New Office Services Now Available to Campus
If you ask Rachel Moorehead, the best-kept secret on campus is just waiting to be found at office365.gatech.edu.
She’s the systems support engineer at the Office of Information Technology who’s been shepherding the recent rollout of new services from the Microsoft Office 365 software suite that are now available to all of campus.
One of these services, SkyDrive Pro, lets users upload or create files up to 2GB, with total storage capacity of 25GB, and collaborate on those files with people across campus and beyond. Another, Lync Online, will enable web conferencing and instant messaging with anyone in the Tech system, on or off campus. The system also provides a way to collaborate with people outside of the Tech community using just an email address.
Students get the additional benefit of a free subscription to the full Office 365 Pro Plus suite, including desktop and mobile versions of the Office Suite, for their time at Tech. The software will be cloud-based and available for download at office365.gatech.edu.
“Students are clamoring for Office Pro Plus,” Moorehead said.
During town halls held by OIT last year, a central message from attendees was the desire for a global collaboration suite with more storage space, a better way to edit and collaborate in real time, and ways to help people stay connected. All of those concerns are being addressed with these new services.
“The 25 gigs of storage space is a big selling piece,” Moorehead said. “I know a lot of departments are very interested in the instant messaging service, especially for those who telework.”
Those with concerns about privacy can rest assured that Georgia Tech, not a third-party vendor, secures the information.
“We own all our data and have complete control over it,” said Moorehead. All information is protected and supported by Georgia Tech, meaning OIT can assist with any potential issues, instead of having to refer users to an external entity.
One facet of Tech’s 25-year Strategic Plan is that its “technologies, including information technology/computing power, must facilitate service and innovation.” As the Institute aspires to be a world leader in higher education, OIT aims to provide systems that serve Tech’s people as they aspire to their own strategic goals.
“It’s really to just give students, faculty, and staff a better way to collaborate across campus,” Moorehead said.
Office 365 will be integrated with the campus directory, meaning even without knowing someone’s email address, users can find each other and start collaborating. It also works on all mobile devices and tablets, letting users keep the intended integrity of their documents back and forth among desktop applications, mobile applications, and the cloud.
Instructions for getting started, along with FAQs, are available at office365.gatech.edu.