REDMOND, Wash. and FRANKFORT, Ky., June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Kentucky Department of Education has selected Microsoft Live@edu to bring 21st century communications and collaboration tools to more than 700,000 students, faculty and staff statewide. The cloud-based service has already been rolled out to more than half a million people in one of the largest cloud deployments and fastest migrations of all time. The state expects to avoid $6.3 million in operational costs over four years by moving to the cloud with Live@edu.
Live@edu is a no-cost suite of easy-to-use online services, based on the familiar Microsoft technologies many people use today. With Live@edu, people can access information in the cloud virtually anytime, anywhere, through popular Web browsers and from any Internet-connected PC or mobile phone. Live@edu fosters improved productivity, better learning and skills development to help students prepare for their futures.
"With Live@edu, all school districts in Kentucky have access to the same powerful Microsoft applications and Web 2.0 technologies. That means we can close the technology gap between rich and poor districts and level the playing field for students regardless of where they live," said Dr. Terry Holliday, commissioner of education for Kentucky. "Because they are 'in the cloud,' Kentucky schools will always stay up-to-date with the latest innovations. And the features are far greater than anything we could have afforded to offer to every school in Kentucky."
The deployment is not only one of the largest in the world, but it also is one of the fastest. The commonwealth moved more than half a million people from approximately 180 distributed Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 on-premise servers to Live@edu during a single weekend. The quick migration helped minimize disruption and speed access to new technologies, such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, which powers Live@edu's cloud-based e-mail.
"Historically, it would have required months and potentially years to migrate hundreds of thousands of people to a new solution," said Chuck Austin, Office of Education Technology for the Kentucky Department of Education. "With Microsoft's cloud technology and a collaborative focus between Microsoft and the Kentucky Department of Education on the planning aspects, we were able to dramatically reduce the implementation cycle and migrate everyone in a single weekend."
"Kentucky is getting a world-class communications and collaboration infrastructure that is dependable and highly secure," said Sig Behrens, general manager for U.S. Education at Microsoft. "With single sign-on, Live@edu integrates with existing school systems, including school portals, allowing people to access all content with one identity that makes it easier to accomplish their work. More important, Live@edu will help transform the learning environment by extending education opportunities beyond the traditional classroom walls and help students master the technology they will use in their future careers."
About Kentucky Department of Education
The Kentucky Department of Education is a service agency of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The department provides resources and guidance to Kentucky's public schools and districts as they implement the state's P-12 education requirements. The department also serves as the state liaison for federal education requirements and funding opportunities. It is led by an appointed Commissioner of Education, who answers to the 11-member Kentucky Board of Education.
About Microsoft Live@edu
Live@edu is a no-cost hosted platform for students, staff, faculty and alumni communications and collaboration, providing industry-leading services to the global education market. E-mail and calendars with a 10GB inbox, 25 GB of additional file storage, document sharing, instant messaging, video chat and mobile e-mail are just part of the feature set. Live@edu provides students with the professional tools to prepare them for college or work from day one. Live@edu is accessible through popular Web browsers for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems — and easy to set up, administer and manage. More than 10,000 schools in more than 130 countries have enrolled in Live@edu, serving 11 million people worldwide. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/liveatedu.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.