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The University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS)

Vendors Noventiq

Success Story by Embee Middle East a Noventiq Company

The University of Technology and Applied Sciences is a branch-based Higher Education Institution (HEI) with thirteen (13) campuses that are strategically positioned throughout the Sultanate of Oman. The university has emerged as the largest HEI in the Sultanate of Oman, merging the former Colleges of Technology (CoTs), the former Colleges of Applied Sciences (CAS), and the former Rustaq College of Education, by virtue of Royal Decree (76/2020). This merger was inspired by Oman Vision 2040, with a focus on the National Strategy for Education 2040, Scientific Research Strategy, and the Innovation Strategy.

UTAS was facing an immense challenge as each of its campuses was formerly an independent college with its own IT infrastructure. Most colleges were predominantly utilizing Google Suite (22 000+ mailboxes) and, in some cases, on-premise or online exchanges for email and collaboration. As part of its consolidation efforts, getting all faculty and students on a common email and collaboration platform was of prime importance as this would help to engender a single identity. Security was also of prime importance at UTAS and, for any solution deployed, they expected the workload to be secure and configured as per best practices.

After careful assessment, UTAS opted for Microsoft 365 A5 as their communication, collaboration, and productivity suite across all colleges. They were also looking for a reliable and committed partner to architect, deploy and roll out the solution across all colleges. The partner needed to have demonstrable capabilities with handling large scale deployments and the experience to back that up. After careful consideration, UTAS selected Embee Middle East as their preferred partner to help them achieve this goal. 

Embee Middle East engaged in extensive planning with the UTAS team before deploying the solution for the colleges. Each college required careful planning and testing before the migration, as well as support for issues arising during and after going live. To roll out security workloads of A5 for the respective colleges, analysis was conducted with the help of the UTAS team.

To secure the M365 workloads the following technologies were introduced:

●      Azure Active Directory P2

●      Cloud App Security

●      Defender for Endpoint

●      Defender for Office 365

●      Azure information protection

Following the migration, UTAS began utilizing Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive to facilitate real-time collaboration and file-sharing. With the advanced security features of Microsoft 365, such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and compliance tools, UTAS is now able to safeguard its data, and take a more nuanced approach to granting permission to share files and documents among team members. 

UTAS’ team also took advantage of the powerful Office Apps suite, which enabled them to automate tasks, streamline workflows, and work more efficiently on certain projects. Overall, the transition to Microsoft 365 and the use of its features has significantly improved UTAS’ approach to collaboration, communication, productivity, and security.

As testament to Embee Middle East’s differentiated approach to helping UTAS with the secure adoption of technology and digital transformation during the email migration and consolidation project, a 3 Year MoU was recently signed between Embee Middle East and UTAS for digital transformation, along with an education transformation agreement signed with Microsoft with Embee Middle East as partner. As part of the MoU, Embee Middle East will help train UTAS and its students to gain industry relevant knowledge and experience. Embee Middle East will also be offering internship opportunities to students at the university, demonstrating new technological concepts, and running awareness programs.

This partnership is built on a strong track record for success, with an aim to play a pivotal role in UTAS’s digital transformation.

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