We are pleased to announce that the Department of Education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky has gone live with Microsoft's Live@edu solution.  I highly recommend you read Chuck Austin's (Office of Education Technology, Kentucky DOE) guest blog post for more insights on their experience.  With more than 700,000 people, this is the largest cloud deal in the United States!  Schools in the Bluegrass state are 'All In' for the cloud.

Scale and Speed

What's so fascinating about this announcement is the scale and speed with which the teams have been able to move.  Over 500,000 inboxes were migrated over a single weekend!  This is evidence of great project planning and superior migration tools used by the team as well as great engineering by Microsoft to build a robust suite of software that can handle such capacity.  The initiative covers 174 school districts scattered all over the Commonwealth allowing 1,300 schools with over 700,000 students, employees and staff to gain access to cutting edge solutions.

Level Playing Field

While 31 percent of elementary and secondary public schools nationwide are in locations classified as rural by the U.S. Census Bureau, the majority of public students in Kentucky are in rural areas.  Kentucky is leveling the playing field with Live@edu by giving students in rich and poor districts access to the same powerful technology in the cloud.  Live@edu offers a rich and robust communication and collaboration platform to educators and students that is always on and supports anytime, anywhere education for all; it also provides students access to tools they will be using in the workforce.

Momentum

Now more than 11 million people across 10,000 schools on every continent are using Live@edu as their technology solution.  This is fast on the heels of  last year's move by the Board of Regents in the  State of Ohio who also selected Live@edu for a University System initiative and last week's University of Arizona decision to choose BPOS.   The Commonwealth's criterion for selecting Live@edu is similar to the countless others I've highlighted in previous weeks and it offers stark contrast  from the discussions being had at the: University of California-Davis, UMass and Yale University, regarding deep privacy and security concerns related to the use of Google Apps which is provided by a company that makes ~97% of their revenue from search and advertising.

 In a budget-constrained environment, Kentucky is saving $6.3 million over four years while delivering a steady stream of the latest technology to students, faculty and staff.