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Cost Savings in Education


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This is our second eBook focused on the topic of cost saving. The fact that it arrives only about a year and half after the original eBook dedicated to this topic, produced in January 2011, is a sign of just how much progress there is to report since then.

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Cost Savings in Education

  1. 1. educationCost Savingsin Education
  2. 2. Cost Savings Introduction in Education This is our second eBook focused on the topic of cost saving. The fact that There are new stories, also. Devoran Primary in Cornwall, for example, has saved it arrives only about a year and half after the original eBook dedicated to 30% from its expected hardware costs, and reduced its energy use by a massive this topic, produced in January 2011, is a sign of just how much progress 70%, all through the clever use of Windows® MultiPoint Server 2011. Furthermore, there is to report since then. the expanding Harris Federation of academies, that’s using our cloud services to cut the cost of providing ICT to each of its newly adopted schools by around 70%, To put this into perspective, MultiPoint® Server 2011, for example, has no has saved £2 million a year on ICT alone across the Federation. mention in that earlier publication. Cloud technology, too, is coming into its own, together with our ground breaking ‘School-in-a-Box’ concept, putting high We are delighted with such stories, especially when there’s a genuine impact not quality scalable ICT within the reach of schools with modest budgets. only on school budgets but on the learning experience of children and students. At the same time, old friends such as paper and energy saving strategies, server That, surely, is the point. ‘Cost saving’ is the headline, but what school leaders virtualisation and making the most of software licensing are still going strong. and network managers consistently tell us is that the real rewards come in a better, more reliable, more easily maintained and managed service for the Within this eBook, we are also going to revisit some old friends. Wootton students, teachers and other members of the school community. A better Bassett School, for example, now with four years experience of a Hyper-V server the microsoft visual identity visual identity the microsoft service, for less money. When was the last time you heard that? virtualisation project, that’s still paying off handsomely and about to enter an ambitious new phase as a result. More details, of which, will follow further on in So enjoy our new eBook. Carefully read in the context of your own institution, this eBook. it’ll surely give you food for thought and ideas for future planning. the microsoft visual identity the microsoft visual identity CHAPTER 1 The background – Budgets, priorities, possibilities and knowing where you start from 3 Th CHAPTER 2 Getting down to it – What are the strategies that work? 7 CHAPTER 3 A cloud with silver linings – Software as a service, School-in-a-Box, bring your own device 17 CHAPTER 4 Becoming more efficient with technology 212 Introduction education
  3. 3. Budgets, priorities, possibilities Cost SavingsChapter 1 - The background and knowing where you start from in Education “Reap the benefits from the extensive efforts being made by Microsoft to provide products for education.” education
  4. 4. Budgets, priorities, possibilities Cost Savings Chapter 1 - The background and knowing where you start from in Education More for less driven by cost-effectiveness and value for money. To this, Our mission here is to help you make those good As part of the government’s drive to control the ‘We’re living in hard times and information technology decisions, and reap benefits from the extensive efforts nation’s finances, public sector spending is being can save us money.’ being made by Microsoft® to provide products for significantly reduced across the board. Funding for education which are both affordable in themselves, It’s a change of mindset, from technology as a cost to ICT is no longer ring-fenced. Yet schools express a and also capable of contributing to across-the board technology as an investment. The aim is for the school’s belief in the importance of ICT, and are determined spending. leadership to make that change, but before that can to ensure that students have the quality of access happen, the people immediately engaged with ICT, to technology that they need in the 21st Century. such as network managers and ICT leaders, have to Changing the mindset. There’s a lot believe in it themselves. That means doing the research, In October 2011 a briefing by the Institute for Fiscal learning and knowing exactly how, when and at what Studies said that after a decade of growth, ‘Public you can do, and we can help cost (if any) your school’s ICT resources, plans and spending on education in the UK will fall by 3.5% per It’s important that a school sees its ICT not as policies can be deployed, or changed for the maximum year in real terms between 2010-11 and 2004-15.’ a drain on the budget but as a contributor to impact on your school’s budget. efficient and cost-effective learning. We, with our Microsoft Partners, can help you with that, The impact of spending cuts on schools will not be In our first Cost Saving eBook, we started out by urging and if you read this eBook first, you’ll have a good idea even, and current school-level spending will be the network managers not to allow their department to of the right questions to ask. least affected. However, there will be, and are already, be seen as a drain on precious resources. They have visible school budget reductions. to present it instead as a value-for-money driver of At the same time, by contrast, we’re told by the latest efficiency for the whole institution. It’s a case of moving annual research on ICT in schools from the British the school leadership from this – Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) ‘Information Technology costs us money, and we’re living that schools are in hard times.’ anxious to keep ahead of the game with technology, with more and more pupil-time engaged with ICT. To support this, schools want better digital content, better training and better broadband. Demand grows across all fronts. The conclusion for school leaders and ICT managers is clear. If ICT is to work within reduced school budgets, “ e’re living in hard times and information W save us money.” while at the same time supporting rapidly increased use of technology for learning, then decisions must be technology can4 The background education
