[Editor’s Note] Today’s blog post is a case study featuring the work SADA Systems has done to migrate the Moline School District to Google Apps for Education.
Client: Moline School District No. 40
Organization size: 5,300 users
Country or Region: Moline, Illinois
SADA Service(s): Google Apps for Education migration
Moline School District No. 40 is located in Moline, Illinois and consists of 12 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 1 high school, including 1 alternative high school.
“I was thoroughly impressed with the project and the response from the SADA team.”
– Craig Reid, Educational Technology Team Leader at the Moline School District
Prior to moving to Google Apps for Education, the Moline School District had been using Kerio as their email and calendaring solution, which the District was hosting and managing independently. The Moline School District found the time and savings benefits of moving to the cloud compelling – the District not only wanted to get out of hosting their own email system, but they found the collaboration features of Kerio lacking. Craig Reid, Educational Technology Team Leader at the Moline School District, who oversees large-scale deployments and integrations for the District, noted that there was little capability to collaborate with their former solution outside of individual server shares, and the cost to incorporate the desired collaboration features were outside of the District’s budget. Additionally, the District hosted their own archiving and compliance solution, Barracuda, which was costing the Moline Schools not only the money spent to manage and maintain the solution, but also hours of IT time to process the reports.
Reid gathered the District’s technology committee in a product evaluation that included Google Apps for Education alongside other cloud solutions. The committee was a diverse group of administrators, teachers, sports staff and more – despite the wide range of roles the committee held within the District, all members noted the user-friendliness of the Google Apps for Education platform. Many faculty and staff members were also familiar with Gmail and Drive as their own personal communication solutions, which also made a compelling argument for the ease with which Google Apps for Education could be adopted.
SADA Systems worked with Craig Reid, Educational Technology Team Leader at the Moline School District, to migrate approximately 925 faculty and staff users from Kerio to Google Apps for Education.
The project began in April 2013, and was completed by June 2013, in less than three months total. SADA’s understanding of the migration paths of educational institutions and the necessity of maintaining strict and speedy timelines to avoid downtime during the school year aided in the Moline School District’s fast move to Google Apps for Education. The transition went very smoothly, thanks to streamlined communication between both the Moline School District and SADA Systems.
“I was thoroughly impressed with the project and the response from the SADA team,” said Reid. “It was a great process with a great structure and team. There was constant communication the whole way – it was even a note during the closing call that everything went smoothly.”
The District also engaged with SADA to implement a mobile strategy for Google Apps for Education, Vault for both faculty and staff, as well as change management and training.
Results and Benefits:
“One of the best and biggest comments we’re getting is around mobility,” said Reid. The District’s former solution didn’t allow for much mobility, but with Google Apps for Education, mobility is utilized by faculty and staff across a range of devices from iPhones to Androids and Ipads. Now, Google Apps for Education’s anywhere/anytime access allows for District employees to communicate and collaborate from any location on the device of their choice. The use of Google Docs and Drive has also been greatly beneficial for the District, with the ability to share and edit various policies and procedures between departments, District-wide. Students also benefit from using Drive – instead of having multiple documents on different servers, students are able to share out Docs based on teams. And with Google Vault, Reid is able to eliminate the 5-6 hours a week he spent managing their former email archiving solution (which sometimes took up to 6 hours a day to manage if there was an issue).
By switching to Google Apps for Education, the faculty and staff of the Moline School District are able to more effectively use their time with easy to use solutions. Google Apps for Education has also reduced operational costs by 10%, including travel expenses and office costs, such as printing and electricity. Additionally, the District has been able to reduce infrastructure costs, including server, storage and backup and archiving costs. By moving to Google Apps, the Moline School District saves $16,000 annually in IT expenditures, and is looking to migrate the students of the District before the end of the summer.
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