The University has implemented the Microsoft Teams platform as an alternative to Zoom and Skype. Softline acted as a consultant for this project and offered to leverage the free offer from Microsoft for educational organizations and implement the platform.
The project was performed remotely to ensure maximum security during the pandemic, so Microsoft Teams was also used for consultations and implementation. Training lessons were conducted for top managers and users, and basic accounts and workspace settings were configured. A test group was also created within Teams, and it was used to test main services in which the university is interested: video conferencing, calls, calendar, and schedule. After consultations, the customer was able to configure the required scenarios with the support of Softline as an IT consultant.
"After the pandemic began, the SWSU preferred free e-learning products such as Zoom, Skype, and others. After a year, we realized that we should not expect a complete return to offline in the near future, and online education will be relevant for a long time. We decided to create opportunities for distance learning on a permanent basis. In this regard, Southwest State University turned its attention to corporate platforms, which have wider functionality and provide better security.
As a service partner, Softline told us about the solution available to all educational institutions—the Microsoft 365 academic platform. Its main components are free for teachers and students. Softline consulting services helped us understand what Microsoft online services the University can use now, as well as how to implement them. This way, we were able to move to a more secure and functional platform," said Alexei Pykhtin, Vice-Rector for Digital Transformation at Southwest State University.
The University also pointed out the potential for further implementation of Teams, for example, to replace the current system of chats and calls and integrate messengers on a single platform.
"With Teams, you can create a unified corporate communications system that integrates chats, calls, calendar, schedule, and access to remote education resources. This is the main scenario of digitalization, something that all universities are going for.
This project lays the groundwork for the future. This shows the University's desire to move from consumer-grade B2C products to more professional B2B tools with better features and more capabilities," said Sergey Sapozhkov, IT consultant of Business Consulting Department, Softline.