The future of education and research sits in the cloud

Digital technology in academia enables new ways for learning, research, working together and sharing outcomes. But there are challenges in ensuring continuity, resilient infrastructures and educators feeling under supported.

The global health crisis has shifted the emphasis on cloud away from operational objectives, such as managing infrastructures, towards helping education and research institutions to deliver on more strategic goals focused around teaching, learning and student engagement in a virtual environment, according to Gartner.

As the analyst firm points out, cloud adoption for academia is on a sharp upward curve, and the value proposition of deploying innovative modular solutions is pushing changes in service delivery and global collaboration. At the same time, it also offers opportunities for scalability, agility and cost reductions.

Easy accessibility and scalability

Cloud is now pivotal to academia’s future development. However, choosing which cloud services to run with is a complex and time-consuming process.

That is why we are delighted to bring the simplicity, agility and security of our Orange Flexible Engine solution directly to academic institutions through the GÉANT community as an official OCRE Cloud Framework provider. All through an easy-to-follow procurement model.

At Orange, we believe collaboration is central to driving innovation and ideas. We think our principles fit perfectly with GÉANT’s goal to drive new and innovative possibilities for Europe and, ultimately, the world’s knowledge communities.

Building a research and education infrastructure for the new different

Academia needs to plan for the changing new reality. Gartner maintains this requires “separating the signals from the noise” to see a clear technological innovation route. Technology trends, such as the COVID-19 campus, remote proctoring and faculty information systems, will be the norm for institutions. They will need to adapt their infrastructures accordingly, says the analyst firm. Virtual experiences will need to change from short-term experiments into long-term strategies. Cloud will be an essential part of this transformation.

In essence, the cloud has progressed from being operational, i.e. as a way of managing the infrastructure more effectively, to helping academia deliver on strategic goals around knowledge sharing and research in a virtual world.

Easy access to our unique expertise

The OCRE program aims to accelerate cloud adoption to European academia by making public cloud services available to research and education entities. The partnership enables Orange to provide public cloud services to National Research Education Networks (NREN). But, with a portfolio of brokered public cloud services to choose, I have been asked what Orange brings to the table that really provides anything different for academia. To put it concisely, it is our extensive expertise and European heritage.

Orange is a network-native digital services company. Our network reliability as an operator and our agility as an integrator of digital solutions provide our customers with unique dual expertise. Your infrastructure is in the safest hands. We have years of experience creating, building and operating highly complex infrastructures and designing and managing end-to-end digital solutions.

A European leader in IT services

On top of this, Orange is a European company. We guarantee the availability and protection of your data following all relevant European laws and regulations, such as GDPR. We are also a founding member and Board Member of Gaia-X, representing the next generation of data infrastructure for Europe, its states, companies and citizens. It is an open, transparent and secure digital ecosystem, where data and services can be made available, collated and shared in an environment of trust.

Streamlined procurement

We understand the importance of straightforward procurement models, bringing this effortless approach to academic institutions. This is why we work directly with our customers, without utilizing third-party distributors, to plan, integrate and manage our end-to-end solutions. With 2,400 cloud specialists across Orange and a European footprint, we aim to make your cloud adoption journey as painless and cost effective as possible.

A connected future

We look forward to offering our expertise to academic institutions across Europe, making our extensive knowledge of the public cloud available to the GÉANT community, supporting a connected future where education and research and anytime-anywhere collaboration and delivery is the norm.

Find out how European research and education communities accelerate cloud adoption with Orange trusted cloud.

Frank Baggermans

Frank is Managing Director of Benelux and leads enterprise activities across Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. He studied commercial economics and marketing in Utrecht and has over 20 years of business and technology leadership experience. Frank is the proud father of two sons and, in his free time, he enjoys being with his family and friends, sailing, playing tennis, golfing and experiencing new sights.