RM schools: How to justify the cost of Smoothwall over RMSmartCache
I'll start with a bit of backgound:
We're an RM school that currently has a SmartCache 2 filtering box. We also have a small number of Macs that we have set up separately to the RM network and require separate internet filtering, because we don't like the way they work with Smartcache. We're currently looking at a SmoothWall solution for the Macs, but next year (2011-12) we'd ideally like to use SmoothWall for both our RM and Mac networks and dump the SmartCache all together.
Our main problem is cost. We're gonna have to justify the cost of a SmoothWall system to our SMT over the cost of a second SmartCache (which will do the job, just not very well).
If we've calculated our costs right (total cost of ownership - hardware plus licenses), getting a SmoothWall for our macs for three years is double the cost of the RM SmartCache system we already have. If we're to use SmoothWall on our entire system, it'll cost more than three times that of a SmartCache system.
Obviously, this is not a negligible difference. We can already tell from our trial version that despite it's complicated interface, it is a far better solution than SmartCache, but just saying 'well, it's better...!' isn't going to get us terribly far! Does anybody have any suggestions on how we could convince our SMT that SmoothWall is worth the cost?