Microsoft Wins Its Largest Cloud Rollout Yet - InformationWeek
Cloud // Software as a Service
09:51 AM
Managing Threats from Every Angle
Jan 19, 2017
You've lost the tactical advantage. Your environment is not safe. No vector is secure. No infrastr ...Read More>>

Microsoft Wins Its Largest Cloud Rollout Yet

Microsoft beats out Google and IBM to provide online apps, services to 7.5 million students and professors in India's national technical education council.

X Windows Annoyances That Windows 8 Will (Hopefully) Solve
X Windows Annoyances That Windows 8 Will (Hopefully) Solve
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Microsoft has secured its largest cloud engagement to date, a deal to provide online software and services to 7.5 million students and professors across technical colleges maintained by the All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE).

Microsoft will deliver to AICTE its suite of online tools, which include Outlook Live, Office Live, and 25 GB per user of SkyDrive cloud storage. "In many cases these students didn't have services like this before," said Anthony Salcito, Microsoft's VP for worldwide education, in an interview. "Many of the schools are very remote and it's hard to physically deploy software to those campuses and schools; that's one of the benefits of the cloud."

The services will be provided free of charge to AICTE under Microsoft's educational software program. But the fact that the engagement will not generate revenue didn't stop other vendors from seeking the deal. Google and IBM also pitched their cloud services to AICTE, Salcito said. Western tech companies are climbing over each other to establish footprints in developing markets like India, even if it means providing services below cost or at no cost.

"We see the value of students using our core platform and tools," said Salcito. "They have influence as future users of software and leaders of growing economies like India."

[ Is Amazon Microsoft's next target in the cloud wars? See Microsoft Azure in 2012: Watch Out Amazon? ]

AICTE officials said access to services will make it easier for students and professors at India's technical schools to access key resources and collaborate with each other. "Microsoft's cloud platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country's technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students," said AICTE chairman S.S. Mantha, in a statement.

To support an engagement this large, Microsoft will provide AICTE with a management console that lets IT admins at the organization deploy the software to students and professors through Active Directory, establish policies like single sign-on, and integrate the software with other cloud services. "They would manage the environment just like they would if they were deploying the Exchange environment locally," said Salcito.

At its end, Microsoft will host the services from data centers located around the world. Salcito said the company isn't daunted by a cloud engagement of this scale. "We're used to running huge data centers that support many millions of users on services like Xbox Live. And we're already supporting 22 million users on"

AICTE said it also plans to deploy Office 365 for education when it becomes available later this year.

Take part in an Interop Webcast, Prepare Your Infrastructure For The Cloud Using Open Standards, which will look at the new drivers influencing cloud infrastructure. It happens April 18.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll