There’s a new press release on the it’s learning website. it’s learning are a Becta approved Learning Platform provider, and have recently signed an agreement with us to offer their customers our cloud computing services, via our Live@edu service. That means that if you are an it’s learning customer, you’ll be offered a range of internet-based services which fully integrate with the it’s learning platform – such as cloud-based email through Outlook Live, and online versions of SharePoint and the Office Web Applications. With Outlook Live it means that students can get their email through a browser, on their mobile phone, or through Outlook.
I think over the next few months you’re going to see more announcements about this kind of partnership – where a specialist supplier of services, like learning platforms, integrates hosted services from Microsoft (like email) within their service. It means that we take on the task of running a mega data centre, supporting standard tasks, whilst the specialist supplier concentrates on customising a complete system for a school, college or university. Learning platforms are a really good example of why this model works – it’s good to have email fully integrated into the learning platform, but it’s not good (or necessary) for every supplier to build their own version of an email system. So instead, they can provide that function in a fully integrated way (ie invisible to the user) through an external service. The same thing is happening in local authorities and individual schools, where they continue to run their own core ICT infrastructure, but move some services to an integrated cloud-based system, like Live@edu.
Here’s the detail of the it’s learning announcement:
it’s learning adopts Microsoft platform for cloud based educational services
On the 12th April 2010 Microsoft and it’s learning, an international learning platform provider, signed an MOU to jointly provide products and services that will transform teaching methods and advance next-generation learning. The agreement represents the first Education Partner Alliance where the Microsoft cloud computing services are adopted to develop a fully cloud based, integrated offering to the education sector.
The Partner Alliance means that Microsoft Outlook Live, SharePoint Online and Office Web Applications will be integrated into the it’s learning platform through the Microsoft Live@edu service. This means it’s learning can now deliver the best suite of online communication tools to improve productivity and collaboration in education. Students and teachers will be able to securely upload, easily share, and collaborate on Office documents from anywhere with internet access, including mobile devices.
Dylan Jones, Managing Director, it’s learning UK said “it’s learning has chosen Microsoft’s cloud services for education allowing current and future customers to benefit from Outlook Live and Microsoft’s web applications. We took this decision because students and teachers are familiar with Microsoft’s rich, high-quality communications products which will keep up with their changing needs. Microsoft not only provides the leading platform, but is also a fantastic partner for it’s learning because it is an enterprise company which has experience with large organisations and has a strong heritage in working with local authorities and Regional Broadband Consortia in the UK and internationally.”
Steve Beswick, Senior Director of Education, Microsoft Ltd said “We are delighted that it’s learning have decided to integrate the Microsoft platform and partner with us to provide future customers the best learning experiences. As students become increasingly tech-savvy at a younger age and demand more technology services from their schools, we believe that our technology offers the familiar, rich solutions and flexible platform that will best support their learning and help them develop the skills needed by today’s employers.