Edinburgh Napier University prides itself on being progressive, regularly doing things differently. They are in the top ten for graduate employability in the UK , it’s an approach that seems to be working. In another blog post dedicated to the voice of our UK Live@edu customers, our very own Chris Rothwell caught up with Scott Walkingshaw, Napier’s Project Manager for Live@edu, to see how changing the university’s email service is helping progress...
CR: Tell me why you moved to Live@edu?
SW: We aim to provide IT services that are student focussed, relevant to their current lifestyle and flexible. We believed that the features and young and fresh look offered by Live@edu met that criteria. Features such as 10Gb disk space, blogs, wikis and Skydrive are all very relevant to todays student.
CR: Did you look at any other solutions besides Live@edu?
SW: Yes... we looked at other solutions, but the students were already using Outlook Web Access. We were very familiar with what Live@edu offered, so it was the natural choice. Any other solution would have been a step backwards.
CR: So implementing Live@edu felt like a natural progression for you?
SW: Yes, you could say that.
CR: Having read a little bit about Edinburgh Napier, you’re quite a progressive university, was implementing Live@edu part of this approach?
SW: Yes, I think it certainly was. It’s definitely in our mindset to remain current and offer our students a competitive edge.
CR: What about maintaining service – was integration with your existing systems important?
SW: Absolutely, Live@edu had to integrate with the services we had. For example, students have a central, single point of access through our student portal which provides single sign on to access multiple student applications. Live@edu had to integrate with these – it did – and meant that we could successfully implement single sign on for the Live@edu mailbox and the Live@edu applications – so it’s very integrated into what we have. The most important feature for us is a single address book and mailing lists for staff and students.
CR: You deployed Live@edu using Identity Lifecycle Manager, how did that go?
SW: The requirement was for us to take accounts from our student record system to populate Live@edu, so it had to be automatic. We worked with Oxford Computer Group to implement this.Since going live we’ve gone through a number of phases in terms of encouraging students to opt in – all have gone really well. For example, at Easter time we migrated 4,500 students which was very successful As of 1st of October 2009 we now have all our student email on Live@edu
CR: That’s great news. So how long have you been working with Live@edu?
SW: We decided to go ahead in March 2008 and were ready to go live by the time we had new admissions in September 2008.
CR: What about the future, what else are you planning to roll out through Live@edu?
SW: The next stage of the project is to promote many of the other services that Live@edu offers. first we need to understand how students can take advantage of these services in their student and personal lives, as well as how we can align the services for teaching.