hybrid model of some applications/users moving into the Cloud, whilst others stay on premise.

    In this case study, they talk about the planning and preparation that's needed when you have a mix of users' mailboxes - some in the Cloud in Office 365 and some in Exchange 2010 on-premise. Their activities involved planning for the dependencies, and staging other implementation projects - for Lync Server 2010 and expansion of ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services) - in order to prepare for implementation.

    This will be very similar to projects undertaken within education, where it's typical that students email is moved out to the cloud whilst staff email is kept on-premise (although I've seen cases where university and school staff have then asked for their mailboxes to be moved to the Cloud too, as they're jealous of their students' new inbox capacity and ease-of-access from mobile devices).

    Project elements include:

    • Upgrading Line of Business applications (eg CRM systems) to Exchange Server 2010
    • Enhancing ADFS capabilities and support
    • Managing dependencies on Lync Server 2010
    • Creating a new cross-premises support model
    • Evaluating network readiness

    You can read the full case study from our internal IT team here

  • Education

    Students and their devices


    QuoteThere's an interesting quote in ComputerWorld magazine this month, from Professor Adam Shoemaker, Monash University's deputy vice-chancellor of education. He was talking about the idea of rolling technology costs into student fees to address learning inequalities:

      We see students come in on their first year…and they are on three different learning speeds. The ones who come in with a device are on one speed, the ones who have to share one at home are on another, and then there's the ones who have nothing.  

    I think I'll keep this handy - it's both an interesting quote for a presentation, but also a challenging one to think about how learning services are delivered to students - and what the definition of 'a device' might be this year and in the future.

  • Education

    Social Media Bootcamp - B2B Sales & Marketing


    imageIf you're a Microsoft Partner, you are eligible to attend a new course run by our Partner Development Centre for Asia Pacific. The one-day training events are being run over the next three weeks in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and will focus on the role of social media in today's sales and marketing environment.

    Here's the details:

    Social Media Bootcamp for Microsoft Partners

    In the Web 2.0 era, 'Customer 2.0' is informed, socially engaged and totally in control of the conversation - Social Media is fundamentally challenging the way that we market and sell.

    In this 1 day  'bootcamp' your team - of up to 3 individuals from your organisation - will focus on creating a framework for a Social Media strategy to suit your unique business needs. In doing so, you will map Social Media workflows to buyer behaviour and preferences.

    To help ensure the successful implementation of the resulting action plan, each team will receive individual follow up from the instructor after the session.

    In this 1 day action orientated 'bootcamp' each team - of up to 3 individuals from one organisation – will:

    • Focus on creating a framework for a Social Media strategy to suit their unique business needs
    • Map Social Media workflows to their buyer behaviour and preferences
    • Receive follow up from the instructor to support strategy implementation

    Cost: $950 per team of up to 3 people

    Brisbane - Tuesday, 17th of May
    Sydney – Tuesday, 24th of May
    Melbourne – Tuesday, 31st of May

    Having attended these kind of events before (but not this specific one) I'd encourage you use it as an opportunity to get a team across your sales and marketing organisation to attend and think about how they work together to help you react to the changes and opportunities that social media gives you as a business.

  • Education

    Curtin University using Microsoft CRM to connect students to industry


    Globe iconYou have to hand it to Curtin University - they must have a pretty savvy PR team, because they always seem to pop up in industry news sites. Today they've done it again - appearing on the global ZDNet site for their use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for managing their student engagements. Although there are already plenty of case studies of education users of Microsoft Dynamics, many of them focus on student recruitment and alumni management. The new ZD Net story on Curtin University focuses on Curtin's use of Dynamics CRM  Online to build stronger connections between their students and industry. Specifically, they record and reward students who attend industry events that help them build wider knowledge and connections:


    The idea is that students earn points for attending events where they gain knowledge and make contacts. If they build enough of those points, they can become part of a select group that can attend special events. The ultimate aim is to make students more engaged and "graduate ready".

    …the university decided to use Microsoft's Dynamics CRM online as a backbone to build its own performance portal using .NET, with [Heath] Wilkinson [Director of Business Systems at Curtin] saying that it presented a lot more flexibility for customisation.

    "We've basically taken the CRM online core relationship management functionality and built our requirements from there," Wilkinson said.


    What is also discussed in the article is the fact that they are using the Cloud-based version of CRM, as it reduces the system administration for the university, and increases availability.

    The university worked with CSG, one of our education partners, to customise the CRM system to meet their exact needs (something that builds on their education experience built within projects like the child safety project in WA and  the NT Department of Education and Training.

    Learn MoreRead the full Curtin University story on the ZD Net website

  • Education

    generation-e Live@edu webinar - Monday 16th May


    generation-e logo

    One of our education partners, generation-e, are hosting a Live@edu webcast next week, at 4pm on Monday 16th May. It's just 30 minutes long, and will provide an overview of the Live@edu service - the Microsoft hosted email service that's being used by schools, TAFEs and universities in Australia. (You can see some of the Australian Live@edu case studies on this blog).

