Microsoft Provides Education Cloud For 7.5 Million Indians


The biggest cloud deal ever: Microsoft supports 7.5 million-strong Indian education system

Microsoft has scored what it believes is the biggest cloud computing deal ever  signed by a vendor, serving 7.5 million people in a contract with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

AICTE, the Indian governing body for technical education, will be deploying Microsoft’s hosted communication and collaboration service Live@edu across over 10,000 technical colleges and institutes.

The council will also be deploying Microsoft Office 365 for education when it comes out later this year.

cloud computing © Beboy - Fotolia.comThe Live@edu implementation is underway and Microsoft expects it to be completed by summer 2012. Live@edu features a host of communication features, including email and calendars with a 10GB inbox, 25GB of additional file storage, document sharing, instant messaging and video chat.

‘Truly progressive’

“Microsoft’s cloud platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country’s technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students,” said Dr S.S. Mantha, chairman of AICTE.

AICTE was considering a range of options from some of Microsoft’s biggest rivals, including IBM and Google. According to MIcrosoft, its focus on education was one of the biggest factors in its contract win.

“Microsoft has always seen education as a priority area and believes that technology offers possibilities that can help empower not just teachers and students but collectively India as a nation,” said Sanket Akerkar, a managing director at Microsoft in India.

“India is seeing rapid economic activity and growth. Developing India’s youth and their skills is going to play an important role globally in the country’s inclusive growth,” added Anthony Salcito, vice president of for Microsoft’s Worldwide Education division.

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