Cost savings and new training initiatives: the latest from ShareIT

Alberta’s ShareIT public procurement program has reported its most productive quarter ever in terms of creating cost savings. Between April 1 and June 30, 2020, the program facilitated $4.26 million in savings for its participating institutions. This number was calculated by comparing the actual spend on IT tools, licensing, and services to what organizations would have normally spent using their average educational discount rate. 

This comes as the ShareIT program ramps up other value-add services, including training and professional development sessions.

“This spring was a very busy time for Alberta’s education institutions, as they’ve shifted priorities and operations to meet the remote learning needs brought on by the current COVID-19 pandemic,” says Barb Carra, President and CEO of Cybera. “I am very proud of our ShareIT team, as well as the external administrators and member community who invested their time into making this program as effective and supportive of education delivery as it is.”

The Alberta ShareIT Program is an Alberta-based collaborative initiative, managed by Cybera and overseen by representatives from the province’s post-secondary institutions. Its procurement service leverages economies of scale to give participants in both the post-secondary and K-12 education sectors access to a broader, more powerful, and more economic suite of computing technologies.

This suite of technologies and services includes: end-user computing hardware, networking hardware and services, audiovisual equipment, security services, cloud services, telephony hardware and services, and Adobe licensing. Since it launched in 2017, the procurement program has saved participating members nearly $17 million.

Training and Professional Development

The Alberta ShareIT Program has also begun offering valuable knowledge transfer, skill-building, and cybersecurity opportunities. Over the past year, the team has hosted 24 webinars, workshops and skills training sessions for nearly 800 attendees. The recordings and slide decks from these sessions are available in the ShareIT wiki library for any member to access. 

“We are thrilled to be able to offer knowledge and skill-building services, in addition to our shared procurement program,” says ShareIT Manager Mary Friedrich. “In times of significant budget restrictions, training and professional development are often the first to be cut, but they remain a critical need.” 

“I encourage any of our members to fill out our training survey on the tech skills, leadership development, or other topics you would be interested in learning about. We’re able to aggregate numbers to drive down the costs of skills development workshops — we just need to know what skills you want to develop!”

Looking ahead

The ShareIT procurement program will be adding other items to its catalogue later this year, including: IBM-SPSS licensing, Adobe Sign, online proctoring system(s), chatbots, and additional security hardware and services. 

Cybera encourages members who have ideas for other services / products they would like to see offered to contact our team at ShareIT@cybera.ca.