Lean on Services in the Face of the Funding Cliff
As the director of CDW’s Amplified™ Education Portfolio, I lead an education-focused product team dedicated to managing CDW’s existing services as well as building new ones to better serve education customers. I often see the sunsetting of emergency funding as the No. 1 problem for schools post-pandemic.
I was on the phone with a school technology director whose district had to cut roughly $1 million from its budget; it had been asked to cut $87,000 in software alone. Now, the district is working with CDW to figure out things like, “How do we maximize what we already have? Where might we be able to sunset other subscriptions?”
That’s what CDW Amplified for Education Services are all about.
CDW Amplified for Education began as a suite of services under the Amplified for Education brand, dedicated to helping schools solve problems in the Google ecosystem. When CDW surveyed our Microsoft customers, we found similar challenges with fully utilizing the potential of the many educational innovations that Microsoft has built into its education ecosystem.
CDW is customizing its existing Microsoft services to address this, providing education-specific consultation, support and training so our schools are aware of everything they have access to and feel confident implementing it.
With the addition of Microsoft for Education offerings, we can assess what the school already has in its Microsoft licensing structure, what it’s using and what it’s under-utilizing to help the school save money on its total IT budget.
Collaborate, Consolidate and Activate Within the IT Community
As part of the CDW Amplified for Education effort, the CDW Education Collaborative (formerly the North American Google Technical Collaborative) has expanded so school IT leaders can learn how to successfully implement and manage Microsoft technologies side by side with their peers, and with CDW and Microsoft experts.
The CDW Education Collaborative is a community of K–12 IT professionals based in the United States and Canada that provides a virtual meeting place where IT leaders can solve problems and network. The program now serves more than 1,250 school districts across North America, and it has greatly expanded its scope to address those using Microsoft’s software and solutions.
The CDW Education Collaborative is the first of many Microsoft Education–related services that CDW has planned to help schools fully realize the potential of Windows 11 running on affordable, classroom-friendly Windows 11 devices, including services such as a readiness assessment and ecosystem licensing review.
The goal of the CDW Education Collaborative, beyond supporting its members, is to create a community and provide connection in the often-siloed K–12 IT environment. In July, there will be a 45-day free trial of the CDW Education Collaborative available to anyone. This will include a Microsoft Education “takeover” July 11-13.
CDW and Microsoft have heard customers voice their concerns and challenges, especially in this post-pandemic landscape. That’s why we’re investing in building out these services. And the Microsoft takeover of the CDW Education Collaborative is a low-risk way for education professionals to get a taste of these vital offerings.