  5. 5. Budgets, priorities, possibilities Cost Savings Chapter 1 - The background and knowing where you start from in Education Where to start – ‘Exactly what software licences and licensing structures do we have? How and when are we paying? Will any licences know your own IT story run out? If so when, and what’s the follow up plan?’ Most existing schools have a mixture of ICT ‘What about those sixteen computers in the old library? provisions that, over the years, has organically Are they earning their living?’ grown in response to a succession of short or medium-term needs. New software and hardwares ‘Is the network infrastructure proof against all the new added. New curriculum areas, departments, demands we might make?’ technologies, even whole new buildings appear. After a few years, what does the school’s IT ‘What will need replacing/updating this year, next year, landscape look like? in three years time?’ What does your IT look like? Is it well integrated, ‘What’s the most heavily used hardware/software, transparent, and as future-proof as anything can be? and what is hardly ever deployed? Do we have figures Or is it, like so many, a rambling collection of assets on that?’ that need continuous attention to keep going? We could go on like this, but you get the picture. Where that’s the case, it makes sense to start the cost- Look at your ICT through an outsider’s eyes. The aim saving journey by making sure that you know not only is to be capable of answering any questions about it. what hardware and software you have, but how it’s If the information is not in the network manager’s funded, and what it’s actually doing for the school. head, then it should be easily accessible. That way you can see exactly where you are, and have a baseline against which to measure future progress. It’s a case of being able to answer questions like this, and these are only a sample. ” now what hardware and software you have, how it’s funded, K and what it’s doing for your school.”5 The background education
  6. 6. Budgets, priorities, possibilities Cost Savings Chapter 1 - The background and knowing where you start from in Education Decide on priorities Clearly, we can’t tell you what your priorities ought to be. There’s something to be said for a quick Your aim is to save some money for the school by demonstration of what’s possible, but it’s more than making good decisions about ICT. It’ll be important likely that the long haul has to start in the background, to show how that can be done. So it’s time to too. It’s the planning that’s important, with a decide where to start. transparent whole-school collaborative approach and a strong steer from leadership. One imperative, and it’s more to do with management than technology, is to weigh the balance between going for quick immediate results on the one hand, and laying the foundations for longer term efficiency Green, lean and far from mean and savings on the other. Trying for cost savings almost by definition A good example of playing the longer game is found in addresses the increasingly important ‘Green’ our Microsoft® Case Study of West Hatch High School. agenda along the way. Detail.aspx?CaseStudyID=4000008128 The main contributor here is a reduction in the use of electricity, but there are savings to be made, too, in the It begins with the governors agreeing, in 2008, to use of paper and the consumables involved in printing commence a six year ICT transformation project and copying. Reducing the amount of hardware in the starting with a complete rebuild of the network school, and extending its life also help make a positive infrastructure. That, clearly, tells of vision, leadership environmental contribution. and long term commitment. Four years on, with no sign of stopping, story after story now comes from Many schools are highly active in seeking to reduce West Hatch of the effects on learning, efficiency and, their impact on the environment, signed up in many yes, cost-saving, of that early decisiveness. cases to organisations such as ‘Eco-Schools’ Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to demonstrate a quicker impact on the budget, and another story, from Where this is the case, the drive for cost saving will Islay High School, both support and be informed by those responsible archive/2010/10/21/reducing-the-school-printing- for the environmental effort, and there’s much to be budget-by-two-thirds.aspx tells of a drive on paper gained from working together to ensure that nothing’s saving – “No printed handouts or memos” – that cut missed on either side. paper and printing by an astonishing eighty percent from 2006 to 2007 (more of that story later in the eBook). Money saved was spent on student and staff netbooks.6 The background education
  7. 7. Cost SavingsChapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education “We calculate the cost savings of this are of the order of £12,000 each year.” Alan Richards, West Hatch School education
  8. 8. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education Virtualisation – settle for less metal Two points, however, are heavily emphasised by Alan, He writes, and others. A virtualisation project can pay for itself in three ‘We calculate the cost savings of this are of the order of years. After that it’s saving all the way. £12,000 each year. This means that the virtualisation 1. areful and knowledgeable planning is essential. C project pays for itself in three years, which has also been Some of the most spectacular examples of cost saving But there’s plenty of help available out there from the experience in other schools we know of.’ that we’ve reported on in recent times feature server Microsoft and Microsoft Partners as well as from school IT managers with experience. And across the country at Wootton Bassett School, ICT virtualisation using Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008 manager Steve Gillott oversaw a virtualisation project which R2 with Hyper-V technology, which provides built-in 2. ost savings are welcome, but the gains in C reduced the number of physical servers from 13 to 3. virtualisation as a no-cost option. efficiency are equally, or even more, important. Being able to provide users with a better and ‘Instead of spending £52,000 on new hardware, we spent Following the availability of this technology, in 2008/2009, more reliable experience is worth a great deal £14,000, saving us £38,000 in hardware alone. Over the we began to learn of cost-reduction stories from schools, to a network manager. next couple of years, we saved £14,500 per year on the as they drastically reduced the number of their physical maintenance contracts for the 10 servers.’ servers, saving money on hardware replacement costs, electricity, and technical support. So, well managed virtualisation achieves a better service Now, at Wootton Bassett, four years on, an upgrade is for much less outlay of both capital and running costs. planned which will see 34 virtual servers running on 4 We found that a typical school virtualisation project physical hosts, costing a total of £16,000, and as Steve might reduce the number of physical servers from 20 to The next section underlines this with examples from points out, 6, reducing the annual rolling replacement bill by £7000. real schools. Associated energy savings – on air conditioning as well ‘I can almost pay for those four new servers from the as power for the servers – are reported at £8000 or more £14,500 I’m still saving per year!’ annually. At this rate, the payback on investment rapidly Virtualisation stories All in all, virtualisation, as at other schools, has turns into straight saving. transformed not only IT, but teaching and learning. Virtualisation with Hyper-V has been a big success One of our popular free eBooks, on virtualisation, Steve writes to us, story in many schools. These two stories are typical of very many. ‘I’ve saved money from the original project, been able 2012/02/03/virtualisation-with-microsoft-174- to replace the host servers this year with much better Alan Richards joint author of our e book on Virtualisation, hyper-v-new-ebook.aspx covers the topic in detail, hardware to support running more servers than we did and includes a blow-by-blow account of how joint author before, and that has allowed us to expand our network virtualisation-with-microsoft-174-hyper-v-new-ebook.aspx Alan Richards carried through a virtualisation project at provision immensely! This can only benefit teaching and describes the project at his own school, where he reduced West Hatch School. learning – something we would never have been able to do 24 physical servers to 9. if we had not virtualised. I call that a win!’ “ virtualisation project can A pay for itself in three years.”8 Getting down to it education
  9. 9. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education Aspiring to the impossible. of paper a year. • Cost savings are visible and demonstrate direct archive/2011/06/10/west-hatch-high-school-becoming- The paperless school that-step-closer-to-being-paperless.aspx benefit for teaching and learning. We’ve mentioned paper saving as a ‘quick win’ for • Any necessary printing/copying is monitored, And just to show that it’s not just about SharePoint, the cost saving. Let’s look a bit more closely at that, controlled, and done at lowest cost. dramatic paper saving achieved in short order by Islay because paper, including added costs of printing and High School photocopying, eats a big chunk of any school budget. aspx?q=islaysections=8134 was actually achieved by the The ‘good alternative’ is so often SharePoint, used to The key is to provide an alternative way of sharing and creative use of Microsoft® ‘OneNote’. construct a comprehensive ‘Gateway’ with secure access distributing documents, and schools with a SharePoint® for students, staff, parents and other community members So is ‘paperless’ a realistic aim? Maybe not overall, based ‘Gateway’ or Learning Platform already have a as necessary. Used for communication and collaboration but we’ve seen that some individual functions can head start. Given determination and leadership, they can it can make a massive difference to the use of paper in certainly become paperless. Push that trend on, achieve some dramatic and relatively short term results. the school. Twynham School, already mentioned, has a and a momentum builds. very comprehensive and sophisticated Gateway covering A year ago, we reported that Twynham School, every aspect of both of school life and of engagement mid 2010, was using a million sheets of paper a year. with parents, so that parents have willingly signed up not Deputy Head Mike Herrity, tells us that a truer figure at Moving communication and to receive paper letters and reports. West Hatch School that point was more like 2.2 million sheets per year. At a collaboration to your online system uses SharePoint, with InfoPath 2010 and SharePoint conservative estimate of 1.5p per copy for printing this Designer to create and control the numerous interactive adds up to over £33,000 – a figure crying for attention. The key to saving paper is to have the right forms for staff and parents that have been moved online Sure enough, they’ve now driven photocopying and alternatives in place – easy and inviting to use, from paper. Says Alan Richards, printing down from 2.2 to 1.6 million sheets. offering real added value. “InfoPath 2010 makes it possible to create interactive and Our experience of schools that manage to cut their paper rich forms without the need for any coding knowledge.” 2012/03/14/saving-money-with-paper-saving.aspx and printing bills to an extent that really shows up on the budget is that they can show – Even without SharePoint, much is possible. At Islay Among the key achievements, says Mike, has been High School, ICT Co-ordinator Ian Stuart has exploited what he calls, ‘going electronic with parents’ – that’s to • There’s an effective alternative way of presenting Microsoft OneNote with netbook PCs and tablets to say making all home-school communications such as and sharing documents. great effect for organisation, collaboration and teaching reports and routine letters available only on the school’s and learning. SharePoint 2010 based Gateway. • Leadership is vigilant and persuasive in guiding and directing the change. Paper saving, though, is really only part of this story – Then there’s West Hatch School again, where they actually almost a side-effect in some cases, as we’ll see next. have ‘The paperless school’ as a declared aspiration. • There’s shared understanding and support by They’ve moved whole sets of interactive forms to the users for the mission. SharePoint gateway, saving many thousands of sheets9 Getting down to it education
