A French business school plans to trade Google Apps, used by around half its staff and students, for Microsoft’s rival Live@edu service, IDG News Service reports. Skema Business School’s 6,250 students, 500 administrative staff, and 128 teaching staff will have access to Microsoft’s Live@edu hosted eMail service, which includes calendar and contact management, instant messaging, video conferencing, and 10GB of storage space, the school announced June 23. Staff and students also will be offered Microsoft Office 2010 under a site-wide licensing program, and access to Sharepoint Online, giving them each 25GB of storage space for documents, whether shared or their own. The applications will run in Microsoft’s European data centers. The school is making the move as part of a three-year collaboration agreement with Microsoft, which will also see the company offer internships to Skema graduates and supply staff to teach elements of a course on social networking, the school said. Skema was created last November from the merger of two French business schools, CERAM and ESC Lille. ESC Lille, with around 3,000 students, adopted Google Apps Education Edition in April 2008, one of the first schools in France to do so. Switching to Live@edu will allow Skema to harmonize the IT systems used by staff and students of the two schools, and will enable it to integrate them with the software used to run the school……Read More
A small-scale backlash against Google’s free eMail service and applications has included at least three prominent universities this year, after many colleges had begun moving to the outsourced Gmail system to save money and simplify support.
The cloud-based eMail system has appealed to college students since Google launched its campus Gmail pilot in 2004, educators said, and Google officials maintain that colleges continued to adopt Gmail even as negative headlines circulated this spring.
K-12 schools and colleges are adding extra layers of security to web applications that are being used for everything from eMail service to group assignments. The extra security is particularly desired as administrators use the applications to store sensitive information that could compromise student and faculty privacy.
Google Apps has risen to prominence in education’s move toward web-based tools that store massive amounts of data and allow for collaboration. Google announced in February that 7 million students—about half of all college students in the U.S.—now use the company’s applications, such as Google Sites, Google Docs, and Gmail.
With invaluable information stored online and vulnerable to any hacker who can figure out a single password, administrators are looking for ways to ensure that student and educator data are kept safe with more complex security methods.…Read More