More than 400 New Jersey school districts have enjoyed saving more than $62 million dollars in energy expenses over the past three school years because they took part in the Alliance for Competitive Energy Services (ACES), the energy-buying cooperative organized by NJSBA.
In the same way that ACES allows school districts to save through a “group purchase,” a new NJSBA cooperative will provide significant technology savings.
On Jan. 18, NJSBA will unveil details of the new cooperative with the New Jersey Research & Education Network, dubbed “NJEDge,” which will enable districts to reduce their cost of technology through the virtualization of servers and desktops. NJEDge.net is a non-profit technology consortium of academic and research institutions in New Jersey.
Substantial Savings The program is expected to save districts up to 30 percent of certain technology costs.
For instance, NJSBA estimates that the effort can save districts up to $3,000 annually per server that they “virtualize.” With the average district operating 10 servers, a school system can save $30,000 in server costs alone – and that does not include additional savings that NJEDge can achieve in software licensing and operational costs.
“There has been much talk about shared services and opportunities for school districts to reduce cost through shared services” said Marie Bilik, NJSBA’s executive director. “This program is an excellent example of how we, as an Association, can provide a statewide shared-services solution that puts money back into the classroom, rather than in the server room.”
Personnel Savings The program further enables districts to save time and money administering their network and equipment. Technology personnel can manage every desktop and fix any problem from a single point of contact, instead of requiring a district technology staff member to travel across town to the specific machine with a problem.
For instance, districts typically “reimage” their entire network when school is out, which is a process of re-installing software that often takes the entire summer. Using the NJEDge system, a district can reimage its entire network in one day.
Full details about the program will be discussed during a live webinar from 10 – 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2012. The online event is open to board members, school business administrators and superintendents, as well as district technology staff. Online registration is required for the webinar.