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Office 365 coming to faculty and staff

May 30, 2013

Cloud-based Office 365 is coming to Chadron State College faculty and staff this fall. Cloud-based Office 365 is coming to Chadron State College faculty and staff this fall.

This fall, Chadron State College faculty and staff will have Office 365, a cloud-based suite including email, a collaboration tool called SharePoint Online and a desktop video conferencing tool named Lync.

Ann Burk, CSC chief information officer, said the system has the potential to improve the efficiency of campus workflow, enhance communication, and facilitate secure access to campus information from anywhere an employee has access to the Internet.

CSC students have been using the email portion of Office 365 since fall 2012 and it has gone well, according to Burk. Their email addresses remained the same as will those of faculty and staff.

This week, Cloudbearing, a Microsoft Gold Partner was contracted to lead, plan and execute the e-mail configuration and migration plus assist with communication and training.

“Training and support will be a very important component of the project so that the campus learns how to take full advantage of the functions to gain efficiencies,” Burk said.

Burk reminds faculty and staff that the project is in the beginning stages and they should watch for email updates as the project progresses throughout the summer.

“We realized that there is a serious need for collaboration software for use by committees and departments. SharePoint Online promises to be an excellent solution for this as well as offering workflow options.  Desktop video conferencing offered through Lync will enhance visual communication between employees, students, and other organizations using Lync,” Burk said.

The Faculty Senate Education Tech Committee and members of the Business Academy used testing accounts set up for them in the fall and spent months testing the software this spring. Both groups forwarded positive recommendations endorsing the implementation of Office 365.

—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator

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