17 october 2008

Oxford and Microsoft launch IT collaboration

Computer systems at SBS.
Groupware will be the most far-reaching IT deployment ever seen at Oxford University

Oxford University is working with Microsoft on a new integrated online system that would enable all its 32,000 staff and students to communicate and collaborate more effectively. The Project was launched this week.

The Groupware Project is the most wide-reaching IT deployment ever seen at Oxford. It will aim to create a collaborative working environment for staff and students within and beyond the University.

Microsoft’s Groupware technology was selected after extensive consultation and evaluation with representatives from across the collegiate University. The new collaboration was launched at Oxford’s Saϊd Business School by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Hood, and Gordon Frazer, MD Microsoft UK.

‘I am confident that this decision is the right one for Oxford University and will enable our staff and students - whether they are working, studying, teaching or undertaking research – to communicate and collaborate more effectively using email, online calendars and shared documents and workspaces of all kinds,’ said Professor Paul Jeffreys, The Director of IT, Oxford University.

Professor Jeffreys added: ‘The Microsoft solution was strongly favoured over competitors because of the range of Groupware functions that it offers, its ease of use, the size of the installed user-base, its interoperability with existing applications, its market share, and developments anticipated on the software roadmap.’

Trials of the new system will begin early next year with selected ‘early adopters’ across the University starting to use the technology.

Gordon Frazer, MD Microsoft UK, commented: ‘We have a long heritage of working with Oxford University and experience with all of the top ten Universities worldwide. We understand that in an increasingly competitive research environment, the ability to collaborate effectively across colleges and universities is crucial. The strategic move to a framework which mixes new and established technologies will allow Oxford to be at the leading edge, supporting future communications and building on existing investments.’