BETT 2016 Guest Blog: AspiraCloud – cost saving in the cloud


Another partner joining us in the BETT 2016 Microsoft Partner Village is AspiraCloud. In this post they examine some of the cost saving advantages that academic institutions can make by make a move to the cloud, and compare the virtues of different ‘…as a Service’ models.

Could Heading to Cloud be the Best Decision You Will Make This Year?

AspiraCloud

Have you thought about the real costs of IT at your school? Are you considering a move to cloud but don’t know your IaaS from your PaaS? Maybe you have taken the first step with Exchange Online. In this blog post, AspiraCloud want to help you consider the wider picture and look at how heading to the cloud could just be the best decision you make this year for your school.

How often, when making choices on new IT services at school does cost becomes the deciding factor? When you look through the online catalogue for your preferred supplier to get the best price on the hardware, how often to you thing about the hidden costs associated with your purchase?

  • The cost of electricity
  • The cost of ventilation and cooling
  • Back up infrastructure and media
  • The cost of licensing (and the stress of making sure you have got it right)
  • Support staff costs
  • Environmental costs

Maybe it’s time you head to the cloud and become a cost saving super hero.

A simple calculation considering the cost of a move to the cloud demonstrates some real savings over time, especially when you consider all elements that go to make up the total cost. There is plenty of help available from Microsoft Cloud Partners to help assess this element, but as we all know, not everything is based purely on cost. Low cost doesn’t always mean that you have the best or a service that meets your needs.

You may have already started the move to Office 365 for Exchange Online and can now see a real benefit in terms of saving time and costs. You may have started to look at using One Drive for Business instead of file shares, but what about the rest of your IT infrastructure? Isn’t it time to consider the benefits of using the cloud for this as well?

The role of the IT Leader in education has never been more important. As budgets tighten and workloads increase it can often be a balancing act to find the best solution to meet the needs of the users and stay within budget. The concept of transferring that cost to a subscription model rather than capital expenditure is a great way to effect savings whilst still responding efficiently to the needs of your teachers and learners.

The key to a successful move to the cloud is finding the right partner to help with planning so that you find the right place for your school. In many cases Office 365 will provide everything you need. A software platform as service meeting all your requirements. You don’t need to worry about anything in this scenario. Everything is taken care of for you. You can focus all your time and energy on good quality teaching and learning whilst you simply consume a service.

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In a lot of schools there is always some middle ground. There is always a workload you want to maintain control of. For example, your MIS, cashless catering, admissions and registrations, performance monitoring.

In this case a move to the cloud is still a great option but perhaps some form of middle ground is appropriate. This is represented by the image above which shows three possibilities in the cloud. Each option in the cloud allows you to make the right choice for your school.

As you can see in the diagram below each option in the cloud allows you to share responsibility for different aspects of your service with a world class cloud provider. You can stay On Premises and maintain full responsibility for everything yourself, or opt for Software as a Service, like Office 365, where everything is taken care of for you.

As you start to see success in the cloud you can look at how the other options can help. This could be virtual machines (Infrastructure as a Service) or a hosted platform to serve your MIS. Why not select a bit of all three as your requirements change?

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By finding the right balance for your school, you can head to clouds with confidence, knowing that you are making the right choices based not only on cost but because it’s the right strategic thing for you to do.

If you want to know more, why not ask for your free cloud assessment?

AspiraCloud have been helping schools make the best out of SharePoint and Office 365 for many years now and see just this sort of picture where schools want to be able to select the best option to enhance the quality of teaching and learning or support the back end services of the school.

Schools like Droitwich Spa High School in Worcestershire and Dr Challoner’s High School in Buckinghamshire are two great examples. Both schools continue to host many services on premises at the moment as it suits the need of the school. However, they have started to look at aspects of the cloud and make use of the services that suit them.

In the next blog post from AspiraCloud they will present a case study showing how a hybrid SharePoint environment making use of SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business is providing a great platform for students and teachers to collaborate, share work online and work from anywhere at any time on any device.


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