Kingston University is Textbook Example for Messageware OWA Productivity Tools

January 17, 2010, Toronto, Canada – Messageware (http://messagewareinc.wpengine.com), the world's leading provider of enterprise productivity, security and customization solutions for Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access and Outlook Web App (OWA), today announced that Kingston University (http://www.kingston.ac.uk), a top U.K. university, has selected the company’s Messageware OWA Suite 2009 for Exchange 2007.

Nestled into a one thousand year-old suburb of London is one of the most innovative testing grounds of the 21st century knowledge culture.  Kingston University enjoys an enviable place in the British academic scene as an incubator for new teaching and research ideas.  Its 20,000 students, who hail from 143 different countries, inhabit a close-knit grouping of four campuses in and around Kingston on Thames, 25 miles from central London.  Because of the urban setting and distributed physical plan, students and faculty are constantly on the move.  Kingston University’s IS personnel are challenged to keep up.

“Our people are moving at the pace of modern life.  It’s essential for them to stay in contact with the university community whether they’re in a classroom building, in a coffeehouse, at home, or halfway around the world on an overseas internship,” notes Mark Nicholls, Senior Technical Consultant.

Email is the linchpin to Kingston’s mobile learning paradigm.  Because as many as 30,000 users, including students, teachers, administrators and partners, may access their email from multiple PCs during any given day, Nicholls and the IS team chose to install Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA), enabling their constituents to send and receive school email from any Web browser enabled computer.

“OWA is available to everyone—but for our students it’s their primary method for sending and receiving email,” stated Nicholls.  “Unfortunately OWA does not offer some of the key features found in the full Outlook client, like access to personal address lists or the ability to share calendars.  Even more, opening file attachments is a problem if the PC being used doesn’t have the appropriate application installed.”

According to Mark Rotman, Messageware’s President & CEO, the concerns raised by Kingston University are not at all unusual.  “Kingston is a classic example of the benefits OWA enhancement can bring to organizations with a high number of mobile users. With an ever-increasing number of people on the move during the business or school day, email access from a variety of locations is critical.  And users simply cannot afford to sacrifice key features just because they access their email over the Web.”

After searching for solutions that could provide Outlook-like features in OWA, Nicholls and the Kingston University IS team came upon Messageware’s OWA enhancement products.  “There really was no one else,” said Nicholls.  “Messageware was the only vendor that could resolve our business requirements.”

The university initially purchased AttachView, which allows OWA users to securely view file attachments without requiring the installation of a local copy of the application, and Plus Pack, Messageware’s OWA productivity offering that includes global address list access, roaming personal dictionaries, spell check and more.  A year later, the school upgraded to Messageware’s OWA Suite 2009, giving OWA users a range of additional functionality including the ability to share calendars, print calendars and schedules in multiple layouts and send email using OWA from within Microsoft Office or other desktop applications.

While students were quick to appreciate the value of the new enhancements, faculty and administrators also took note.  “Our staff had flagged the problem of addressing emails when using OWA, but Plus Pack solved that problem for them,” stated Nicholls.  “Another feature gives staff the ability to check the size of their folders.  This was a big win for people who often work away from their desk and are constantly going over their mailbox quota.”

With its collection of Messageware tools in place, Kingston University has delivered a mobile email solution that is as modern and progressive as the school itself.  The advantages, noted Nicholls, have since been felt by his IS co-workers as well as the thousands of people who use the system.

“AttachView is a perfect example,” he observed.  “With 400 file types supported, we have yet to find a student who has not been able to open an attachment.  This has helped reduce helpdesk calls.”  He added that since the implementation, dozens of university employees who used to use a VPN tunnel at home to access their Outlook client have all switched to OWA, thereby eliminating a potential security risk.

“Messageware has repeatedly proven itself,” Nicholls said.  “We’re confident that its products will continue to allow our users to get a close-to-Outlook desktop experience anywhere, anytime.”

January 17, 2010 | Topics: Case Studies, Press Releases

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