May 24th, 2019
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Sirti Bestows Award of Honor
October 21, 2010. Billie Moreland, PhD, of Billie Moreland and Associates and Steve Simmons, PhD, E...

Triangle %u201CGraduates%u201D at Sweet Sixteen
The Idea (1994)
In June 1994, while on a layover in the San Francisco airport, Dr. Steve Simmons cam...

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07/31/2006 - Software Grant Will Benefit Triangle

A large software grant awarded by Microsoft to VPnet, with a value of $141,000, will add considerable value for VPnet members, including those residing within the Terabyte Triangle. The grant includes: 3 SharePoint Portal Server licenses, 3 Live Communication Server licenses, 6 Windows Server licenses, 6 SQL Server licenses, and 500 client access licenses for each. Two years of software assurance, including upgrades, is guaranteed by Microsoft. After two years, VPnet may renew for another two years. This enterprise level server software will be hosted at VPnet headquarters.

SharePoint Portal Server provides an Internet based work space – a secure and “intelligent” portal that seamlessly connects users, teams, and knowledge – where researchers can collaborate in real time from a distance. Each space is available only to designated people. For example, one researcher can upload a document, experiment results, or any chart or diagram for review by colleagues. A colleague can edit or make recommendations on the work-in-progress without removing the document from the SharePoint work space. Spaces within SharePoint are customizable, and it’s all very visual and intuitive. It’s easy to use with prompts and alerts -- and it integrates with other Microsoft programs like Word and Excel as well as the other applications in the Microsoft Office family. It isn’t necessary to be a computer scientist or know programming to use SharePoint.

Live Communication Server (LCS) allows instant messaging (IM) within an organization, and supports voice and video interaction. The “presence awareness” feature of LCS integrates with other Microsoft applications and eliminates delays in locating and communicating with collaborators. If two researchers are on line, an IM icon indicates to each party that the other is on-line and available to interact in real time.

The other software included in the grant, including Windows Server and SQL Server, is required to make SharePoint and Live Communication work properly.

Spokane School District 81 will be the pilot for SharePoint and Live Communications Server over VPnet when school begins this fall. They will use it for communication between administrators at downtown headquarters and outlying teachers. The service will also be available for teacher-to-teacher collaboration, and teacher-to-student collaboration.

Working through the VPnet core at Sirti, Eastern Washington University and PNNL (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) in the Tri-cities, along with Avista, will collaborate on an EWU computer science graduate project to deploy SharePoint across the VPnet network. “This award is very significant for VPnet, as it provides additional value-added services to our members”, says Steve Trabun, VPnet President. “The Microsoft software tools will enable members to collaborate more efficiently with each other”.

Billie Moreland
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