IBM And Schools Lead The Way -- Saving Time And Money -- On PC Support

Facing The Same Shrinking Resources As Corporations, Savvy School Systems In California, Indiana And Wisconsin Work With IBM To Save Money On Support As PCs Become More Pervasive

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CLOVIS, CA - 23 Aug 2002: America's school systems, expected to invest $9.5 billion in information technology by 2006, are increasingly turning to IBM to address traditionally corporate PC concerns such as services, manageability and lowering monthly help desk support costs.

IBM estimates that manageability and long-term service support are some of the most critical elements in large-scale education deployments, such as Warren Township School District in Indiana, Clovis Unified School District in California, and University Lake School in Hartland, Wis. School systems often have limited IT support departments and budgets, so saving time and money is essential. Their limited resources make PC management tools -- honed by IBM in numerous corporate deployments -- an attractive fit for school systems.

The Warren Township School District in Indianapolis recently migrated from Windows 95-based PCs to systems with Windows 2000. The district purchased 3,000 PCs and looked to IBM to make the migration run smoothly. Using IBM's System Migration Assistant, a software tool that helps move data and settings from an old PC to a new one, Warren Township estimates that it was able to save its 15-member IT staff about 30 minutes per PC, or 1,500 hours, compared to managing the upgrades manually.

"Our data migration was very accurate and resulted in satisfied end users, and a relieved IT staff that was able to continue focusing on equipping our students for the world of work in the 21st century," said Mary Kay Hunt, Chief Information Officer, Metropolitan School District of Warren Township.

Comparable to the size of a Fortune 500 corporation, Clovis Unified School District in California's Central Valley, near Fresno, has more than 32,000 students, 4,000 employees and an IT staff of 40. Using IBM asset management and remote management technologies in a current deployment of 7,000 IBM PCs, Clovis has been able to reduce the costs of managing and supporting a huge technology infrastructure.

Clovis also offers an innovative learning program that puts IBM ThinkPad computers into the hands of seventh through twelfth grade students who use them in all classes, including history, English and math. An example of how deeply technology is penetrating today's classrooms, Clovis has implemented 'full immersion' classes for notebook users only. They also run mixed classes, where students using either a ThinkPad notebook or paper-and-pen work side by side on the same lesson.

"In the past few years, we've seen significant gains in reading, language, and math achievement when students use ThinkPad systems in school," said Bill Cook, Chief Information Officer for Clovis Unified School District. "Our notebook program has become one of the most powerful catalysts for learning we've ever seen."

And when University Lake School, a private college preparatory school in Hartland, Wis., created a leading wireless network throughout its 180-acre campus, IBM helped control PC support costs. In a strategy designed to nurture active, engaged students and to prepare them for highly selective colleges and universities, University Lake School equips all teachers, as well as every student in its Middle and Upper Schools, grades 6-12, with a wireless-equipped ThinkPad notebook. To help lower PC support costs, the school uses three IBM tools. IBM Remote Deployment Manager reduced the amount of time required for annual re-imaging of notebook software, data and applications from 90 to approximately 30 minutes. IBM Director allows the school's small IT staff to perform remote fixes of a student or faculty member's notebook computer, even over the wireless network. And IBM Rapid Restore PC can restore a PC's data, software applications and operating systems to their last saved state, reducing recovery time from two hours often to less than 30 minutes per PC.

"University Lake School's wireless program provides a flexible learning environment for challenging our students, anytime, anywhere," says Technology Director Alex Inman. "At the same time, we have an IT staff-to-computer ratio smaller than the average school. These IBM tools make our notebook program efficient and cost-effective."

No time for downtime in schools
Technology is so integral to the curriculum for schools such as Warren Township, Clovis, and University Lake, that downtime while machines are being serviced or repaired is inconceivable. "Try telling a business person they'll be without their ThinkPad notebook for three days while it gets serviced. You'll be running for cover," said Rich Cheston, director of manageability solutions, IBM Personal Computing Division. "These days, you'll get the same reaction from students or teachers whose homework, research or lesson plans are stored on that hard drive. Manageability and service are critical in education. Downtime is not an option."

School systems also rely on other IBM tools to help reduce the costs of PC support.

IBM wireless options
IBM has also implemented a program featuring mobile carts to encourage and facilitate technology adoption in K-12 classrooms. Featuring award-winning, wireless-enabled IBM systems and wireless options, and carts from third-party manufacturers, the program enables a school to create a portable computer lab that can easily be moved from classroom to classroom. In the Atlanta Public Schools, where funding for 2,500 ThinkPad notebooks was approved in August for middle schools and high schools, school officials praised the program's flexibility for teachers and its ability to engage students.

When the mobile cart is not being used, built-in power strips charge the stored ThinkPad notebooks, which are secured in locked drawers or doors. When needed, a cart is rolled into the classroom, where ThinkPad notebooks are unlocked and distributed to students. The teacher then connects the cart to power, connects a wireless access point to the classroom network connection, and the students are ready to go.

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IBM and ThinkPad are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks are owned by their respective companies.

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