As departments within a school district are pressured to justify every dollar spent, technology budgets often suffer and upgrades get pushed another year. Faced with this common challenge, a district in Kansas knew there had to be a better way to meet their technology upgrade needs while reducing technology costs.
Across the school district, technology in the classrooms was extremely outdated. With an average age of 7 – 8 years old, the functionality and effectiveness of its current device fleet had been gradually decreasing overtime. Each year, the maintenance costs of the hardware was increasing, adding to the overall expenese of technology each year.
This not only caused frustration among students and faculty when using the devices, but it also added to the total cost of ownership, causing budgetary spikes and unpredictable replacement needs. The district knew they needed a solution that could maintain an important technology standard, while reducing their overall expenses.
That’s when the school district’s Chief Information Officer decided to go back to the drawing board. He selected two different brands of new devices that could be used for all of the schools’ various technology needs: student assessments, testing, classroom computing and computer labs. However, the major budget implications that this type of technology replacement would require still needed to be addressed.
To acquire the new devices, the CIO compared both leasing and purchasing options. Since leasing gave them the ability to better manage their limited financial resources, the board decided that a four-year lease agreement for the hardware purchase was the best solution to balance replacement goals and overall costs. A Master Lease agreement offered financing for all immediately purchased devices and would simplify the addition of future purchases. Although each provider offered a competitive lease rate, the decision to go with First American was made based on the additional value-based services provided. With First American, the district received:
- A long-term, sustainable refresh program for technology
- Complete online purchase and device tracking capabilities
- The expertise of a partner focusing exclusively on education
- Higher-level service with a dedicated Project Manager
- Vendor neutrality throughout the entire project
The school district went from not having enough resources to repair its aging technology equipment, to implementing a sustainable Technology Renewal Program that reduced costs and helped to better manage its fleet of devices.
The district now has over 3,000 new laptops and desktops to improve the learning environment for students and, most importantly, a system in place to cost effectively manage its technology upgrades in the future.