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Education Featured Article

October 11, 2012

EPHEC Saves Students Time and Money with the Cloud

By Mandira Srivastava, TMCnet Contributor

The days are gone when teachers use to write on blackboards; now most progressive schools are going for Interactive White Boards and projector. In today’s tech savvy world, we cannot imagine learning without use of technology. These technologies have made the work of teachers easy and these sophisticated tools have improved the proceeding, learning and understanding things.

In a bit to prepare business students to work in a world where more and more activities take place online and in virtualized settings, The Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (EPHEC), a university college is using cloud –based Microsoft (News - Alert) Office 365.

“Today's students are mobile, flexible and impatient," said in a statement, Vincent Fievez, lecturer in IT at EPHEC. "We wanted to use technology to communicate and interact with our students in new ways — and Microsoft Office 365 for education is the perfect solution."

Office 365 for education provides secured, anywhere access to e-mail, calendars, Office Web Apps, webconferencing and file sharing. Because the cloud-based services run in datacenters owned and operated by Microsoft, which maintains the servers and the software on a day-to-day basis, EPHEC was able to free up the three IT personnel who had been supporting the e-mail infrastructure to devote their time and attention to other activities.

And because Office 365 for education is offered at no cost to educational institutions, the move from its old e-mail infrastructure effectively eliminated the expense of maintaining that infrastructure, saving EPHEC 7,000 euros each month.

Approximately, 4,700 students are enrolled in bachelor's degree programs at EPHEC, and the university college occupies three separate campuses in and around Brussels.

EPHEC did not offer its students any formal e-mail services or electronic collaboration infrastructure.

"Saving money each month is great, but that was not the primary motive for moving to Office 365 for education. The primary reason was to adapt to a changing world," Fievez said. "We needed to provide an infrastructure that would help prepare our students for the world outside EPHEC. We needed to have them using online services, shared calendars, online collaboration tools and more."

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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