  10. 10. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education MultiPoint® Server 2011 monitor, keyboard and mouse and with a familiar It describes, ‘…overall cost savings of 66% compared to Windows computing experience.‘ the alternative scenario of investing in a traditional 1:1 Microsoft®’s Windows® Multipoint® Server 2011 is computing environment – a cost per seat of $391 with the answer for many schools seeking a quick and And the killer point. Windows MultiPoint Server compared to $1,145 per cost-effective transformation of their ICT provision. ‘Schools can provide more students with access to the seat in the traditional 1:1 scenario’... latest technology, even with limited budgets.’ So what sort of savings are we looking at here? Don’t Next, we’ll look at some UK examples of MultiPoint take it from us. Read the Forrester Consulting Report Server 2011 in action. on ‘The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2011’ Download it from Here’s a post, slightly edited for length, from the UK Educational IT forum ‘Edugeek’, dated 7 March 2012. ‘After April (2012) I am starting at a large primary school. The ICT is in a pretty poor state with Windows XP PCs in the ICT Suite that are 6 years old… It takes literally 5 mins to login per child and lots of software and hardware issues.’ Recognise that? It’s a familiar story. There, is though, light at the end of the tunnel, and the writer already knows the answer. ‘I went to a demo at another school running Windows Multipoint Server 2011 and I was impressed with speed of the logins and the savings in space, heat and time setting up. The Network Manager was really happy with the setup and recommended it.‘ This is a textbook example of what MultiPoint server is designed to do. As Microsoft describes it, ” chools can provide more students with access S ‘A single computer supports multiple users at the same time, each working independently using their own to the latest technology, even with limited budgets.”10 Getting down to it education
  11. 11. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education MultiPoint® Server 2011 at work the upper part of the school windows. Mains energy use since the installation in December 2011 has been zero. Just to show how well MultiPoint Server 2011 lives up to its promise in real UK schools, here are The system, supplied by Microsoft Partner ‘Solar Ready’, examples from our direct experience. In each case, replaces an ageing computer you can read more detail via the links. suite. The cost so far is £250 per seat, and adding extra terminals will cost considerably less. The costs of putting At the 200 pupil Devoran Primary School, in Cornwall, conventional system into the Victorian classrooms eight ageing desktop computers needed replacing. would have been so prohibitive as to have been Microsoft® Partner NCI Technologies, unachievable., recommended and installed two MultiPoint Servers each running Cadoxton Head Janet Hayward says the MultiPoint five desktops. Server system has supported a massive change in teaching and learning in the school. Savings on hardware were nearly 30% for simpler ‘client’ desktops which won’t need replacing for years. Energy “I wanted fast internet into every classroom, and it gives saving in the IT suite is of the order of 70%. us that. There’s lots of excitement – all sorts of new packages integrated into every day teaching. It’s making Chris Cook, ICT Co-ordinator at Devoran, sums up, a big impact in all sorts of ways.” ‘We’ve got Windows® 7 and a good wireless network. 2012/03/09/cost-saving-with-multipoint-server-and- We’ve saved quite a lot of money, and its given us a bit solar-energy-at-cadoxton-primary-school.aspx more space. The reduced energy use also helps us with the green agenda.’ A further example, at Dundee High School, is described in a Microsoft Case Study at In what must be surely an ultimate cost-saving story, Cadoxton Primary School in Barry has seven to ten Detail.aspx?CaseStudyID=4000008998 computers in each classroom – 100 in all so far – running from MultiPoint Servers which use 12 volt DC electricity supplied from solar panels mounted inside “ e’ve saved quite a lot of money, W it’s given us more space, and has reduced the energy we use.”11 Getting down to it education
  12. 12. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education Use less energy • Plug it into one of your classroom computers for its ICT provision can bring its available software up to scratch. One year of subscription is clearly much less of Some of the money saving strategies we’ve already a week, so that it can tell you how much it costs a budgetary strain than buying a suite of new licenses mentioned will reduce energy use, virtualisation for per week/day/hour. outright – with the prospect of possibly having to do the example, and MultiPoint® Server, but there’s more. same thing again as new versions of the software arrive... • Walk around the school at 5 o’clock and count the The main thing is to pay attention to the problem, and number of unused computers that are switched on. Since then, the decision’s been made even easier with look at all aspects – the energy rating of servers, desktops, the arrival in March 2011 of Microsoft’s ‘Enrolment for • Work out what it’s costing your school per year laptops, the monitoring and control of switching all or Education Solutions’ (EES) which licenses full-time for unused computers left switched on parts of the system on and off. Windows® 7 has power equivalent (FTE) staff rather than numbers of computers. saving features, and it’s expected that Windows 8 will • and see the head teacher with your back-of- Go have more. the-envelope stats licensing/types-of-educational-licence/enrolment-for- education-solutions.aspx For more sophisticated management there’s Microsoft® System Centre with its Configuration Manager, which Finally, this video on low-energy computing offers an Most schools have made substantial savings on their you may already have in a ‘bundle’ under your licensing update on what’s happening now, and a glimpse of the annual licensing costs with EES, often into the tens of agreement. To go further still, the System Centre site ‘power free’ computing of the future – thousands of pounds a year. And because EES is available carries a link to the power management resources from for schools with as few as five FTE staff, subscription Microsoft Gold Partner ‘1E’. video-low-energy-computing licensing is now available to many small primary schools for the first time. There are other options. At BETT 2012 Microsoft Partner European Electronique showcased Make sure you have the best As always, it’s essential to stay in touch with the Microsoft their own energy management software. Another partner, reseller who supplies your software. They will work ‘Solar Ready’ specialises in the supply of energy devices licensing deal with you to find the best option, and there may well with power demands low enough for solar energy Subscription licensing