Dean Close School, in Cheltenham, are in the process of rolling out Windows 7 and the latest Windows Server across their school – to 500 computers owned by the school, as well as using it to more effectively manage the 500 laptops that are brought to school by pupils.
Part of the pressure for this has come from pupils themselves. As Nyall Monkton, the IT Manager at the school said:
When students started bringing their own laptops to school with pre-release versions of Windows 7 installed, we didn’t have the capacity to support them.
I often think that pressure for change in IT seems to come from two directions – from the users and from the suppliers – with IT managers in the middle between the two. And in schools, it also feels like teachers are the middle too – being pressured for faster paced change, with students pushing upwards, and the IT world pushing downwards.
The school had an existing School Agreement, and were lucky enough that their Microsoft partner, Bechtle, were on our early adopter programme for Windows 7. So they were able to jump onboard earlier than most – with their first part of their deployment in July.
But now, the “saving money” bit.
In the case study they talk about reducing the time taking managing the network, and reducing the time that staff have to spend on administrative tasks – and improving their access to the school network from home. But they also identified a really clear cost saving, through the new DirectAccess feature in Windows:
In the future, we won’t need to maintain Citrix. This will save us £15,000 to £25,000
I’ve started to hear similar stories of cost savings – either saving money in the IT budget through using the in-built capabilities of Windows to save money on third-party applications, or saving the school significant amounts of money on the electric bill by a combination of using power saving settings in Windows 7 and through virtualising physical servers. I’m going to ask Gerald (who wrote the Windows Early Adopters paper) to interview people from some of the stories I hear – if you’ve got a story about how one of our products has saved you money, then drop me an email, and perhaps I can send Gerald in your direction.