GESS deploys Microsoft Office 365 for seamless collaboration

The German European School Singapore (GESS) has deployed Office 365 across its two campuses for 280 staff and 1,500 students.

German European School Singapore (GESS) deploys Microsoft Office 365 for seamless collaboration.

German European School Singapore (GESS) deploys Microsoft Office 365 for seamless collaboration.

With its combination of email, calendaring systems and office suite, Office 365 has enabled GESS to improve communication and collaboration amongst staff and students.

It has also reduced user IT support and back-end administration by up to 20%.

German European School Singapore (GESS)

The Singapore-based international school comprises a German section and a European section.

“The school spends a lot of effort to ensure that communications are kept private, student data is protected, and curriculum and assessment data are secure,” said Dr Harris, Head of Learning Resources, GESS.

The German arm of the school was established in 1971 to ensure that students coming from, and returning to, Germany benefit from continuity in education and reintegrate easily into the German system.

In the European section, students representing up to 35 different nationalities are educated in English, following the curricula of the International Baccalaureate Organization.

There is also a pre-school section which caters to children as young as 18 months old.

The school has campuses in Bukit Tinggi Road and Jalan Jurong Kechil and its IT department supports different groups of users across these two locations – from the students and teaching faculty to management and administrative staff as well as parents.

Extracts of the press release is appended below.

German European School Singapore Achieves Seamless Collaboration with Office 365

Singapore-based school integrates complex email and authentication system, reducing time spent on user support and back-end administration by up to 20 per cent

SINGAPORE – April 11, 2013 – Microsoft Singapore today announced the successful deployment of its cloud-based productivity service Office 365 in the German European School Singapore (GESS), a Singapore-based school with two campuses, 280 staff and 1,500 students. GESS’ Office 365 investment has improved communication and collaboration amongst staff and students, as well as reduced user IT support and back-end administration by up to 20%.

Office 365 – World-class management, functionalities and protection

Over the years, GESS had gone through various email systems – first with an in-house hosted solution, followed by a blended system with two different versions of Gmail and a hosted Exchange system.

“We believe that the level of security, access, and privacy available on Office 365 clearly aligns with GESS’s policies,” said Dr Harris.

With three email systems in place, only very basic document sharing was possible among the different groups of users.

There was no shared calendaring or resource booking, and the users had different email interfaces, which meant that the IT department had to support them in these different modes.

“It is heartening to see the fast-paced adoption of Office 365 in Asia, particularly Singapore. In an increasingly complex and mobile business environment, leading businesses have responded positively to Office 365’s value propositions of value, control and reliability,” John Fernandes, Chief Marketing & Operations Officer, Microsoft Singapore.

GESS has chosen cloud-based Office 365 to consolidate its email and calendaring systems with Microsoft Exchange Online as its hosted enterprise email service.

By having email and calendaring in a unified system, teachers are better able to handle their varied responsibilities outside of the classroom as well as better communicate with students.

With Office 365, GESS has been able to migrate from the use of spread sheets to keep track of major school activities to a shared online calendaring system.

GESS also implemented an online room booking system on Office 365 platform to enable everyone to book facilities across two campuses.

“GESS’s investment in Office 365 validates our confidence that Microsoft has the best-in-class cloud-based productivity service today for organizations of all shapes and sizes,” added Fernandes.

The school implemented an Active Directory on Office 365 so that users would be able to access their emails and other systems with one Active Directory password, as well as made it easier for the IT department to enable or disable user accounts in the background.

This has helped to reduce user IT support and back-end administration by up to 20%.

Considerations over data privacy and security were also central to GESS’s decision to move ahead with Office 365.

The Office 365 system aligns with GESS’s policies, ensuring that communications are kept private, student data is protected, and curriculum and assessment data are secure.

Future-proof Communications Platform

GESS is confident that Office 365 has provided the foundation in elevating its communications infrastructure. “Our long-term strategy is to create a seamless system for user authentication and communication, and to use it as a basis for other systems incorporating email, calendaring and online directory services,” added Dr Matt Harris.

In the longer term, the ability of Office 365 to connect into other services such as Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft SkyDrive and various web collaboration tools will also pave the way for GESS to tap on these and other hosted solutions to improve workflow and collaboration across the organization.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply