AWS Public Sector Blog

HBMSU goes all-in on AWS

man on headset at laptop remote learning

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) successfully completed the full migration of its systems and applications from its on-premises data centers to Amazon Web Services (AWS). The move provides immediate benefits to HBMSU such as cost savings, flexibility, and security, and opens up new horizons for innovation, research, and global expansion. With the move to the cloud, the university is working toward its mission to reshape the future of education in the Middle East.

“AWS’s leading cloud computing technology and features open up opportunities for us to expand our footprint as a unique model for smart learning based on innovation that will enrich knowledge, scientific research, and entrepreneurship. This will produce generations that are able to make a better and more sustainable future,” said Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, chancellor of HBSMU.

Established in 2002 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates under the presidency of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, HBMSU was conceived with a focus on smart learning as the future of education and empowerment in the Middle East. As the UAE’s first accredited Smart University, it offers a learning experience focused on the use of technologies like mobile learning, online classrooms, educational gaming, and social networking all suited to meet the needs of their student body, which includes professionals and high school graduates.

“As an institution that has smart learning as its core offering, we didn’t want to worry about servers and maintaining hardware, which was eating up our time and resources. Instead, we wanted to put our focus on what matters most—education,” added Dr Mansoor.

The migration of HBMSU’s services and applications to AWS will have a positive impact on the performance of the university’s students and the academic community by enabling access to its services anywhere, anytime. It also enhances HBMSU’s responsiveness, speed, and flexibility, and expands its ability to rapidly connect with new locations around the world without any additional costs, while maintaining the highest levels of security and reliability.

The move required close collaboration with AWS and a university team willing to evolve and eager for progress. “Our first step in the cloud journey started with moving the testing environment. We used it as an opportunity to learn and gain new skills,” said Dr Mansoor.

Workforce development was identified early on as essential to the success of the project. “We upskilled and reskilled the team through training. They went on to acquire various AWS certifications. With training and certifications, the team was empowered to undertake the migration project. The speed at which our team has been able to deliver is a testament to the importance of having the right skills,” said Dr Mansoor. He also explained that HBSMU’s focus is centered on investing in fostering creative minds and developing talented individuals into future leaders.

The successful migration is just the starting point of an initiative that offers opportunities for progress at the university. The technological milestone will also see HBSMU ready to connect quickly and cost-effectively with educational institutions, faculties, and researchers around the globe. Not only will this serve to enhance HBSMU’s global footprint, but it will also see the world’s top students and researchers working together in a seamless way.

“Migration is just the first step,” said Dr Mansoor. “The team is experimenting with new services such as data analytics and machine learning. The sky is the limit in how these insights will help us deliver tailored, personalized and cutting-edge learning.”

Learn more about AWS in higher education, remote work and learning, and AWS in the Middle East and North Africa.