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For immediate release

Mimas Selects Wimba to Enhance Services to UK Academic and Research Community

New Virtualised Working Environment to Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency

CAMBRIDGE, UK – September 1, 2009 – Wimba® Inc., the education technology company that helps people teach people, announced today that Mimas, a major academic UK-data centre, hosted at the University of Manchester, has selected Wimba Classroom™ and Wimba Pronto™ to enhance its services to the UK academic and research community over the next five years.

The Wimba solution combines web-conferencing, audio, video, podcasting, instant messaging, application sharing, polling and whiteboarding into a unique collaborative environment that fosters dynamic interaction. Implemented in the context of Mimas, this will enable a seamless and rich collaborative environment that includes virtual conferences, meetings, real-time collaboration between Mimas staff and external stakeholders on a wide variety of documents and data sets, as well as for training purposes.

Collaboration will not be confined to a virtual conferencing or classroom session but is available at any time via Wimba Pronto, an advanced instant messaging application with blended audio, video, application sharing, and a state-of-the art whiteboard that sets new standards for collaboration and enables Mimas’ staff to develop a truly virtualised working community.  Wimba’s collaborative solutions will significantly enhance services to the Mimas community, improve efficiencies for its research practice, and offer a superior user-experience.

“Being able to deliver services, resources, and access to Mimas’ experts in an efficient and effective way will have a major impact on our learning community – saving time and money for everyone while improving the user experience,” stated Vic Lyte, Technical Infrastructure Services and Projects Manager at Mimas. “Wimba will help us to set new standards for collaboration and we are excited about the impact it will have at Mimas where we are setting new standards for a virtualized work environment.”

Mimas chose Wimba for these benefits:
•    Cost and Time Efficient Training – By holding training online with Wimba Classrooom, delays and travel time will be reduced whilst the number and frequency of training programs will be increased.  Participation is also expected to increase thanks to easier and more convenient web accessibility.

•     More Effective Help-desks – With Wimba Pronto, Mimas will reach more of its geographically dispersed end-users, to improve access to internal resources and experts, even those who work offsite.  This dynamic interaction will reduce call-handling time and offer a superior user experience.

•    Flexible Virtual Meetings – Wimba offers a virtual meeting space that will save on the cost of physical meetings. Classroom enables “face-to-face” meetings and robust interaction with its unified web-based audio, video, application sharing and content display, and MP4 capabilities.  By enabling both formal and spontaneous meetings for development and project teams with geographically dispersed members, Mimas is expecting significant savings of time and money to be realised for everyone.   

“After its rigorous selection process we are delighted to have been chosen by Mimas as their preferred provider for advanced collaboration solutions,” stated Thomas Jepsen, Vice President Sales, EMEA at Wimba.  “Because Wimba goes beyond session-based provision Mimas can develop a truly virtualised office environment and will engage much more effectively with UK researchers. We look forward to working with Mimas on this innovative project and are excited about the impact this partnership will have on UK universities.’

About Mimas
Mimas is based at two locations at the University of Manchester. Mimas is a Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-supported national data centre providing the UK Higher Education, Further Education and research community with access to key data and information resources to support teaching, learning and research across a wide range of disciplines. Mimas hosts over 40 strategic datasets, including the UK Census, ESDS, the British Library’s Electronic Table of Contents database, COPAC, the Archives Hub, UK PubMedCentral, Satellite and Digital Map data and Intute.