Warwickshire County Council has moved 185 schools into the cloud using Microsoft Office 365 and Sharepoint to deliver email and other collaboration systems among staff and students.

The Microsoft cloud platform at Warwickshire won out over an alternative cloud system from Google built around Google Apps, after both services were tested in schools.

Warwickshire schools adopting the Office 365 platform have committed themselves to using the subscription service for at least two years, with the system now supporting around 85,000 users.

Harvey Woodall, Warwickshire e-learning adviser, said, "On the whole users are finding it simple to use and easy to configure/customise to meet the needs of their individual schools. Future developments to the platform will provide accounts for parents and further integrations are expected with other third party products."

Earlier this year Warwickshire tendered for a new telephone service along with line rentals covering ISDN, SIP and broadband technologies. The service may also be opened up for use to other public sector bodies in the UK. The value of the contract ranged from £8 million to £14 million over two years, dependant on usage