I was at the UK HEFCE endorsed Shared Services conference last week and despite a lot of discussion about "what exactly is a shared service" one of the most obvious aspects of the conference seemed to be that there is even less money to go round than usual.  However, at the same time the expectations of students as consumers and universities as business has never been higher.  This is leading to considerable pressure on many university IT organisations to deliver more but at the same time they are being given less, with IT budgets only set to increase by realtively small amounts that will hardly cover the increase in staff and utility costs.

So what suggestions does Microsoft have to enable universities to save money?  Here's a sample list to begin with:

  • Deploy virtualisation -  Reduce server hardware needs with Windows Server Hyper-V
  • Consolidate vendors and reduce database Total Cost of Ownership
  • Lower desktop deployment and management costs by deploying Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Application Virtualization – Click here for a customer example
  • Realise a significant cost reduction for server ownership by improving data center operations management with Microsoft System Center – Click here for a customer example
  • Consolidate suppliers and product purchasing through the Core CAL & eCAL offerings
  • Deploy the software that is already owned and maximize current IT spend -  Click here to see how one partner has created a program to help customers deploy what they already own
  • Reduce travel and communications costs with Microsoft Unified Communications solutions
  • Reduce costs and improve security with standardized configurations of Windows desktops, servers and mobile devices that optimize infrastructure – Click here for resources and customer examples
  • Using Windows Vista can save energy costs, increase mobility and productivity, and reduce deployment and data protection costs
  • Proper Project and Portfolio Management gives organizations visibility into areas where costs can be eliminated – Click here for a customer example
  • Broaden the skill sets by using the IT Academy in your university to both save on training costs and deliver life long learning opportunities
  • Microsoft Online Services can reduce the total cost of ownership in most cases -  don't forget live@edu

 

This is only the tip of the iceberg and I'll start filling in some more details on the above with some examples over the next few weeks.