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Running Header: MICROSOFT OFFICE 365 for education - VENTURE ANALYSIS

Assignment #1: Microsoft Office 365 for education A Critical Venture Analysis

Lisa Nevoral - 56909005 ETEC 522 Ventures in Learning Technologies Course Instructor David Vogt October 14, 2012

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis Introduction Advancements in technology are constantly occurring and with the emergence of cloud computing, many of the ways in which we collaborate, communicate, and create have drastically changed. The use of local resources to house software, applications, and operating systems, as well as store information and data, has been diminishing. There are many advantages for using cloud computing such as decreased costs, increased flexibility, and increased collaboration (Powell, n.d.). Decreased costs for a company can be seen in areas such as software purchases, upgrades, and managing large IT departments (Pocatilu, Felician, Vetrici, n.d.). User flexibility has increased because information can be accessed anytime, from virtually anywhere using a multitude of different devices such as personal computers, smart phones, laptops, and tablets (Powell, n.d.). In addition, individuals can now work collectively with others on documents or projects online, allowing for more collaboration to occur.

One product that uses cloud computing and is gaining momentum is Microsoft Office 365 for education. There are many features of this program that both educators and students can take advantage of to enhance their teaching and learning. Additionally, it has the capabilities for individuals to organize their work, set schedules, and to collaborate with others to finish projects and assignments. As an Educational Venture Analyst (EVA), I am promoting this product because I believe it makes for a sound investment. In this venture analysis, I will state some of the Microsoft Office 365 products that can benefit both educators and students. Furthermore, I will do a Microsoft company overview and a cube analysis of the product.

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis The Product Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based system that has combined several features such as Office, email, and websites into one location that can be utilized by educational institutions. It was developed to further interactivity between teacher and student or student groups while providing innovative new tools combined in an easy-to-use and highly mobile product (Microsoft, n.d.). Microsofts goal is for each teacher, student, or group to be able to learn, collaborate, and problem-solve together, as well as communicate and provide feedback with ease. Office Web Apps, Outlook, Lync, and SharePoint are some of the products that allows for these to occur.

Office Web Apps is the online companion of Office and it allows students and educators to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote individually or as a group (Microsoft Office 365, n.d.). Users can work on a single document alone, or in real-time and simultaneously with others to change and edit their documents. Students or educators can also send documents directly to others within their groups without having to open an email server thereby losing no information. Another advantage is Office Web Apps features and functions are essentially the same as Office, so students and teachers do not need to learn another system to create or edit documents if they have previously used Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Office 365 also provides a product called Outlook Web Apps which is used to access emails, calendars, tasks, Office Web Apps, Lync, and SharePoint (Microsoft Office 365, n.d.). Using this product, students and educators are able to access their emails from a multitude of devices, check to see who is online, save individual emails and contacts, and

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis create group emails easily. As well, as part of the communications features, individuals can use instant messaging (IM) and setup and participate in online meetings via the audio, video, or web conferencing system using Lync Online. Another feature of Outlook that may be very useful for students and educators is the calendar. It allows an individual to place their own schedules into the calendars, to share their calendars with other students or teachers, and to check others calendars and request meeting times. It also has the capability to overl ap personal and school schedules and can be synced to many devices. Outlook also provides a task feature that allows individuals to create To-Do lists. A Group Task can also be created for team members to view their To-do list for assignments and to mark off anything that they have completed.

The final feature of Microsoft Office 365 that could be very useful to students and educators is SharePoint Online (Microsoft Office 365, n.d.). SharePoint allows individuals, schools, school districts, or post-secondary institutions to create a website customized for their organization. No special skills are required, it is easy to update and publish, and it uses Office tools that are already known by many. Students may also use SharePoint to obtain their assignments, collaborate on assignments, see due dates, and provide feedback on other peoples work. Teachers can use SharePoint as a platform to assign and collect projects, provide feedback on student work, and to create an individual website.

The cost to incorporate Microsoft Office 365 varies depending on the needs of a particular institution or school district. Microsoft has created various model plans that range in different services and prices, allowing its buyers to choose the best deal for their

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis institution (Microsoft Office 365, n.d.). In my EVA opinion, the ideal plan for any educational institution is to have the cloud-based email, calendar, tasks, and contacts, own domain name, IM, voice and video chat, and online conferencing with desktop sharing. Included with these services is online and telephone support of advanced IT personnel, a service management portal, and a support community.

