Cloud or above-campus services can provide many benefits for higher education, including management simplicity and cost effectiveness. Such services can also create challenges; from reducing the ability to integrate or innovate, through to legal, ethical and data privacy concerns that cross national boundaries. Apereo exists to help higher education and other institutions meet those challenges. Above all, we believe that cloud based offerings should enable choice, openness, and institutional control, rather than setting up yet another remote, rent-extracting gatekeeper. That's why the Apereo Open Academic Environment is available by a variety of routes to suit the needs of your institution.

One route will be familiar. Your institution can choose to download OAE, and install and run it for your faculty and students - and, if you wish, others. OAE is licensed under an Apache license, allowing you the freedom to customize, tweak, and run OAE in a  variety of contexts. OAE is a growing and vibrant community which provides peer to peer support in a classic open source manner. Our ESUP colleagues in France have chosen this route to deployment for French higher education.

If, on the other hand, you wish to avoid the complexity of installation, configuration, and maintenance, and take advantage of OAE's strong network effects and its ability to seamlessly collaborate and share across institutional boundaries, other options are open to you. Apereo has partnered with a commercial provider - *Research, a member of the core OAE stakeholder group - to provide a graduated, co-operative hosting agreement. This agreement has three main options:

  • Option 1: Receive an institutional tenant that can be used for free without an SLA/data processing agreement, but under a reasonable use policy. Under this arrangement, individual users will need to accept a Terms and Conditions agreement before using the environment
  • Option 2: Receive an institutional tenant with an SLA and a data processing agreement. The institution will only be charged the full economic costs of providing this service to the institution, plus a 20% contribution towards the further development of the OAE platform.
  • Option 3: Become a strategic OAE project partner and contribute to the strategic direction of the project. In exchange, the project partner receives an option to use Option 2 at no cost for 12 months. The project partner investment goes directly to the Apereo OAE project to support further design, development and maintenance.

All these options allow your institution to retain full control of the look-and-feel of the tenant, and to control which institutions you choose to collaborate and share with. Content migration tools will become available in the next period of OAE development that will allow you to move between options. They will be free and open source. 

You can read the details behind these options and the full partnership agreement below. We believe they provide a path to participation, sustainability and growth that remains 100% open. Join the 383 institutions with OAE tenancies, and begin to explore the next generation of academic collaboration today.