The first phase of VT Office 365, a suite of cloud-based collaborative solutions from Microsoft, is now available to Virginia Tech faculty and staff. 

The initial phase includes Office Online, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint Online.

Being cloud-based means the data and/or applications reside and execute on servers outside Virginia Tech rather than on the user’s computer or in the university’s data center.

Office Online includes cloud-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

OneDrive for Business provides 1 terabyte (TB) of online storage and provides synchronization of files and folders between all Office 365 applications as well as desktops, laptops, smart devices, and the cloud.

SharePoint Online is a tool for collaboration and project management that allows subscribed users and departments to create SharePoint sites that can range in use from a simple webpage to a complex workflow system, allowing data exchange with an on-premise SQL database. SharePoint can be used to provide wiki, blog, document management, or intranet services.

There are two types of SharePoint Online accounts:

  • Individual: Licensed users have access to “MySite,” which includes 50 MB of space (in addition to the 1 TB of OneDrive space). This private, cloud-based storage can be used to manage SharePoint Online profiles; build websites, blogs and wikis; and link to OneDrive resources. Default templates are available to support quick setups and custom templates may be designed for unique applications.
  • Departmental: Departments receive an initial allocation of 50 GB of space. If the initial allocation is consumed, an additional 50 GB can be obtained. Beyond that, additional space can be purchased at a low yearly cost.

"VT Office 365 will provide enhanced collaboration, communication, and data sharing capabilities for the university community," said Marc DeBonis, director of collaborative computing solutions. "These cloud-based offerings allow us to further develop true anytime-anywhere access to the IT resources we rely on, with the reach and resilience the cloud provides at a very low entry cost." 

To learn more, visit the VT Office 365 website. Information about additional VT Office 365 services will be released in the coming months. Questions can be referred to Jeff Kidd via email or by calling 540-231-3932.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Jeff Kidd.