I’ve always had a soft spot for the education market — going back to when I had the opportunity to run IT for a K-12 school district early in my career. I still recall how rewarding the work was as it was clear our efforts were making a difference to students and teachers alike. I also remember the many challenges my small team faced in trying to manage technology demands with limited resources.
When I speak to Dell education customers today, I often hear of the struggles they face trying to support new ways to teach, learn and collaborate while balancing budget and support constraints. Luckily, these customers also share examples of how Dell is enabling them to make major improvements across both K-12 and higher-education environments.
There are many instances of how Dell-powered solutions are making it possible for our customers to deliver critical education system reforms. And, we’re helping them embrace new standards for assessments and accountability while addressing budget cuts and staff reductions. Dell’s education customers around the world are transforming lives through education and it’s great to be a part of it!
In my current role as the global VP and GM of sales, marketing and services for Dell Software, I still get to roll up my sleeves and strategize with customers about how best to support their emerging requirements. Many of those discussions revolve around Dell’s portfolio of hardware, software and services that can help enhance learning and teaching experiences. For example, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) is a shining example of Dell’s ability to apply a holistic mix of end-to-end solutions across data center, network and classroom environments.
"The end-to-end Dell solutions we’ve implemented allow us to give better, more reliable and faster service to our customers, whether they’re teachers and students in the classroom, our administrative staff or other needs that this organization has on a spur-of-the-moment basis," says Ted Alejandre, superintendent, SBCSS.
As the largest county in the continental U.S., SBCSS spans more than 500 school sites across 33 elementary school districts serving more than 412,000 students and 17,000 teachers, administrators and staff. Aside from its sheer size, San Bernardino is coping with other ever-present challenges, such as rolling out a new funding model and local control accountability plans as well as implementing new Common Core standards and Smarter Balance testing assessments.
Meeting both the county’s current and future requirements is a tall order—and one that Dell fulfills with a mix of software, networking, storage and data center solutions. On the software side, SBCSS uses Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive Firewalls and Dell KACE Systems Management Appliances to take security and endpoint systems management to the next level. By deploying Dell KACE’s “anypoint management,” SBCSS has eliminated seven disparate products while slashing the time and effort required to support an array of Dell desktops, laptops and Chromebooks.
Additionally, SBCSS embraced Dell SonicWALL’s next-gen firewalls to give the countywide network an extra measure of protection from viruses, spam, spyware, intrusions and other threats. In doing so, the county replaced more than six separate products with SuperMassive E10800 firewalls—alleviating bandwidth bottlenecks and improving the detection and blocking of threats before they enter the network. The county also has deployed Dell PowerEdge blade servers, Dell PowerEdge VRTX servers, Dell networking solutions and Dell EqualLogic storage arrays.
According to Ted Alejandre, SBCSS superintendent, the decision to deploy an end-to-end Dell portfolio, let the county give better, more reliable and faster service to its customers, whether they’re teachers and students in the classroom or administrative staff in the field. We also help the county accommodate spur-of-the-moment needs, which is something every customer across every sector must be ready to address.
The common thread that connects all Dell customers is the overarching need to address rapid change while reducing IT complexity and cost. Our ability to help customers stay ahead of the technology curve –with end-to-end solutions that simplify IT and improve service—is what binds us together while enabling Dell to stand out from competitors.
I’m always looking for stories of how companies are embracing end-to-end solutions that make a difference. Drop me a line at Dave_Hansen@dell.com with a good story to share.