    If you want to attend, all you need to do is make sure that you've near a computer and internet connection at 4pm (EST) on Monday, and have headphones or space around you to allow the sound of Owen's voice to be blaring out of your laptop speakers (Smile).

    To add it to your calendar, click here.

    To join the meeting directly, just copy this link and then click on it on Monday.

  • Education

    Microsoft licensing for virtualisation - simplified guides


    At last, some simple to understand information on Microsoft licensing for virtual environments. Although this isn't specifically written for Education, and doesn't cover the specifics of the EES (Enrolment for Education Solutions) licensing scheme, it does help to explain the principles of Microsoft licensing for virtualisation environments, across the four key elements: server, desktop, application and management.

    Licensing for virtual environments graphic

    And there's a lovely set of step-by-step interactive guides for each of these scenarios, as well as a video from Brad Smith explaining the basic principles of the licensing model. And finally, there's a set of download briefing documents for virtualisation.

    Learn MoreLearn More about Microsoft Licensing for virtualisation

  • Education

    IT Security in Education


    A newly published page on the Microsoft Education site in the US might be helpful to you to get an overview of the different aspects of IT security in education that we can provide answers for. Topics covered include:

    • More secure email messaging
    • More secure portal and document collaboration
    • More security for endpoints - laptops, portable storage etc
    • More secure identity and access management

    All of these issues are topical in education, whether it's about securing information that's in digital form as it flies around the internet, or securing physical devices that contain sensitive date, like teachers' laptops.

    Learn MoreRead the full story on IT Security in Education on the US Microsoft Education site

  • Education

    Microsoft IT Tech Tuesdays – Live Meetings for school IT Managers


    Almost every Tuesday lunchtime we run a Tech Tuesday webcast for school IT managers in Australia. It's a great opportunity to take a look at one of our educational products or solutions in more detail, and there's a wide range of subjects, from specific products like Lync (for unified communications in education) to programmes such as EES (our new licensing scheme for schools) and sessions that are bound to be popular, like 'Free Microsoft Educational Tools'.

    By doing these as Tech Tuesday webcasts, it means that there are all the benefits of a live session, without any of the travel challenges.  Built on Microsoft's collaborative technologies, these live, bite-size presentations are instructor-led, and endeavour to cover a broad range of topics facing schools across the country.

    Tech Tuesdays - Dates and Topics

    17th May - Office Communicator and Lync
    24th May - Product Licensing in Education (EES)
    31st May - Live@EDU for Schools
    7th June - Free Microsoft Educational Tools
    14th June - Cloud Technology in Education
    21st June - Virtualisation in Education
    28th June - Education Desktop Deployment

    All session run from 12-1 EST

    Learn MoreFind out more, and pre-register for the free Tech Tuesdays

  • Education

    Partner Briefing from NewLease - Capture Your Cloud


    NewLease (one of Microsoft Australia's distributors), Microsoft, and Citrix are inviting Microsoft Partners to join us for a day designed to help you Capture your Cloud. Although this training day is not specifically for education partners only, the latest research is showing that public sector organisations, including education, are going to be the earliestg widespread adopters of cloud services, and represent a tremendous potential for you to create a new business model.

    Instead of talking about why you should be in the Cloud, we will help you understand HOW to get into the cloud and what the business opportunities are. You will learn about how to build profitable Cloud offerings and be exposed to a variety of opportunities that you can bring to your customers.

    There will be detailed sessions on:

    • Desktop-as-a-Service: Learn why this service is fast becoming one of the most talked about in the Cloud and the associated business opportunity, and get insights on the Microsoft-Citrix solution that makes DaaS great for you and your customers
    • Licence Mobility: As of July 1st there will be amazing new Cloud opportunities. You can now combine Microsoft SPLA licensing with a customers' existing licensing, to deliver outcomes with much more flexibility. So even if you've never heard of SPLA before, you'll get valuable insight into the ways you can build Cloud offerings for your customers
    • Vendor updates: Microsoft and Citrix will tell talk about developments going on in their businesses
    • Partner Case studies: Hear from existing partners about their successful Cloud businesses

    Dates and Venues

    • Sydney, 24th May, at the Stamford Grand, North Ryde
    • Melbourne, 26th May, at the RACV City Club in Bourke Street
    • Brisbane, 31st May, at the Microsoft offices in George Street
    • Perth, Thu 2nd June at the Microsoft offices in St Georges Terrace

    Registration will be at 8.30am, Presentations will run from 9.00am- 3.30am. View the Agenda.

    Learn MoreLearn More about the NewLease "Capture Your Cloud" Partner briefing

  • Education

    Windows Azure toolkit for Windows Phone 7


    Cloud Power logoDoes exactly what it says on the tin - a Windows Azure toolkit for Windows Phone 7. Makes it easier to develop mobile applications by giving you access to cloud services to run your data services. (Oh, and there's also a way of getting Windows Azure free for 30-days, also on this same web page).

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