Identifying India as a huge potential market for IT reforms, more particularly in Education sector, Microsoft on Tuesday launched Edu-Cloud, a K-12 targeted product combining a digital learning platform on cloud and software solutions for schools, all deployed on Microsoft’s Cloud Platform.
Edu-cloud is going to provide ERP, SIS solutions and digital library access to schools and at the same time will offer virtual learning platform and teacher training aimed at students and teachers. This will be done by a system preloaded in a Lenovo tab serving as a point of access for all digitised content and Microsoft’s other software offerings such as Office 365 and Evernote.
Edu-Cloud is expected to reach 60 lakh students and 10 lakh teachers in over 1500 institutions in the next 18 months as told by Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman of Microsoft India who was in Hyderabad to launch Edu-Cloud.
Currently Microsoft has joined hands with a chain of educational institutions, Sri Chaitanya Schools being one of them, having network in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which plans to roll out this service by next year to the students of standard 3, 4 and 5th. Sri Charan, Director of Sri Chaitanya Schools said,
We have a tie-up with Macmillan publishers for their digitized books as well as our own content. The current tie-up will reduce the assessment time, especially for test-prep for plus-one students from one day to a few minutes
It is noteworthy that K-12 education system has been quickly gaining popularity in India after establishing its footprints in USA and Canada, especially after the launching of free primary education schemes by Indian government. In fact, the current K-12 school system in India is one of the largest in the world with more than 1.4 million schools and over 250 million students enrolled, as revealed in EY-FICCI report on the education sector in India.
This concept covers the education from Kindergarten (K) till the 12th grade and focuses more on teacher-student interaction and “learning by doing” method, unlike our conventional education system based on “rote learning for exam” method.
Just the Beginning of Cloud Services
The idea of Edu-Cloud based on cloud services can be seen as just the beginning of cloud computing services by Microsoft, with the tech-giant reporting a staggering 106%growth in its cloud-computing business over the last year with annualized revenue rate of $6.3 billion.
In India, Microsoft is gearing up to offer its cloud services through three hybrid cloud data centers in Pune by the end of 2015 and later through centers at undisclosed locations in West and Southern India.
Bhaskar Pramanik the Chairman of Microsoft India, while speaking about the Microsoft plans to offer these services to enterprises and SMEs, financial institutions and government bodies, said
The public cloud market in India is currently 1% of the IT industry. We are building for the future by trying to grow the market to capture 50% of the $40 billion IT spend by enterprises in the country.
He further added,
We have been through every single guideline including the IT Act, IDRBT guidelines for the Indian banking sector and SEBI guidelines to make sure that our functionalities meet the requirements. These centers were set up for multiple tax and security reasons.
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