Yesterday, Chris Rothwell, who leads our work on Live@edu in the UK, was talking to schools at the Learning Gateway Conference in London. I asked Chris for the slides from his talk so that I can share them. But first here’s the background from Chris:

I was lucky enough to speak at the Learning Gateway Conference in London yesterday – in the lovely setting of Church House right by Westminster Abbey. 

I did a session entitled “A look at Live@edu” which was really well attended – and was a great interactive session with lots of questions about how Live@edu can help individual schools and local authorities deliver communication and collaboration services differently.  If you were there – thanks for coming and making the session lively!  I’ve seen a tremendous acceleration in the adoption of cloud-based services in schools over the last few months, and I think the approach is switching from “why would I?” to “Why wouldn’t I?”.

The issues that are on people’s minds when they think about procuring a cloud service are often very different from the issues they think of about running their own servers and services.  My session walked through all the reasons that people get excited about cloud services, but then also talked through a lot of the issues that I’ve been describing as “Yeah, but…” and how Microsoft’s approach to the cloud is helping our customers feel good about issues like data, security, integration, support and more.

If you were there and want to take another look, or if you missed it and want to see more, Chris’s slides can be found here.

Chris tells me that the dominant topic of conversation across the day was budget cuts, and the impact on IT services in schools.  Lots of people are already feeling the impact directly, others are still very uncertain about what the future holds and what the final impact of the budget cuts and changes might be.  With that context, Live@edu provoked a lot of interest as people look to take advantage of the free services we’re able to provide in order to improve the services they provide to students and make substantial cost savings.

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