ONLYOFFICE makes seamless online collaboration a reality in the University of French Polynesia

27 April 2020By Mary

ONLYOFFICE opens up new horizons: its online office suite has recently been deployed in the University of French Polynesia to enable all staff to collaborate online on office documents.

Read the use case below to know why the UPF chose ONLYOFFICE and what their first experience was like.


About the University of French Polynesia

The University of French Polynesia (the UPF) is a public institution of higher education and research in Tahiti. Founded in 1999, the UPF offers various courses and programs adapted to the local labor market. There are three departments: law, economics, management; letters, languages, humanities; science, technology, health.

The UPF is a growing university, with 3200 students coming from 118 islands. The campus has 4 laboratories, a mixed research unit, 2 federated structures, and a doctoral school, all of which contribute to the scientific, technological, and cultural development of French Polynesia.

Goals to achieve

Given the number of students and researchers who come from different parts of Polynesia and the geographical context of the country, the University needs to organize an effective online collaboration.

To prepare students and employees for the digital transformation, it is necessary to implement uniform communication and collaboration tools available for all of them. In the day-to-day running of the UPF, they need to:

  • have a space to store their office documents and access them from anywhere and anytime;
  • share these documents or folders securely with colleagues and external users;
  • co-edit documents in real time without disturbing their co-authors and overwriting each other’s changes
  • communicate right inside their digital workplace without switching between multiple apps.

As the UPF is an educational institution, it is highly important to guarantee the confidentiality of the data and ensure compliance with the GDPR.


With these factors in mind, many sync&share and collaborative solutions were considered by the UPF.

For example, the sharing service « Infos UPF» allows the staff to access their documents, edit and co-edit them within it. This service was put aside because of the range of restrictions: the co-editing was not simultaneous, the service was not available outside the campus.

The well-known solutions like Google Docs, Dropbox, or OneDrive could not be used in the educational institution because of the GDPR requirements.

Another option is the CLOUD UPF which is based on open-source platform Nextcloud. It combines sharing and DMS features. What’s more, this digital workplace is available through mobile apps offered by Nextcloud, regardless of where the users are. However, the CLOUD UPF doesn’t offer editing features.

Inspired by French universities’ experiences that were presented at JRES 2019, the UPF decided to deploy its own service based on free solutions. Franck Mével, Chief Information Officer, and Christophe Yu Hung Tai, Application Development and Deployment Engineer, were in charge of the implementation process and deployement of ONLYOFFICE.

Thanks to their efforts, ONLYOFFICE was smoothly integrated with Nextcloud to be used within its interface and extend its functionality by bringing editing features. Hosted on the UPF’s own server, ONLYOFFICE ensures a full control of the users’ personal data.

First experience of using ONLYOFFICE: advantages and disadvantages

As Nicolas Truchaud, Chief Digital Officer, explains, after internal tests, the solution was launched for the staff of the University. To help the researchers and the employees to cope with new tools, didactic materials and tutorials were put at their disposal. For example, the video tutorial describing how to co-edit documents in real time. See the video in French >>

According to the questionnaire that was filled in by those who were using ONLYOFFICE during the first two weeks, along with the ease of use the most appreciated features are:

  • simultaneous co-editing,
  • comments,
  • revision.

DOCX and XLSX remain the most used file formats.

Morgane Leroux, Deputy Director of Services at the UPF:

The transition into online collaboration is a major change for our organization. ONLYOFFICE is entirely in line with our digital transformation strategy. Furthermore, this is a very valuable tool to organize a remote work in the current situation.

However, some researchers asked for advanced editing features that they need in their scientific activities.

«Bibliography management tools like Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote would be of great help in working on complex documents of more than one hundred pages».

The add-ons Zotero and Mendeley are currently in the test phase and will be available soon.

«Some animations and fonts are not available in the presentation editor».

If you miss your favorite fonts add them manually by following the steps outlined in our Help Center.
To add fonts in ONLYOFFICE desktop editors, read this tutorial.

Sébastien Chabrier, Vice President, IT Strategy & Digital Transformation, at the UPF, is optimistic about the future of the project which aims to make online collaboration a reality:

I think that this office suite will completely change our work habits. For our part, we will help our colleagues benefit from all advantages offered by ONLYOFFICE to make each workday more efficient and every single member of a team happier at work!

Solutions guide

Did the success story of the UPF convince you to join ONLYOFFICE users?

If you are looking for a full-stack online office suite, try ONLYOFFICE Enterprise Edition which offers self-hosted online document editors and a groupware platform.

You can also create your digital workplace in the cloud with a 180-day free trial period.

If you are looking for advanced document processing within the cloud platform of your choice like Nextcloud, ownCloud, Pydio, XWiki, Jalios, exoPlatform, Seafile, PowerFolder, Alfresco, SharePoint, try ONLYOFFICE Integration Edition. The full list of connectors is available here.

If you didn’t find the integration app for your web service, develop your own connector using API offered by ONLYOFFICE.

If you want to extend your web app functionality with powerful online editors, try ONLYOFFICE Developer Edition.

To learn more about special offers for education, visit this page.

Download success story in PDF version.

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