In addition to online access to all Microsoft Office products, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel, UMBC students, faculty and staff now have access to 1 Terabyte of cloud storage through Microsoft Office 365 and its related OneDrive.
Office 365 offers both the traditional downloadable software and a browser version. Simply login to my.umbc.edu and you’ll see a small grid panel next to the mail icon to access all your apps. From there, just select Office 365 and you are automatically redirected. You can also go to the site directly by typing http://my.umbc.edu/go/office365 into your browser.
Damian Doyle, Director of Enterprise Infrastructure and Support, noted how the campus makes great use of the Microsoft Office suite currently. Previously though, it was only licensed to faculty and staff and heavily discounted to students. Now, everyone has access to it on whatever device they want wherever they want, whether on the web or locally.
“Since Office 365 can be accessed through any web browser it also allows people to utilize the applications on more devices without having to remember to patch and update their software,” says Doyle. “You can also download the stand alone programs from the Office 365 website if you would prefer to have it installed locally or if you will need to run them at times when you don't have an Internet connection.”
Also included is 1 Terabyte of storage on OneDrive, so you can open any file from any device directly through Office 365.
Students are already beginning to discover how useful these tools are. “This is huge as I have put all my college documents on there, music, pictures, etc.,” says Bryan McLean, a junior Information Systems major, who has been using OneDrive storage already. “Not to mention, who doesn’t like 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage?”
McLean is also an advocate for SharePoint, which comes included with Office 365. “With UMBC now allowing students to participate in SharePoint, not only are they getting access to the same tools available to major businesses, corporations, and government agencies, but now everyone has access to MS Office,” says McLean. “So now it doesn’t matter if you have a Mac or PC, you have the same tools.”
Going forward, Doyle also wants to continue to provide more tools for UMBC faculty, staff and students. “DoIT realizes no one solution fits everyone, we are trying to give people tools to get their work done, whether it's Google Docs, Office 365, the Adobe Suite, we want people to have options and use whichever tool fits what they are trying to do,” Doyle said “If they aren't sure, please don't hesitate to ask, we are more than happy to work with people to try and help them utilize these technologies.”