This is a major trend in higher education and we have been monitoring other schools’ experiences with cloud e-mail solutions for several years. Microsoft has over 20 million users of their cloud services in education alone. Examples of schools that have moved to Office 365 include Nebraska, Duke, and Ohio State. As the services matured and their integration with on-premise services improved, we decided that there was enough value for the University of Iowa to pursue cloud email.
The real benefits are in the improved services we can provide our students, faculty & staff. The change allows for larger mailboxes, better collaboration tools, and improved communication tools including instant messaging, video conferencing, and online meetings.