During the week of the BETT Show I was demonstrating Office 365 for Education to several schools, colleges and universities.
Many questions were asked and I’ve tried to put these down in a list below.
Q: Is there still a free offering of Office 365 for Education?
A: Yes. If you only want the Exchange mail feature you will be able to enrol for just that plan. This includes all the offering currently in Windows Live such as SkyDrive.
Q: I already have live@edu, will I be charged when it moves to Office 365 for Education?
A: Your current live@edu will be migrated to Office 365 for Education and to the free exchange offering allowing you to use all the same technologies you have now.
Q: The location of my data is important, where will mine be location?
A: Microsoft have several data centres within the EU. If you school is located within the EU, so will your data.
Q: When will Office 365 for Education be launched?
A: We don’t know yet but it will be sometime in 2011. More news on this when it is released.
Q: I think some features are better suited for different staff, can one set of staff be on A1 and others on A2?
A: Yes. You may find that you want more advanced features for admin staff over teaching staff. This is fine, all you have to do is subscribe the user to that plan
Q: I have a schools agreement/campus agreement/EES with all my Microsoft licensing. Will I have to pay for some of the licensing such as Office Pro Plus twice?
A: Microsoft have yet to decide how the subscription of Office 365 for Education will be linked into the new EES licensing.
Q: Is there still a storage area offering as part of Office365 for Education
A: Currently in live@edu you can use the Live features such as SkyDrive. This will still be offered in Office365 for Education allowing you to have 25GB of storage space in the cloud.
Q: I’m a Network Manager and if my school take Office 365 for education I will be out of a job. Is there more to this than I think?
A: There is so much to Office 365 for Education and you have nothing to worry about. It would be a good idea to look at Active Directory Federation Services also known as ADFS. With this service you will be able configure single sign on. Consider how you would customise the SharePoint portal and integrate it into your school. You will also need to ensure that Lync 2010 client is installed on machines, auto configures the right address for autodiscovery in Lync and Outlook. Take a look at these videos from TechEd as they will help you see the different opportunities with the products. Office 365 Videos from TechEd Europe