Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Queen's Pioneers Cloud Services for Students

Queen's has garnered national attention as one of the first universities in Canada to adopt Microsoft Office 365 as a cloud-based communications and collaboration service for undergraduate students.

As Queen's strives to further its reputation for exceptional student services and innovation, it has been leading the way in embracing cloud technology by implementing Office 365 for the student population. In January 2013, ITServices successfully migrated 45,000 student email accounts to the new system over a single weekend.

The rationale for choosing Office 365 was to meet students' demands for an updated email service that would include a substantial increase in mailbox storage (from 100 MB to 25 GB), integrated calendaring, and support for mobile devices.

It was also important that students were able to retain their identities. The chosen solution would need to integrate with existing infrastructure - namely Microsoft Exchange Server, the on-premises email and calendaring solution for faculty and staff that has been in regular use since June 2012. This hybrid solution promises an assortment of new tools to increase productivity and facilitate collaboration among students, faculty and staff, while reducing ITServices' operational and infrastructure renewal costs.

Information security and privacy were also top concerns, and Queen's has shown leadership in this area by commissioning an independent privacy risk assessment to ensure compliance with provincial and federal privacy laws.

Feedback from students has been positive, and ITServices is currently looking at several other ways to leverage the combined services within the community. To learn more about the initiative, read the Microsoft business case study. [April 26, 2013]

As part of their promotional efforts, Microsoft sent a film crew to Queen's University to interview key decision makers and stakeholders in the project.