Yet another question on this board's favourite topic. I am interested in whether people think the benefits of EES of being able to keep your software up to date and consistent are worth the lock in, if there is not a significant cost saving.
As a small primary school, with a relatively high ratio of FTEs to computers, EES is not nearly as favourable financially to us as to some. However we will be needing Office 2010 licenses for nearly all our computers and upgrades to Windows Pro from Home on a new batch of computers. With EES we could switch Anti-virus from Symantec to Forefront Endpoint Protection. We could also save a bit on being able to upgrade a few computers to Windows 7 and keep them going a bit longer, when it would not be cost effective to do so if we had to buy Windows 7 licenses.
In my estimates, all this adds up to EES giving us a slight saving over the next five years, nothing that significant. The real boon of EES would be the ability to upgrade the whole school to Windows 8 and Office 2012 whenever we felt the time was right rather than waiting for a hardware refresh - though I have to say the direction Windows 8 seems to be going does not make me think we will be early adopters. It would also be good to avoid the license accounting: our license records are not very good at the moment. Getting enterprise editions would be nice too - though I've not got anything to bitlocker at the moment.
However the lock in of the hefty EES buyout cost gives me cold feet. Anyone any thoughts?
Last edited by Jollity; 29th June 2012 at 12:43 AM.
EES wasn't worth it for us., infact we have saved thousands by buying perpetual licenses.
We adopted XP in 2003 and have now been running it for 9 years. When Vista then Win7 were released the hardware requirements would have meant that we would have had to invest significantly in new equipment. We try and keep hardware running for 5-7 years, and it took until 2012 when we were pretty much 100% win7/8 ready. We also have a lot of thin client devices (since 2002) which EES isn't good for.
I also note that MS office usage is on a decline here now that staff have discovered the massive benefits of the collaborative tools in google apps, and the freeness of libreoffice. We've now taken the decision not to provide students with MSOffice. This strategy is helping with BYOD, which is increasing massively here as all 6th form students and most staff bring in their own equipment (MSOffice doesn't run on some of the ios,android and linux things they bring in).
I think the bottom line is that if you have the resources to replace computers regularly, and are able to provide ongoing training to staff, don't have an interest in other office offerings, don't have any plans for Chromebooks, Apple, Linux then EES can save you money.
Last edited by CyberNerd; 29th June 2012 at 09:26 AM.
To work out whether EES is worthwhile, you must understand how you pay for EES licensing.
You pay per FTE member of staff. However, Microsoft's definition of Part Time is any member of staff who works for 200 hours or less per year... which translates as roughly 6 hours per week term-time only!
In small schools, especially private schools with lots of part-time specialist staff and nursery assistants, all of whom have logins, this can work out very expensive. (Cleaners and cooks and the like who don't have logins don't count) Their head count is very high compared with the number of machines and all those part-timers are full time according to Microsoft.
I was among a group of edugeeks from Primary Schools that took Microsoft to task over this at the edugeek day in Reading a couple of years ago... their pricing structure is built around large American school districts with lots of schools and lots of staff, not around small stand-alone UK schools.
When EES was launched, we did the sums and it was cheaper to avoid EES.
Our EES agreement was ~£100 more expensive than our old agreement... saying that, every machine in the school is now licensed for the latest Office/Windows, our Servers are all licensed for the latest Server and we have MS FF TMG + Filtering and our A/V on there. EES was worth it in our school, even with the price increase. Our FTE count is less than a third of our machine count.
When I worked out the costs for our organisation I worked out that it should save us about £7K every 4 years verses buying the licences for Office and Windows. I also smooth out our purchasing and don't have to hit the Bursar up every 4 years for some extra cash for an upgrade. Depending on your school the PR bonus for always being up to date should not be underestimated.
We too went for the desktop package. The thing to remember is that it's not JUST Office and Windows. I'm looking forward to getting some big projects out the way and then looking at implimenting Lync, Sharepoint and SCCM that we get the CAL's for as part of the licencing. Also the free years subscription to MSDN for one facilty (*cough* ICT *Cough*) that was thrown in with the first year was nothing to be sniffed at. Does that get "thrown in" every year? It also gives us the option of moving to exchange if we wish.
We have a classroom like that, every teacher in there for the past two years has ended up pregnant. We're starting to worry.
About 18 months ago our whole school was like that, I think we had 9 staff on maternity leave at one point. I think the deputy head was considering getting the school nurse in to give the staff 'the talk'.