This week, our blog series focuses on Cloud Productivity in the Education system. Today's blog will focus specifically on Administrators, but be sure to check out our previous blogs about Cloud productivity in the education system.
Administrators in the education system face many challenges that can be resolved with an infrastructure migration to a Cloud service like Microsoft’s Office 365. That’s right, O365 provides a large amount of tools to help administrators face challenges such as providing always-on access to support educators and students, protecting sensitive information, reducing inefficiencies, and connecting and building meaningful relationships with alumni and other donors. We’ll be exploring these solutions below!
Remote Work Access
Most employees believe they are more productive working remotely, and in doing so help reduce the institutions’ operating costs (example: repurposing administrative office space for classrooms, study nooks, and so forth). Office 365 offers tools to help legitimize remote work. Skype for Business is a tool where educators and students can communicate in a variety of methods, including IM, voice, video and web conferencing. Skype for Business desktop sharing and HD video conferencing also enables them to share content of any kind and receive instant feedback. What’s more, Skype connectivity means educational institutions can connect with any organization that has Skype for Business, Skype, or Lync. Office 365 ProPlus enables administrators to enjoy a consistent and familiar Office experience across PCs, Macs, Windows tablets, iPads, and most mobile devices. Each administrator can install Office on five PCs or Macs, five Windows tablets or iPads, and five phones, thus increasing their flexibility and efficiency for remote work access.
Increased Security for Storage and Communications
Records administration is an enormous and complex undertaking for most educational institutions. With thousands of records that need to follow students as they progress through their educational careers, institutions struggle to provide effective and efficient records administration. Microsoft’s storage and database solutions resolve these issues with intuitive, secure and transferable records management tools. Educational institutions also need to protect their student’s data without sacrificing administrator and educator collaboration. Exchange and SharePoint offer institutions secure communication and collaboration tools that adhere to worldwide security standards and help prevent student information from leaking.
Engaging alumni is one of the more difficult challenges administrators face. Traditional methods of communication, like mailers and phone calls, are often ineffective or completely ignored. Institutions can reverse this trend with Dynamics CRM and Yammer. Dynamics CRM gives administrators a central location for tracking alumni data and activity, like when an alumnus attends an on-campus event or donates to the institution. Dynamics CRM also allows for if-then workflows that help administrators automate certain tasks, like sending an e-mail if alumni are interested in particular programs. Yammer External Groups also helps institutions engage with alumni with its intuitive and familiar social features. Administrators can use Yammer External Groups to reconnect graduates with classmates from specific years, share institution updates and news, and ultimately build affinity among alumni to their alma mater.
Clearly, moving to a Cloud-based infrastructure, namely Office 365, can not only provide administrators in education with amazing tools to improve their processes, but can serve to improve the education system as a whole. This was the last of our 3-part series this week on Cloud productivity in the education system. Be sure to check out our previous entries on how the Cloud benefits this industry. As always, don’t hesitate to send us a message or call us for any questions, comments or concerns. We’re happy to help: