The International School of Stuttgart in Germany has standardised its use of Microsoft Office 365 to help support communications and collaboration among staff, students and parents.
Previously, the school was using an on-premise Microsoft Exchange Sever for staff e-mail, while Google Apps and Google Mail were used by students.
“Our on-premises e-mail environment was old and in need of an expensive and urgent update, and we had security and privacy concerns about Google,” said Damir Tejic, IT director for the International School of Stuttgart, in a blog post. “Also, we found that Google Drive wasn’t well suited to our file sharing needs, nor did it have the flexibility for collaboration and communication that we found in SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Yammer and Delve.”
Having taken over as IT director on 1 August 2015, Tejic took advantage of the Microsoft FastTrack programme to help ensure Office 365 would be standardised for 180 staff and half of the school’s 800 students within three weeks, ahead of the upcoming school year.
“FastTrack was a lifesaver,” said Tejic. “The FastTrack team first worked to understand our needs and help plan out the deployment. FastTrack engineers then helped execute the deployment, first migrating student accounts to our Active Directory service and migrating mailboxes from Gmail.”
to FastTrack, the International School of Stuttgart has been able to migrate almost 600 staff and student e-mail accounts to Office 365 e-mail and 400 students from Google Apps to Office 365 ProPlus in three weeks.
The school is continuing to work with the FastTrack team, with the school rolling out additional Office 365 and Microsoft Cloud services.
“We recently launched Yammer to provide a safe and secure environment for students grades 6–12 to learn how to use social sharing tools; and we have plans to set up Yammer accounts for the parent community as well,” said Tejic. “We are also planning to roll out SharePoint Online as our collaboration platform for staff, students and parents, and OneDrive as our central file storage and sharing mechanism.”
Down the line, the school is intending to replace its current phone system with Skype for Business, and is looking at a move to Microsoft Azure, beginning with Microsoft Azure Active Directory, to enable single sign-on and self-service password management.
“Microsoft can guide us on envisioning usage scenarios, prioritising projects, building enthusiasm and speeding adoption,” Tejic added. “The FastTrack team can also help us adopt best IT practices in terms of managing our cloud environment. It’s all about getting the best possible value from our Microsoft Cloud investment – and there’s a lot of value to be had.”
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