While sitting down with Bob Snellman, IT Manager from Southern State Community College I was able to ask
him a few questions about his recent Live@edu deployment at the institutions he
supports… here is what Bob had to say!
Q: Bob, can you elaborate on some basic background about SSCC?
A: Southern State Community College (SSCC) is a small junior community college in Southern
Ohio. We have very limited budgets as most educational institutions do
these days. We were offering a basic email service to our students using
a third-party app. It didn’t offer a lot of options, no calendar, no
chatting, no storage space, but it did email decent for students to contact
teachers & vice-versa. Can’t expect a lot on a shoestring
budget. For storage space, we used Microsoft home drive/directory
technology on Windows Server 2003. It worked well, but due to limited
storage space, it wasn’t enough for students save all there necessary data and
it was limited to only on-campus use. Anyways, there was talk about using
Google Apps to replace the current services. I recall Microsoft offering
something similar called Live@EDU. So, a committee was formed and away we
went in discussing whether to keep what we had or consider Google Apps or
Live@EDU. There was an overwhelming agreement to go with Live@EDU.
It seemed to be perfect timing for Live@EDU to be available while we were
looking for a replacement. I believe we met twice and then decided.
It didn’t take long to choose Live@EDU. It just made sense.
Q: In regard to migration options why did SSCC pursue a fresh start?
A: We decided to start fresh with a new service and skip attempting to migrate the
old system. It made the transition smooth. Of course, we gave
students plenty of notice (4 months) that there would be no migration and they
would be responsible to save any of their data(emails, contacts, etc.) from the
old system before we decommissioned it.
Q: Why did you decide on just student e-mail and not Faculty/ Staff as well?
A: Just students because we were replacing the student email system, which was very
limited, but affordable at the time. Staff/Faculty were already using
Exchange 2010. So, we kept them there. Plus, it kept the cost down
to “free” moving students on Live@EDU. More affordable than the old
student system we were offering and so much more in services. It was a
“win win” solution.
Q: Overall what were some of the deciding factors as to why SSCC choose Live@edu?
A: It was 1000 times better than what we were currently offering students. We are
already using Exchange 2010 for our Staff/Faculty and Live@EDU is based on the
same technology, so there would be little issues with compatibility for
students & teachers. We are what most would call a Microsoft shop, so
choosing Live@EDU over Google Apps, just made sense. And it was FREE!!!
How can you ignore FREE!?
We’ve had an overwhelming positive response from our students switching them to Live@EDU. I
honestly don’t know why anyone wouldn’t move their students to Live@EDU.
It just makes sense. The Live@EDU support staff was there the whole way
through the setup process and continues to be there when I need them, which has
not been very often. Once it is setup, it just works.
Gotta love it.