During our assessment, Ricoh and mindSHIFT discovered 320 servers in the district, many which no longer served a purpose. We discovered the district was spending $200,000 a year on duplicate or unused software licenses and other technology. We found pallets of new technology worth about $500,000 that had been ordered but never installed. And, only 20 percent of the aging 700 whiteboards were functional. Impressed, the district contracted with us for Total IT Managed Services — an approach we've applied in 150 school districts — with a variable cost model that adjusts based on student population. If enrollment continued to drop, so would the district's IT costs.
Once the structural problems were diagnosed, we then set out to stabilize the environment. The district's IT infrastructure was completely overhauled, the network redesigned and data centers were relocated and condensed. We stabilized server and email environments and repaired and stabilized the backup system. Content filtering was enabled and a temporary IT infrastructure at a temp school was set up after a flood. Laptop and desktop computer issues were resolved and PARCC testing technology was implemented. We upgraded software and moved it to new hardware, and repaired a broken domain name server. Interactive and networked whiteboards were added and we began digitizing paper student records. To support the new IT infrastructure, remote desktop control, a help desk and 24/7 monitoring and maintenance was implemented.
Going forward, we plan to migrate and consolidate servers, deploy a centralized wireless controller solution to migrate students to Chromebooks®, transition email to Microsoft Office® 365, refresh hardware, right-size the phone system and upgrade and consolidate the network switching environment. These efforts are expected to lower infrastructure and licensing costs, simplify the IT infrastructure, improve system reliability and performance, reallocate funding toward student computing devices and improve teaching technology.