Columbus, Ohio (Oct. 07, 2011) – Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro, in conjunction with The Ohio State University, today announced signing an aggregate purchasing agreement with VMware, Inc. projected to generate $25.4 million in direct savings and $155.5 million in indirect savings over the next two years. The agreement serves all Ohio four-year and two-year campuses, K-12 schools, and state and local governments, as well as related health care communities.
"Today's challenging economic environment demands that public sector agencies look for creative ways to stretch existing resources to meet current and future demands," said Chancellor Petro. "This program represents a critical tool for Ohio's IT professionals to manage increased demands with limited resources."
Virtualization continues to transform the IT landscape and enable organizations to fundamentally change the way they compute. By virtualizing IT servers and desktops, Ohio educational institutions can improve operational efficiencies, downtime and disaster recovery processes and increase their ability to respond to student and faculty needs quickly – all of which contribute to a better learning environment.
"The benefits of the VMware program for The Ohio State University – and all of Ohio's education and government and related health care communities – will enable the optimization of existing resources, while the savings will provide for necessary expansion to meet the ever increasing needs for IT," said Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research, The Ohio State University. "This partnership will continue to strengthen the technology capabilities throughout Ohio in a cost-effective manner."
Because of collaboration between the Ohio Board of Regents, Department of Administrative Services - Office of Information Technology (DAS-OIT,) the Department of Education, and the Management Council of Ohio Computer Education Network, the program provides significant discounts on software licenses and maintenance. The Ohio Academic Resource Network (OARnet) will serve as the administrative arm for the program and be responsible for delivering the VMware virtualization and cloud software.
"Virtualization is a game changer," said Stu Davis, state chief information officer/assistant director, DAS-OIT. "In the state space alone we have virtualized 33 percent of our servers over the past two years. This equates to more efficient management and maintenance, power and space savings and, more importantly, quicker provisioning of environments. There is much more to do and this collaborative agreement will ultimately save taxpayers' dollars in the public sector, higher education and K-12."
Colleen McMillan, director of VMware global public sector solutions marketing, added, "Today's educational institutions are under intense pressure to reduce costs while continuing to manage an increasing demand for services. These institutions recognize that virtualization and cloud technologies can enable the transformational changes that bring about sustainable, long-term cost reductions, efficiencies and IT agility.
"This contract provides a more cost-effective procurement vehicle for schools and colleges to realize the benefits associated with implementing virtualization across client and server platforms," McMillan said.
About the Board of Regents
The Ohio Board of Regents is the state agency that coordinates higher education in Ohio. The agency is directed by its Chancellor, who is a member of the Governor of Ohio's cabinet. The Chancellor, with the advice of the nine-member Board of Regents, provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly, advocates for the University System of Ohio and carries out state higher education policy.
A member of the Ohio Board of Regent's Ohio Technology Consortium, the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), located at The Ohio State University, provides technology solutions for Ohio's education, public broadcasting, health care and government communities. Since 1987, OARnet has identified and deployed shared services that reduce costs, deliver quality programs, increase productivity and improve customer service. Communities voluntarily participate in the OARnet consortium because they value these benefits and services. Ultimately, OARnet promotes community and economic development by expanding access to affordable technology.