rather than outright purchase be additional saving opportunities. This post on the without recourse to the mains. is the best option for schools. Paid annually from Microsoft Schools Blog in March 2012 shows what’s revenue, it ensures that you will always be able to possible if you remain aware. Really, though, this is a matter of being aware of how offer your students and staff the very latest versions ukschools/archive/2012/03/13/microsoft-partners- much power you’re using, and researching the ways to of software you need. with-yhgfl-on-regional-approach-to-saving-money-for- reduce it. In January 2011, Ray Fleming, offered this still schools.aspx valid starter advice for network managers. Up to quite recently this was a case that had to be argued to some reluctant schools. Now, Microsoft resellers tell Also in March 2012 we announced an attractive • to your local DIY shop and buy a power Go us that schools are much more aware of the business offer to encourage schools to change to subscription monitor plug. They cost a tenner, and they’ll case for annual subscription, which enables them to licensing let you monitor all kinds of devices. keep pace with the high expectations of today’s students. archive/2012/03/19/50-off-the-connected-education- It’s also probably the only practical and cost effective desktop-modern-it-modern-curriculum.aspx way by which a school that’s fallen badly behind with12 Getting down to it education
  13. 13. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education Use what you’ve paid for power of the Campus Agreement and focussing our Sometimes, though, school leaders and staff don’t minds on efficiency savings as well as bringing new fully realise what their MIS can do for them, perhaps A software bundle made up of a number of services to staff and students without affecting the because it’s not always obvious how to reach the parts products will net you some bargains. But it’s bottom line.” of the system they want. worth making sure you don’t leave any individual software products lying idle or underused without In some cases, it’s been possible to use Campus That’s improved in recent years. Every MIS is now at least knowing what they could do for you. Agreement to replace software acquired from other much more user friendly. Often this has been achieved suppliers with less costly Microsoft solutions. Moving through making the most of the latest Microsoft Work with your supplier partners to answer the key to Microsoft Exchange Filtering for email filtering, technologies such as SQL Server and, as in the case questions. for example, has saved Highbury £3,500 a year, and of Capita’s ‘Discover’ analysis tool for SIMS, moving to Microsoft Forefront for virus protection, Microsoft Windows® Presentation Foundation. • there are any functions on your network Are free with Campus Agreement, has also made currently done by other paid-for-technologies considerable savings. In fact, says Paul Rolfe, that one of your Microsoft® products could handle? In that regard we’ve been particularly interested in the “By utilising the campus agreement, Highbury has development and introduction into schools of Serco • there tasks across the school being done Are reduced the IT annual revenue budget by £13,990.” Learning’s ‘Progresso’, a cloud-based MIS that draws manually, or not at all, that would be transformed heavily on Microsoft technologies including SQL by a piece of Microsoft software lying forgotten Highbury has 11,000 students on five sites. Schools Server Reporting Services, Analytical Services, on your network? are smaller, but that should make it easier to carry out Integration Services as well as SharePoint®, a similar review of licensed software with a view to Exchange 2010 Reporting Services and Live@Edu. making it all work for its living. (‘System Centre’, now System Centre 2012, is named by one Microsoft Partner as underused and not fully One significant ‘Progresso’ feature is the automatic understood by schools that have it included in their Exploit your MIS to the full generation and distribution to appropriate staff of subscription.) reports based on key data including attendance Every school has a management information and behaviour. The point is illustrated by our story on Highbury FE system (MIS). Used to the full extent of its College in Portsmouth, capabilities it will save time and money across Mohamad Djahanbakhsh, Managing Director of Serco b/ukfe/archive/2011/09/08/cost-saving-in-fe-highbury- the institution. Learning, says ‘Key information is sent in a timely college.aspx manner, to the people who need it, saving time The MIS will gather, analyse and present data on and money.’ Highbury, like many institutions, has lots of Microsoft student performance, behaviour and attendance, and Software, acquired over the years in various ‘bundles’ also help efficient home-school contact. It cuts down We’re following the introduction of ‘Progresso’ into and Head of IT Paul Rolfe decided it was time to make on paper, helps to make meetings, including parents’ schools, reporting at intervals on our Schools Blog. sure it was all being efficiently used. evenings and governors’ meetings, more focussed, less frequent and better informed. And it enables precious “The IT team have been reviewing Microsoft’s complete resources, especially teachers, to be used where they’re portfolio,” he tells us, “Rationalising and harnessing the most needed.13 Getting down to it education
  14. 14. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education Change the way you teach Microsoft® technologies, and particularly SharePoint®, And a third, ‘CloudBase’ from Civica, mentioned in are ideally suited to the building of robust learning this blog post, A good virtual learning environment (VLE) platforms. There are schools, in fact, where staff have archive/2011/12/02/free-school-norwich-breaks- that is well managed and used, will promote successfully created their own bespoke SharePoint out-of-the-classroom-with-civica-s-cloudbase.aspx collaboration, communication, home-school links, learning platforms, for example Twynham School’s again leverages the power and flexibility of SharePoint assessment, and motivation. ‘Gateway’ who we’ve already mentioned within this to provide the kind of ‘off the shelf but tailored’ eBook. Many schools, though, perhaps most, will solution that’s becoming the hallmark of a good cloud A well managed learning platform can play a significant need a commercial product capable of being tailored based product. part in across-the-board school improvement. At the and branded to the school. So, for