When it comes to hardware, colleges have opportunities to purchase systems that won’t bet out of date by next year.
Software, however, is another story.
Each year, software programs are updated to the latest point-edition, and some programs even need specialized hardware to stay up and running. When this happens, some colleges need to carve out time and dish out cash for more training for its staff to stay up to speed.
Fortunately, there are software purchasing strategies colleges and universities can follow to dodge software traps.
First, Robert Balgley, CEO of Mersive says that colleges should avoid purchasing software that requires specialized hardware. That way, you get more bang for your buck and extensive use out of both system types.
“The first thing that we think is important for our customers is the ability to run the software on commodity standard hardware, like a Windows or Android platform,” Balgley says. “You want to avoid software that requires specialized hardware. The whole point of grade software is it lets you accomplish more with less expensive hardware.”
Balgley also says that college struggling to purchase software should find programs that can be centrally managed.
When software is centrally managed, IT directors can take care of everything in one location.
“Whether you’ve done five or 500 rooms, it can be managed centrally so you don’t have to go room to room to room to diagnose support, configure and upload software,” he says. “All that can be done from one central management point.”
Finally, Balgley says that colleges should look at a program’s maintenance program prior to purchasing software. Doing so will enable a college to benefit from a low-cost platform and continually upgrade new features.
“It’s an important for colleges to stay with the trends in technology, and software does that much better than a hardware-based solution,” he says. “With a software package, you never have to change out your hardware platform if you don’t want to, and you’ll be able to keep the investments you made in your software through a maintenance program.”