Management > CIO

Janet signs framework agreement with Google Apps for Education

David Bicknell Published 08 October 2013

Education users to sign up to Google's free cloud services; CIOs worry about WiFi demand


Education network Janet and Google have announced a framework agreement that makes it easier for colleges and universities to move to using Google Apps for Education for staff and students.

The agreement means further and higher education colleges and universities in the UK are eligible to sign up to Google Apps for Education such as Gmail, docs and spreadsheets using a contract approved by Janet as meeting UK legal requirements.

The 'cloud services for education agreement' is intended to give the educational establishments peace of mind in terms of security, resilience, legal and data compliance, cost and functionality.

Tim Marshall, Janet's chief executive said, "This agreement is the start of a long journey which began together nearly six years ago in the US. The cloud is about opportunity and you cannot be as defensive as IT has been in the past. It may be more risky if you do it yourself."

Dan Perry, Janet's director of product and marketing said: "Over the years we've had huge interest from our members in moving to Google Apps for Education. Yet these same universities and colleges did not have the time nor resources to explore and understand the contractual complexities of cloud security, safety and data protection. So, we worked closely with Google to create a Cloud Services for Education Agreement. This agreement removes the need for colleges and universities to conduct their own due diligence, saving approximately £20,000 in time and cost for each UK higher and further education organisation."

Liz Sproat, head of education, EMEA at Google, said: "We're always looking for ways to make it easier for schools, colleges and universities to take advantage of our free online collaboration and communication tools. One third of all UK colleges and universities already use Google Apps for Education. We hope this new framework agreement with Janet will enable even more students, professors, lecturers and teachers to collaborate and communicate more easily whilst also saving money for their educational institutions."

The agreement signing was attended by four IT heads within universities and colleges: Christine Sexton, CIO of Sheffield University; Martin King, Head of IT Services at Ealing Hammersmith & West London College; Heidi Fraser-Krauss, Head of IT Services, Deputy Director of Information, The University of York; and Lawrence Wood, Vice Principal with responsibility for e-learning at Coleg Cambria (formerly Deeside College).

A key issue for the IT leaders is the WiFi access demands on their infrastructure of thousands of students, most of whom are using multiple devices. They admitted that educational establishments' infrastructure sometimes struggles to cope with students' 24x7 expectations on all of their devices.

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