Vanderbilt University Migrates to Cloud and Saves, Improves Service

On Wednesday the 12th of May, I’ll be taking an hour or so to listen in on a webinar about how one very large university migrated a key application to the cloud. I’m anxious (in a good way) to hear the details behind how Vanderbilt University, which is located in New York City, replaced its open-source student email system with Google Apps Education Edition.

The University required that the new system it chose handle the following:

– Work and communicate collaboratively

– Be more technically savvy and sophisticated

– Act as a search engine with the capability of handling almost 300,000 searches per month

– Handle 4 million documents

In deciding to go to the cloud, Vanderbilt carefully weighed its options and considered the ratings of third-party analysts for different systems. However, it chose Google Apps Education Edition – a free version of Google Apps that’s built especially for educational institutions. After only a month, Vanderbilt had the new system up and running and undergrads were using the new email and collaboration tools.

In addition, the benefits to the school included:

  • savings of nearly $1 million in storage costs, and it avoided spending money on additional servers
  • more time for IT pros to fix legacy data problems and focus their attention on more strategic projects
  • an improved end-user experience via the new, advanced search functionality.

In this blog, I’ve written about how the cloud is changing school management and education via SaaS solutions like Blackboard and Moodle, but it’s clear that the educational world is, like many other industries, exploring cloud apps to improve communication and administrative productivity.

That, of course, means new opportunities and benefits for schools, such as mentioned above for Vanderbilt, but it also means increased risk, for example, the kind of risk that comes with putting data on the cloud and entrusting such an important app such as email in others’ hands. That’s why so many schools are turning to independent monitoring tools to ensure their new cloud platforms are:

  • #1 – up and running
  • #2 – making apps available for everyone to use when they want them.

If you want to find out more about how Vanderbilt U. successfully made the switch to the cloud, why not check out the webinar ?