The Company In order to assess the potential success of the Microsoft Office 365 for education a closer look must also be taken at the company behind the product. Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, specializes in developing, manufacturing, licensing, and supporting a wide range of products and services related to computing (Microsoft News Center, 2000). Some of the most recognized products of Microsoft are Windows, Office, Xbox, Internet Explorer, Bing, SkyDrive, Hotmail, MSN, Windows Phone and its latest acquisition, Skype (Microsoft, n.d.). In 2012, Microsofts global revenues reached 16.97 Billion USD and it was ranked fourth in the YChart financial and economic data set (Market Cap Rankings, 2012).

This large global company, headed by Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer, employs over 94,000 people (Wikipedia, n.d.). Its headquarters are found in Redmond, Washington, U.S., but Microsoft has several main offices in different geographic regions located in China, France, Germany, Singapore, Turkey and the U.S. (Microsoft Careers, n.d.). Microsoft has done a great job assembling an amazing management team, made up of executives with numerous qualifications and experience (Microsoft News Center, n.d.). In

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis addition to the solid team they already have in place, they continue to add qualified executives and personnel to further strengthen the Microsoft vision.

Microsoft continues to make advancements in technology through innovative and high quality products designed to meet the needs of education, business, government, and home consumers worldwide. To date, Microsoft has one billion customers, twenty million businesses, and over seventy-six markets worldwide (Wikipedia, n.d.). They offer multilevel support, strong financial structure, high level research and development, full support in global logistics, and total solutions for their customers. Microsoft is also highly involved with community and social endeavours (Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, n.d.).

Cube Analysis The key in the cloud computing market is continuous innovation. Continually looking to outperform their competitors, Microsoft continues to be an innovative leader and launched Microsoft Office 365 on June 28, 2011 as a software as a service (Hardenburgh, 2012). The message they were sending out to consumers was stop licensing communication and desktop software, and move to the cloud (Hardenburgh, 2011). Microsoft has done very well, as supported by their fiscal reports, and looks to continue to be a major player in the cloud computing market.

Market Focus Microsoft has geared their products towards public school districts, higher education institutes, small businesses, and large corporate organizations. Mostly, Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis has targeted businesses without much technological infrastructure (Hardenburgh, 2011). This gives Microsoft a strategic edge over its competitors that lack this type of market focus. With the various pricing model plans, businesses and institutions can choose what best fits their needs.

Types of Offerings In terms of the types of offerings, Microsoft Office 365 produces software and services to deliver content. Microsoft Office 365 represents the type of cutting edge technology that is geared towards improving todays classroom learning environment. This resource is making classrooms more communicative, collaborative, creative, and connected.

Buyers The typical buyers of Microsoft Office 365 are small businesses, schools or districts in the public education system, and higher education institutions. The purchasing decision to obtain Microsoft Office 365 for K-12 public schools typically comes from school districts IT departments.

Global Target Microsoft products and services are truly marketed globally. The market for Microsoft Office 365 services and products are available in 33 languages and in numerous countries (Microsoft Office 365, n.d.). All Microsoft products and services are multilingual and manufactured all around the world.

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis Market Status Microsoft products are exported worldwide (with the exception of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria) and compete with many locally developed products offering wellbuilt products and competitive pricing (Microsoft, n.d.). Google Apps for education is really the only other major competitor in this field; therefore locally developed products dont stand much of a chance against products created by these two companies to date (Hardenburgh, 2012).

Competition Microsoft Office 365 works with a well-developed learning system. With strong pedagogical foundations already in place, teachers and students will benefit from the different products found in Microsoft Office 365 to help with collaboration, teamwork, flexibility, and IT skill acquirement.

Conclusion Cloud computing is here to stay and Microsoft has made it clear that they want to be part of that movement. There are several advantages of using Microsoft Office 365 in an educational setting such as decreased costs, increased flexibility, and increased collaboration. Moreover, it helps prepare students with skills that they will use in the real world and the workplace. Microsoft Office 365 has also addressed one of the key problems facing their customers in the public education market; how to decrease costs? In my EVA opinion, this new technology offers a reasonable solution. As well, this company has an excellent financial record and a very strong foot-hold in a competitive market. In addition to their 8

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis viable products and services, they work hard to sustain a close connection with their customers by offering the highest level of support for its consumers. For these reasons, I am recommending Microsoft Office 365 for education.

Microsoft Office 365 for education Venture Analysis References

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