Office 2010 hits Australia … and NSW DET is on board


This morning Microsoft launched its flagship Office and SharePoint 2010 products in Australia, with the first batch of local customers to include the NSW Department of Education and Training, ResMed, and engineering firm John Holland.

Maria Claudia Romero general manager of Information and Communications Technology at the NSW Department of Education and Training said students and teachers “absolutely love” Office 2010 — adding it was “intuitive and easy to use”. Romero said the department was using Office and SharePoint in conjunction to create their own platforms for students and teachers to use.

The NSW DET is large organisation that covers 1.2 million students and 96 thousand teachers, spread across 2200 schools. Between the student and teacher population, there are 140 thousand laptops out in the field. It is unclear how many students and teachers so far have access to the upgraded Office 2010 software — the department had previously been using Office 2003 and 2007.

“Our goal is to build a collaborative learning community where teachers and students can preserve their learning story and showcase their achievements. An environment where millions of connections are made and shared. Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 will help our teachers and students build the foundation for 21st century learning,” said the department’s chief information officer Stephen Wilson.

The analogy electronic backpack was used, were students can create their content and do their homework anywhere at any location. Students and teachers could collaborate online and create content together.

In turn, ResMed has been using the OneNote application in Office 2010 to improve employee engagement. “The value of OneNote 2010 was a real surprise once we began using it,” said David Lewis, the company’s global IT infrastructure director.

“With Office 2010, we have the right tools in place to help the organisation deliver ongoing improvements — we now have employees from other areas asking for OneNote to be installed on their PCs.”

Les Oates, the chief information officer of John Holland, said his company felt Visio 2010 would be a good fit for the company. “We need users to understand what the business processes are in order to do their work,” he said. Visio 2010 allows users to click on a business process within the procedure to open up the forms they require to do their work. It’s a real advantage for us.”

When Kirk Koenigsbaur, corporate vice president of the Office Business Productivity Group at Microsoft was asked about their thoughts on the growing popularity of rival suite Google Docs in Australia, he acknowledged Office’s arch-rival.

“I think what you seen here today is what we got here in the web browser and a rich client experience office today most customers in Australia are using that,” he added.

Retail consumers can purchase Microsoft 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint in mid June 2010.

Image credit: Microsoft