example, there’s same time, there will be cost savings around the The key to success here lies in the phrase ‘well managed’. the cloud-based LP+4 from ‘Learning Possibilities’ production, purchase and use of resources, deployment Common to all three of the learning platforms named which uses of staff, home-school contact and recruitment/ here is the care that each supplier takes to ensure that SharePoint 2010 and has featured in our Schools Blog retention of pupils and staff. their product becomes embedded in, and tuned to, as we’ve followed its development and introduction the teaching and learning life of the school. into schools. archive/2011/10/27/embracing-the-cloud-in-education- with-lp-4.aspx ”The power and flexibility Another example is ‘OpenHive’ from Capita, also built of SharePoint on SharePoint 2010, that attracted particular attention at BETT 2012 not least because of the way it integrates provides an ‘off the with Capita’s almost ubiquitous ‘SIMS’ MIS. shelf but tailored’ 01/18/bett-2012-thoughts-on-openhive-and-vle-s.aspx solution.”14 Getting down to it education
  15. 15. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education Microsoft® Lync™ – change the way Our blogs on Lync at Nottingham Trent University “The structure of our Microsoft Campus Agreement (NTU), means that the cost of deploying is approximately fifty you communicate archive/2011/12/02/lync-office-communications-server- percent of the cost of a traditional PABX system.” Microsoft Lync 2010 has found ready takers in and-live-meeting-at-nottingham-trent-university.aspx There are also some savings to be made through not higher education where it’s sometimes being used DeMontfort University Leicester, (DMU), replacing handsets one-to-one. to build on the benefits already realised by Office Communications Server. We’ve already posted blog “Many people are happy to use laptops with Bluetooth microsoft-lync-2010-de-montfort-university-leicester.aspx stories on efficiency and costs in three universities. headsets, or mobile phones.” and the Open University (OU), There’s also a reduced need for travel, saving time, ukschools/archive/2011/11/30/the-open-university- money and carbon emissions. So although DMU makes-significant-cost-and-efficiency-savings-through- is housed on a compact campus, the conservative the-use-of-microsoft-lync-2010.aspx estimate is that it will save 10% of current travel costs. show that in each case it’s a real boost to efficiency There are also clear efficiency savings by reducing and cost-effectiveness. The OU study reports savings misunderstandings, shortening the time spent in of £2 million over five years, for example, from not meetings and making draft policies and documents having to replace hardware and by the elimination of more widely and quickly available for consultation. third party maintenance of the previous system. Then ‘Integration with Outlook® and with SharePoint® there are real efficiency savings as better telephony, will bring huge benefits as we move to a more video conferencing, desktop sharing work together to collaborative working model,’ says Michael Robinson. streamline meetings, reduce travel and engage larger audiences in presentations. At DMU, Information Technology and Media Services (ITMS) Director, Michael Robinson, also lists a number of cost saving factors, for example, “ icrosoft Lync is a real boost to efficiency and cost-effectiveness.” M15 Getting down to it education
  16. 16. Cost Savings Chapter 2 - Getting down to it What are the strategies that work? in Education Microsoft® Lync™ in schools After talking to Microsoft, they linked up with Microsoft Partner Modality Systems of St Albans Now, Lync is taking hold in schools, proving to who set out to meet be yet another Microsoft product that provides Benenden’s requirements – realising the benefits of a better service while freeing up resources and Lync while integrating with the existing PBX system as money for the benefit of teaching and learning. it moved towards being completely replaced by the end of 2011 (a brief case study on the Modality site With the arrival of Office 365 for Education, Microsoft has a list of the Microsoft technologies employed by Lync is going to be widely available to schools at Modality for the implementation). low, or no, cost. archive/2012/03/14/new-lower-prices-for-office-365.aspx The cost of Lync, was impressively low by comparison with the competing systems – £65,000 in total, One school already taking advantage of the availability mostly for handsets and consultancy because the of Lync is Benenden, the well known girls’ boarding software licence is free with the school’s Microsoft school in Kent. There, a year and a half ago, IT Services licensing agreement. Manager Wade Nash and his team were contemplating the replacement of an ageing PBX telephone system Now, having fully embedded Lync’s advanced with unified communications alternatives costing, from telephony into school life, users are starting to explore £115,000 to £165,000, much of that being for licensing the more advanced features – video conferencing at up £95 per user. for staff interviews and meetings. Next will come a properly safeguarded solution for giving the students Lync in their boarding accommodation. ” ync provides a better service while freeing up L resources and money for the benefit of teaching and learning.” Then they became aware of Lync, not yet released.16 Getting down to it education
  17. 17. Software as a service, School-in-a-Box, Cost SavingsChapter 3 - A cloud with silver linings bring your own device in Education The Microsoft Brand G “We’ve gone from £1.7 million per school to £500,000 per school.Across the group our savings are £2 million per annum on ICT alone.” The Harris Federation education
