As a leading provider of Open Source-based IT infrastructure solutions, we have now “bundled” a new digitalization package for schools, in the knowledge that only secure, flexible, and user-friendly solutions allow the modernization of the IT infrastructure in education so desperately desired by politicians. To this end, we have comprehensively expanded our special solution tailored to the requirements of education authorities, UCS@school, with groupware functions and the web-based office suite from Open-Xchange. The new software package was also on show at this year’s CeBIT.
It supports schools in their digitalization, and we are delighted that the city of Basel, Switzerland, is already implementing it in a pilot project for 20,000 users.
Trustworthy and Cost-Effective School IT in Practice
“Trustworthy and cost-effective school IT is one of the most important technical requirements for the modernization of the education sector – especially if pupils and teaching staff also want to work with their own devices. There are already sophisticated Open Source solutions available, which aid with learning and offer protected spaces for teachers and student,” said Peter Ganten, Managing Director of Univention. “At CeBIT, we demonstrated how this functions in practice and how education authorities can make the software and identity management in their education facilities more professional at the same time.”
Our Cooperation with Open-Xchange
Our cooperation with Open-Xchange allows us to take the smooth and flexible operation of IT infrastructures in schools to a whole new level. Effective immediately, in addition to professional IT management, education authorities will also be able to make e-mail, collaboration, and office software available to all schools. In addition, they also have the choice between on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments, can mount Open Source software flexibly, and can integrate proprietary offerings such as Microsoft Office365 and Google G Suite without any problems.
The new digitalization package satisfies all the major requirements of school administrative staff, teachers, and pupils at the same time – and it ensures sensitive data are protected too. Education authorities can install additional software at any time via the integrated App Center so as to provide it to their schools in next to no time.
“We support the digital sovereignty of schools and education authorities: With an Open Source framework, education authorities are in a position to decide for themselves where and how they operate services and want to save their data – without having to forgo familiar offerings like Microsoft Office 365 or special software,” said Peter Ganten. “With our solution, we offer users freedom of choice and facilitate the management of IT infrastructures as well as the apps and programs used.”
Statement from Basel
“In Basel, we want to offer our approximately 20,000 members of teaching staff and students functions for e-mail, calendars, and school-specific applications such as allocation of homework and room planning. To this end, we evaluated a variety of different solutions,” said Markus Bäumler of the IT Media department at the Pedagogical Center in Basel (PZ.BS). “Ultimately, we decided on Univention’s digitalization package of UCS@school with Open-Xchange because it satisfies all of our requirements, offers excellent integration in UCS’ central identity management system, and convinced us completely with its price-performance ratio for licenses and extensive support offering.”
Statement from Open-Xchange
“Univention Corporate Server is our recommended operating system platform for educational facilities, authorities, and companies who want to operate the OX App Suite and manage it themselves – either in their own computer center or on a private cloud operated by a trusted service provider,” explained Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange. “UCA@school allows IT administrators to ensure reliably at any time that sensitive and personal data are saved in accordance with the strict requirements of German and European data privacy legislation.”
The Expansion of UCS@school
Teachers and students today require an offering with which they can access a wide range of web services and school-specific solutions as well as contents securely from anywhere and with any device – be it for timetables, homework, room bookings, the secure exchange of information and data or protected discussion rooms.
The functions of our digitalization package at a glance:
- Centrally managed IT and identity management which can be used from anywhere with single sign-on
- Easy-to-use interface for administrators, teachers, and pupils
- Secure use and mounting of mobile devices in the school network
- Services and expansions such as Open-Xchange or ownCloud allow encrypted e-mail communication, calendars, and address books as well as file exchange and editing of documents.
- App Center with more than 90 integrated expansions for in-house operation and cloud applications
- Intelligent rights concept for access to digital learning platforms, IT services, and digital media, functions for the automatic assignment of roles for individuals (teaching staff, pupils, administrators) and groups (schools, classes) for the purpose of setting up mailing lists, for example, or sharing certain folders or documents with individual classes or pupils
- Data import of pupil data from administration software and simple data maintenance at changeover of school year
- Self-services for the schools to be able to create new users or reset passwords
- Compliance with strict German data privacy provisions, with the result that all of the users’ data are saved on the facility’s own system and not on third-party servers
- Secure use of private smartphones and tablets (BYOD)
- Interfaces for the mounting of learning management systems or school administration software