There’s strength in numbers when it comes to higher education software agreements.
Five Hoosier public universities have capitalized on their combined size to secure a deal to provide Microsoft products to tens of thousands of students, faculty, and staff, at a significant discount.
This spring, the University of Southern Indiana, along with Indiana University, Purdue University, Ball State University, and Ivy Tech Community College, submitted a joint request for proposal (RFP) for Microsoft software and services, more formally known as an Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) agreement. After a competitive bidding process, the joint RFP has been awarded to a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) reseller as a three-year contract.
"We came to together to collaborate shared resources and like programs for better purchasing power, and in turn we got the biggest discount any of us has ever had with a Microsoft reseller,” said Tally Thrasher, IU director of purchasing administration and lead negotiator on the deal. “Additionally, our contract is going toward a minority-owned enterprise, which helps all of us to work toward our specific goals in that area.”
For the past 10 years, USI has partnered with Microsoft to provide Microsoft’s technologies across the campus for academic and administrative needs for all students, faculty and staff. Additionally, it allows USI students, faculty, and staff to download Microsoft's office productivity software for free to use on their computers, tablets, and smartphones. “This new contract continues USI’s existing deal with Microsoft while carefully managing University resources, and is one of several multi-university licensing efforts being explored,” said Richard Toeniskoetter, USI’s chief information officer.
Photo Credit: USI Photography and Multimedia