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April 12, 2012

Microsoft News - Microsoft Offers Key Cloud-based Education Platform in India

By Kerry Doyle, Contributing Writer

Over time, Microsoft (News - Alert) has steadily increased its investments in the cloud, and partnered with major global companies on cloud-based initiatives. These investments reflect not only the importance Microsoft places on this technology trend, but they indicate where MS executives think the future of computing is headed.

For example, user demand for access to cloud-based content and apps via dedicated and mobile devices is constantly on the rise. Most computer and mobile users make a daily experience of accessing sites, such as Facebook (News - Alert), Flickr and LinkedIn, which are essentially cloud computing services.

The company has announced the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to adopt Microsoft's Live@edu cloud service, and will deploy it to over seven million students and nearly 500,000 staff members in the coming months.

The cloud deployment reportedly provides students access to "high-quality" technical education and collaboration. The fact that the organization can fulfill its computing requirements on an as-needed basis by simply purchasing services is a big appeal for the cloud.

The rollout is scheduled to take place over the next three months, completed by September and made available to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India.

"Prior to this deployment, all the institutions that came under AICTE in India had a hybrid system with several different e-mail systems,” said Neil Jackson, director of education for Asia-Pacific at Microsoft. “AICTE wanted to manage and organize e-mail under one umbrella to provide an environment for students and faculty to collaborate via a single gateway and a single sign-on. This led to AICTE selecting Live@edu as the platform of choice." 

The AICTE deal comes just three months after rival Google (News - Alert) announced its biggest win from January – a similar deal with Spanish financial services company Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA), announced by Google CIO Jose Olalla.

This array of feature-rich technology indicates that Live@edu service is on track to become a far more complete platform, technologically, as compared to Amazon’s and Google’s offerings.

Microsoft’s comprehensive services platform, the push toward key software products as SaaS (News - Alert) (Software as a Service), advanced testing and development, is key to customer satisfaction, brand allegiance and successful cloud computing experiences.

It has already gained significant adoptions from organizations of all sizes that have chosen to create their data centers in the cloud, capitalizing on scalability. The other recent significant deployment by Microsoft was in 2010, when it rolled out Live@edu to some 700,000 students in Kentucky, United States, billed as the "largest cloud deployment in U.S. history" according to a ZDNet-sponsored blog.

Edited by Braden Becker

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