  18. 18. Chapter 3 - A cloud with silver linings First step into the cloud Live@edu arrived as universities, particularly, struggled with on-site email systems that just weren’t up to the with Live@edu job any more. Mike Whyment, Program Manager at For many in education, the first experience of Aberdeen University, explains in that White Paper how ‘Software as a Service’ delivered via the internet his institution’s student email system was no longer up was with our free hosted ‘Live@edu’ email, offering to the vastly increased expectations of today’s students. a vastly improved user experience at much reduced The choice was, all-round cost. ‘Either to invest in a new on-site system or outsource – In 2010 we published the Education White Paper called which was clearly the cheaper option.’ ‘Baby Steps into the Cloud’ ukschools/archive/2010/12/07/microsoft-education- white-paper-baby-steps-into-the-cloud.aspx How cheap? The phrase was borrowed from the person within Mick Whyment quoted what he called a ‘quite Microsoft® who suggested that the schools and tentative’ £60,000 a year. And when London Grid colleges that were then adopting Live@edu were, for Learning went to live@edu their savings were in effect, taking a first step into the Cloud. Having estimated at £10 per user – a total of £11 million. achieved that foothold they were then going on to In fact the savings will vary, but by taking a hosted free experience other ‘Software as a Service’ applications service you will certainly save on licenses, hardware, such as SkyDrive® and Office Web Applications. energy, support, backup, filtering and spam. And, of course, you invariably have a better service, with a 10GB mailbox for every user. The Microsoft Brand G Now, of course, especially with the arrival of our ‘School in a Box’ concept and Office 365 for Education, there’s a real prospect of moving well beyond that ‘Baby Step’ into the world of the Consumerisation of IT (CoIT). “ ou will certainly save on licenses, hardware, Y energy, support, backup, filtering and spam.”18 A cloud with silver linings education
  19. 19. Software as a service, School-in-a-Box, Cost Savings Chapter 3 - A cloud with silver linings bring your own device in Education School in a box The Federation uses its own private cloud to provide ICT school-in-a-box-reception-house-of-commons-29th- for its schools, setting up their systems in advance, based A school with no servers? And no technicians? february-2012.aspx on a standard model, tailored to fit local needs. Working Not only is that possible, it actually exists, that way, says Principal Dan Moynihan is considerably as we shall see. There’s also a Civica case study of the Norwich more cost effective than starting from scratch with each implementation at school and so, in terms of provisioning a school with ICT, ‘Software as a Service’, ‘Consumerisation of IT’ (CoIT) education/downloads and the Microsoft® ‘School in a Box’ are all related ‘We’ve gone from £1.7 million per school to £500,000 per to the idea of IT functions taken from a supplier over Does this kind of installation save money? Yes, though as school. Across the group our savings are £2 million per the internet. Norwich Free School, for example, which the blog post says, there’s really no comparison to make, annum on ICT alone.’ opened in September 2011, is described on our schools ‘…because to produce an on-site server-based system blog as having, Is this where school ICT is headed? Second guessing from scratch at a new school, up and running on day anything about the future of technology is an imprecise “…a full and efficient service of ICT for learning, one, would be prohibitive to the point where you science. It’s certain, though, that ‘School in a Box’ is both management and administration but with no servers simply wouldn’t.‘ flexible and responsive enough to play an increasing part around, and so nobody has to be around to look A more direct comparison, perhaps, is found on the same in the drive to provide schools with responsive, bespoke after them. Everything comes as a cloud service from schools blog in the description of the Harris Federation of and cost-effective ICT. Microsoft Partner Civica.“ academies currently growing from 13 schools towards 25, The Microsoft Brand G19 A cloud with silver linings education
  20. 20. Software as a service, School-in-a-Box, Cost Savings Chapter 3 - A cloud with silver linings bring your own device in Education Bring your own device Inspired by the story, we ran a further blog about BYOD in general, Schools constantly seek ways of stretching their ukschools/archive/2012/02/14/some-thoughts-on-byod- IT budgets to pay for more devices. At the same in-education.aspx (the added comments are particularly time, students come in and out of school carrying useful) discovering along the way some schools where hundreds of internet-enabled phones, netbooks the concept is being developed, and a local authority and tablets. (Hampshire) where advisers are preparing a paper on BYOD for the many schools asking them about it. In March 2012 we ran a post on our Microsoft® Schools Blog about Community School’s policy of Cost saving, of course, is a strong driver here. The thought allowing students to bring their own devices to school that you might quickly and painlessly expand your IT and have them logged on to the school network. estate is hugely appealing. As Hampshire adviser Daniel Fearnley puts it, bring-your-own-device-byod-at-saltash-net.aspx ‘BYOD is not only a great idea for learning, it makes great As a result, the total number of devices available to financial sense too.’ students is 1,700. Of these, 700 belong to the school and 1000 to the students. So the tide is running strongly, and it seems likely that as we approach 2013, BYOD will be an embedded policy and The cost savings there are clear to see. practice in many schools. ‘BYOD’ – ‘Bring Your Own Device’, already a hot topic in With that in mind, the arrival of Microsoft System the business world and under debate in many schools, has Centre 2012, been in place at for some years. It’s very much cloud/system-center/default.aspx is going to make the in line with two core values – to be unafraid of management of BYOD much easier. It’s referred to in the The Microsoft Brand G taking risks in the interests of student learning, and to try BYOD blog mentioned earlier. for creative, low cost solutions wherever possible (more on that latter point under ‘Leadership’ in this eBook). ” YOD is a great idea for learning, it makes great financial sense too.” B20 A cloud with silver linings education
  21. 21. Cost SavingsChapter 4 - Becoming more efficient with technology in Education The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu “Effective leadership is essential if technology is to realise its full potential.” education
