A+ for Microsoft cloud rollout as New Era excels in education

Adoption of cloud-based delivery, successful implementation of Microsoft Lync at Northern Health School, role of ‘trusted advisor’ all key factors in award.

New Era has been recognised as the leading ICT solution and service provider to the education sector in New Zealand by Microsoft.

By awarding them the prestigious accolade ‘Microsoft Education Partner of the Year - 2015’, the company says Microsoft has endorsed the company as a leader in delivering cloud services.

“We are very proud of our award,” says Anthony Church, managing director, New Era. “Our future as a country is only as promising as the quality of education we provide to students.

“By working with Microsoft, we feel that we are providing the very best in ICT products and services. The proof is in the outcomes and today’s students are excelling in no small part because of New Zealand’s increased focus on computer literacy and eLearning.”

Hard dollar value

“New Era has great scale across schools with the solutions they offer, from hybrid cloud on hyper-v, to Lync, Office365 and BYOD,” says Brent Kendrick, Microsoft New Zealand SMB and partner director. “They were also able to provide evidence of partnering and had hard dollar proof points of the value they are providing to schools.”

“The quality of entries this year has been truly outstanding,” he continues, “and shows the extent to which partners have been joining Microsoft on our journey of transformation towards becoming the productivity and platform company for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Moving students into the cloud

As reported by Reseller News New Zealand, Church says the company’s commitment to embracing the cloud was one of the deciding factors in Microsoft’s selection of New Era as ‘Education Partner of the Year.

“We have migrated more than 15,000 students onto EduServe, our exclusive private / public cloud solution,” he adds.

“Based on Microsoft’s hyper-v virtualised platform and delivering a full hosted Microsoft solution including Office 365 integration, Microsoft Lync and the full Microsoft Server 2012 suite, EduServe saves schools money and eliminates the need for on-site servers.

“We have more and more schools coming on board every month.”

Skills

For Church, another key consideration in New Era’s award was their successful implementation of Microsoft Lync at Northern Health School.

“Microsoft Lync has helped us reduce telecommunications costs by 40% and is making huge improvements in the way we communicate amongst ourselves and students,” adds Richard Winder, Principal, Northern Health School.

“The team at New Era have been very good in respect to delivering what they promise. Their skills with Microsoft are impressive and they are always proactive with support.

“Our goal is to create an environment for teachers to deliver the best outcome for students. And these resources give us just that.”

Proactive engagement

Equally important was New Era’s outreach to schools on behalf of Microsoft.

“We employ a full-time Microsoft ‘evangelist’, John Phelps, whose role is to help New Zealand schools understand how and where cost-effective implementations of Microsoft (and other) ICT solutions can add value to school’s eLearning initiatives,” Church continues.

“John visits hundreds of schools annually and has been instrumental in promoting ‘best practices’ at schools up and down the country.”

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