A recent amendment to the Ministry of Education’s Microsoft School Agreement gives schools access to their Microsoft server software hosted by third parties, including the Ministry of Education and other schools within the region.
The change was made in response to requests from schools for more flexible server hosting arrangements, particularly in light of the recent Christchurch earthquake, where many schools were left with damaged or unavailable technology infrastructure.
Ministry of Education e-learning manager, Howard Baldwin, said the change was made within the scope of the Ministry’s existing agreement with Microsoft, which provides operating systems and Office productivity software for state and state-integrated schools.
"This will allow schools to more easily work together to establish shared infrastructure, enabling them to reduce IT costs and focus more resources on learning."
Evan Blackman, education manager at Microsoft New Zealand, said the amendment will complement the Government’s UFB roll-out to schools.
"The combination of high speed connectivity and the amended Microsoft School Agreement will enable schools to more easily adopt local cloud services as they gain ultra-fast broadband capability," said Blackman.
Interested schools should contact their technology partners to discuss offsite server hosting and business continuity options.