Microsoft to Kentucky Schools: Welcome to the Cloud!

Microsoft said it will provide the Kentucky Department of Education with cloud computing services for the state’s more than 700,000 students, faculty and staff. The state stands to gain big savings (about $6 million) over the next four years by replacing its on-premise Exchange servers with cloud-based systems.

Students will use the Microsoft services, Live@edu for Office Web Apps, for new email services, as well file storage and sharing. The benefits? The school system believes cloud services will teach students computing skills they’ll need as adults. Plus, the learning experience will be enhanced by the ability to collaborate on assignments – whether the students are on school premises or not.

“Historically, it would have required months and potentially years to migrate hundreds of thousands of people to a new solution,” Chuck Austin, Kentucky’s school system’s project manager, said.

Recently, the Oregon school system adopted Google Apps for Education, and the state expects to save $1.5 million per year.

This move toward the cloud by schools started as a snowflake and is now a full-fledged giant, rolling snowball.  In honor of the trend, Monitis has created a special package of monitoring services for schools – the Academic Plan. It offers everything found in the traditional Monitis suite of tools, but also includes unlimited monitoring. So academic institutions, be they schools, colleges, or universities select one of 3 possible packages – Small, Medium or Large based on the number of servers they need monitored, and nothing else. It’s that simple.

Starting from just $248 per month, the Academic Plan, is a perfect offer for schools with even the tightest of budgets, as all added-value services are free – the number of parameters to monitor, the number of network devices, and even alerts including Live Voice and SMS alerts.

As an added benefit, educational institutions have the luxury of employing a single monitoring solution instead of the standard current mix of multiple open-source software solutions (e.g. Nagios, Zabbix, Zenos, Cacti), commercial software solutions (like Solarwinds, Whatsup Gold), and external end-user experience monitoring services (like Gomez, Keynote).


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  • That’s pretty funny considering how intensely Google Mail is being pushed into organizations… compare Google Enterprise to Microsoft BPOS as far as pricing and you’ll see what I mean…

    As more and more people grow used to enhanced features in Web Browsers the “benefit” of an Outlook/Exchange scenario declines.

    Also consider the much larger portion of the world that has broadband, is required to be mobile while working, and more and more frequently have multiple devices (desktop, laptop, internet capable phone, netbook, ipad?!?!?!)

    The “search problem” that Google solved has now expanded into the exponential personal data growth (how many online accounts do we have now? Email, Bank, School/Work, Facebook/MySpace/Flickr/Twitter … you get the idea) …

    The real question is not whether the Cloud will “deflate”, but who will best harness the cloud for individuals and small groups = synchronicity and relevance (see Google Buzz attempts).