  22. 22. Cost Savings Chapter 4 - Becoming more efficient with technology in Education Efficiency Moving paperwork to SharePoint® ensures transparency, and records each step of a process – important when Our focus on direct cost saving shouldn’t mask it’s necessary to know that a document, or a piece of the essential point that each of the technologies course work has been properly dealt with. we describe carries increased efficiencies that then feed into improvements in teaching and learning. Data on SharePoint rather than in a filing cabinet is And in turn, more efficient working is more cost more readily analysed and used to inform policy. effective working. Lync™ eases communication, removing There are many examples of the way Microsoft® misunderstandings and cutting out unnecessary technologies can streamline the processes of meeting attendances. administration and management. The savings that MultiPoint® Server gives children state of the art result may not be directly cashable, but will allow computing on demand. resources to be used for the core mission of teaching and learning. Providing software as a service – as with our ‘School in a Box’ concept – provides high quality ICT in Virtualisation, for example, as well as saving money circumstances where it would otherwise be impossible. directly, gives the user a better, more reliable experience while easing the maintenance load on Putting figures on this increased efficiency isn’t the technical staff, freeing them to support learners always easy, but some have tried. Walsall FE College, and teachers. the overall efficiency savings reaped from its own SharePoint based learning and management system The same reasoning can be applied to each of are conservatively estimated at around £50,000 a year. the technologies we’ve mentioned. Here’s just a few examples. so-the-cost-saving-story-continues-163-50-000-saved- with-ict-at-walsall-college.aspx The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu And in an FE blog post in July 2011 we describe Brockenhurst College’s work with BECTA on identifying savings of £123,000 over eight years from streamlining ” ore efficient working M management processes. archive/2011/07/19/brockenhurst-college-staying-lean- and-efficient.aspx is more cost effective working.”22 Becoming more efficient education
  23. 23. Cost Savings Chapter 4 - Becoming more efficient with technology in Education Strategic change At the same time, March 2012, we hear of a teaching School leaders, including senior IT staff, if they are to and research collaboration between Warwick University make the most of the available technology, probably While technology can make your existing and Queen Mary, University of London – eighty miles need to think not so much about ‘How can it make our systems work more effectively, at a level beyond apart. It’s not difficult to arrive at three conclusions. current job easier?’ as ‘How can we use this opportunity that, they may make it possible to improve the to completely rethink the way we do things.’ Adding, systems themselves. 1. imilar collaborative arrangements are already S of course, ‘So as to improve the learning experience of appearing between schools, in academy ‘chains’, our students.’ At Oldham College, the transparency and ease of communication brought about by SharePoint® made it federations and other partnerships. This is a trend that will increase. possible to completely change the organisation of the College from the traditional hierarchical structure to 2. echnologies such as Microsoft® ‘Lync’ will play T And finally. Last but not one based on cross-departmental project teams. The fact that senior managers can see all a significant part in making such collaborations work efficiently and cost-effectively. least, the key ingredient is... documentation as it develops means they can monitor developments within project teams in a less directly involved way. archive/2011/05/24/the-oldham-college-improves-its- efficiency-with-microsoft-sharepoint.aspx And in our blog on Lync™ at De Montfort University, IT and Media Director Michael Robinson says, “We’re seeing more multi-disciplinary and collaborative working, with virtual teams sitting across the structure. We’re looking at modernising many systems to go along with that.” The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu In Higher Education generally, there are fundamental changes coming. A consultative report launched in March 2012 by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) says ‘...many institutions are reconsidering their fundamental role, market position, structure and partnerships. For some, this may raise questions about the pros and cons of collaborations, alliances and mergers (CAM).’ Becoming more efficient education
  24. 24. Cost Savings Chapter 4 - Becoming more efficient with technology in Education Leadership And in July 2011 we published a blog post on “They weren’t complicated, costing huge sums of money. Isobel Bryce, head of community school They were ideas from teachers who had seen the Effective leadership is essential if technology following her presentation at that Summer’s Sunday potential of ICT to engage students in a way that would is to realise its full potential for bringing Times Festival of Education. Her talk was entitled have huge results for their schools.” efficiency and value for money across a school, ‘Leadership at All Levels’ (which at college or university. Consequently, as she went to develop ICT within the includes students) school, she and the leadership team have consistently archive/2011/07/21/how-exceptional-leadership-can- We’ve seen that the proper use of appropriate looked for low-cost, creative solutions such as extensive bring-out-the-best-in-technology.aspx technology can play a key role in controlling costs and use of mobile devices for video and in-class messaging, helping to ensure that all the school’s resources support is committed to Microsoft’s Partners in video conferencing with cheap webcams and the core mission of teaching and learning. Learning Programme. Isobel Bryce determined early podcasting with inexpensive microphones and the PC’s in her headship that the purpose of Partners in built-in sound recorder. She says, At best, though, the benefits will remain piecemeal Learning was in line with her own vision for peer and transitory unless there is vision and purpose at ‘We still encourage students to utilise fully the amazing to peer professional development – in itself a cost- every level of leadership. Deputy Head, Mike Herrity, technology they carry with them on a daily basis. effective approach to CPD. makes this point strongly in our blog post on paper The accessibility and availability of new technologies saving at Twynham School Value for money has always figured strongly in the continues to be a key consideration alongside value for ukschools/archive/2012/03/14/saving-money-with- leadership vision at She says, of the ideas money and cost effectiveness. paper-saving.aspx she’s seen, ” ffective leadership is E essential for technology The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu to realise its potential in education.”24 Becoming more efficient education