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Live@edu -Cloud Computing-

The Cloud computing services at the UCC

After consulting with several UCC-community members and comparing two possible alternatives (Google apps and Live@edu) we decide to implement the migration of the email service to the cloud services of email offered by “Live@edu”. Before the definitive migration we put in place a pilot test of this service that was programmed last week of February 2010. You can see one recent post of comparing both cloud computing services at following link: http://goo.gl/g3nv.

We are supplying this document to maintain the UCC-community updated. This document concisely answers several questions about the meaning of this new service that will be in place shortly. Here you will find the most general frequently asked question about this service.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing generally refers to email, calendaring, document sharing, and other collaborative and communication tools hosted by an external provider via the Internet (“in the cloud”). This is the UCC’ extranet communication enviroment. The intranet communication is powered by the Jenzabar enviroment.

Why is UCC interested in cloud computing?

The UCC is exploring whether cloud services can help us meet our strategic goals of providing state-of-the-art personal productivity and collaboration tools to the UCC community, while at the same time reducing costs for providing “commodity” IT and enabling us to re-focus technology staff on other high priority activities. Some of these services are offered at no charge to academic institutions, and many UCC students, Faculty and Staff are already familiar with the services through their individual use of them.

Are there advantages to using the cloud services for email?
The cloud email services offer more storage space than the on-premise email accounts offered to UCC students, staff, faculty, and alumni.
Many users may already be familiar with the user interface for Microsoft email.
The services offer integrated instant messaging.
The services are easy to use with your mobile phone.

Services

Q. Which cloud service vendors are UCC partnering with?

A. During the second semester of 2010, UCC Technology Department make Microsoft Windows Live service available to UCC faculty and staff, all current UCC students, as well as alumni and former students. We are using the UCC email address (UserName@uccaribe.edu), is to say our identity is preserved.

Q. What services are offered through the cloud?

A. Microsoft’s Live@Edu program provides many Windows Live services at no charge to education customers, including:
Outlook Live: 10 GB mailbox for email, calendar, and contacts; email forwarding to your Windows Mobile or iPhone
Messenger: Live chat, voice, and video communication
SkyDrive: 25 GB of online file storage
Spaces: Online workspace for collaboration
Photos: Tag and share photos and slideshows

Q. Will I be charged for email cloud service in the future?

A. Microsoft’s Live@Edu Education Edition platform is being made available to academic institutions at no charge. Consequently, no student or departmental fees will be needed for the basic services. Microsoft offer additional “for fee” services that include higher service level and compliance guarantees (e.g., eDiscovery) that probably should be critical for some populations of UCC personnel. We plan to evaluate the cost, benefit, and billing structure of these services in the coming months; however, the costs for these vendor-billable services will be passed along to users or departments that elect to use them.

Q. Will I still have a “UCC-branded” email address?

A. Yes. You will continue to send and receive email using your existing UserName@uccaribe.eduemail address.

Q. Can I use my mobile device with the cloud options?

A. Yes, the service allows connections via mobile devices.

Availability and Signup

Q. When will UCC sponsored cloud computing services be available to me?

A. Actually, UCC Windows Live for Education is available to all students, as well as alumni and former students and UCC faculty and staff. That process take effect  starting second semester of 2010.

Q. How do I sign up for cloud services?

If you are eligible for cloud services, you can activate your UCC Windows Live ID account by going to the administrative Unit of the LIRC (CRAI). Thanks for your support.