Cybera and Alberta education institutions expand collaborative partnership

Working with the Alberta Association for Higher Education Information Technology, Cybera will expand the learning, cybersecurity, and purchasing power of the province’s education sectors.

In a move that will increase the technology capabilities of Alberta’s educational institutions, while reducing costs, the Alberta Association for Higher Education Information Technology (AAHEIT) has voted to join with Cybera’s ShareIT program to operate as a single entity. The Alberta ShareIT Program will focus on opportunities for shared procurement, training, collaboration, and improved cybersecurity among the province’s post-secondary institutions.

The move follows the successful launch of the ShareIT procurement service nearly four years ago. Led by Alberta’s post-secondary institutions, and managed by Cybera, the service leverages economies of scale to give participants access to a broader, more powerful, and more economic suite of computing technologies.

In the last year alone, ShareIT’s procurement service saved member institutions nearly $6.5 million in IT hardware, licensing and software costs, a 46% increase in savings over the previous year.

More training and cybersecurity offerings

By centralizing AAHEIT and Cybera’s service, the Alberta ShareIT program will now include more collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunities — including shared training and professional development offerings, as well as formal group meetings to discuss new opportunities and best practices.

There will also be new cybersecurity initiatives that members can join. The program will continue to be managed by Cybera (Alberta’s not-for-profit technology accelerator), and overseen by representatives from all 26 post-secondary institutions in the province.

“The Alberta Association for Higher Education Information Technology has operated for nearly 30 years. In that time, we have created a strong community of collaboration and learning among post-secondaries,” says Roy Daykin, CFO at SAIT and Chair of AAHEIT’s Board of Directors.

“Concurrently, in the last three years, Cybera’s ShareIT service has accomplished a great deal for our community. It has not only reduced IT hardware and software costs, but also brought together education administrators and vendors to learn from each other. Given Cybera’s successful track record, and the duplication of our audience, we felt that both of our organizations’ goals could best be met if we joined forces.”

Increasing collaborations

Cybera’s experience in facilitating shared procurement contracts — and the relationships its ShareIT team have built with vendors, government, and the education sector — will prove vital as the program expands its services.

“Alberta’s education sectors are facing many unique challenges, including promoting learning and research in a virtual environment, ensuring the security of their operations, and growing and retaining their staff’s technical expertise — all while still finding efficiencies in a budget-constrained environment,” says Barb Carra, President and CEO of Cybera.

“By utilizing ShareIT’s wealth of experience in finding collaborative solutions, education institutions will be able to continue offering vital IT services, while improving their cybersecurity stance and overall technical understanding. I’m excited for this opportunity to collaborate more with our members to take on these challenges!”

For more information, visit the program’s website.

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