Yahoo's next-generation messaging and collaboration software division, Zimbra, Tuesday said it is rolling out new cloud computing tools for educational institutions.
Using its Zimbra Collaboration Suite, institutions no longer have to manage on-premise software and hardware since it can be hosted or even owned by third-party service providers.
By using cloud computing, Zimbra allows customers to access its communication and collaboration tools without the associated infrastructure costs and resources for technology management and administration.
Instead, users can opt to use the company's different delivery methods, including on-site Zimbra hosting or hosting through local partners for collaboration needs, such as e-mail and calendar for students and enterprise features for faculty.
Zimbra Hosted uses Yahoo's worldwide infrastructure, which provides service level agreements with 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime, 24x7 support and built-in disaster-recovery features, the company said.
According to Satish Dharmaraj, Zimbra co-founder and Yahoo vice president, more than 500 educational institutions are already using Zimbra's collaboration and communications software but the company found customers wanted more options and flexibility for delivery and management.
Features of the Zimbra Hosted for Education program include special faculty packages; mobile access via handsets including the iPhone and J2ME-enabled devices, group scheduling calendar, along with RSS and Atom support; and Zimbra's AJAX interface that is available on or offline.
Pricing varies, but the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said it will offer substantial discounts for the education market.