New College Swindon
New College is a Further and Higher Education college based in Swindon. Founded in 1984, it has grown quickly to become one of the UK’s most exciting and modern learning facilities, providing state-of-the-art education services in modern surroundings.
Having been made aware of Microsoft’s attractive licensing terms for Office 365 for educational institutions – whereby every student is granted access to the full Office 365 suite without charge – New College was keen to take advantage of the offer as quickly as possible. It, therefore, went out to find an accredited Microsoft partner that could deliver the solution. With its strong track record for delivering Microsoft licensing to the educational sector, combined with its extensive experience of sizeable Office 365 deployments, it did not take long for Phoenix Software’s name to be put forward. In fact, it was Microsoft themselves who personally recommended Phoenix Software to New College as the best partner for the job.
In addition to wishing to provide every student with the very latest versions of the world’s most popular office productivity suite without charge, New College had a growing IT challenge that it was hoping Office 365 and Phoenix Software could overcome. With the College’s extensive array of multimedia courses it was facing a significant storage challenge, with many students required to store a significant number of video files in full HD and a future need to include 4K video files. Combined with the national trend for video to be used more widely as a teaching aid in almost all courses, the College’s onsite storage capacity was quickly coming under strain.
The College simply could not afford to expand the quantity of onsite storage at the rate that was being demanded, so by taking advantage of the additional cloud storage available with every Office 365 licence, New College hoped this strain could be alleviated without any additional costs.
Phoenix Software was able to provide New College with the campus-wide Microsoft Office 365 Student Advantage licence, which provides every student with a subscription to Office 365 ProPlus for no extra charge. ProPlus includes the latest versions of all of the desktop Office applications including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Outlook, Lync and InfoPath, in addition to web applications of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus Android/iPhone apps and Office for Mac. Of particular value to students who often have more than one device – namely, a smartphone and/or tablet – Office 365 ProPlus can be installed on up to five devices at any one time.
In addition to the complete Office desktop and mobile suite, each student is provided with Office 365 cloud-based email and calendar delivered via Outlook online, providing students with the most reliable email and calendar service available with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Adding to the cloud services, every student has also been granted a sizeable 1TB of cloud storage, meaning they will never run out of space to store their work.
“We felt very confident in Phoenix Software’s ability to deliver the solution that we needed,” said Ian Hole, Head of ICT at New College Swindon. “From the very first conversation I was confident that they understood implicitly both the needs of our sector and the capabilities of Office 365. Their professional services approach and deployment methodology showed that they would do more than simply sell us a licence, but would work with us to ensure we got the maximum value from it. The consultants at Phoenix Software really took the time to understand our network before proposing the solution and methodology to install Office 365 into our environment. There were clear lines of communication backed up by a clear scope of the works, which gave us the transparency and confidence that they knew exactly what they were doing.”