EdTech Case Study: Staying Ahead of the Technology Curve

Cutting Edge School District Chooses IFS for its Expert Support and Customer-Centric Leasing Solutions.

As school districts across the nation work hard to make technology current for students, faculty and staff, one district is taking it a step further, striving for not just current but cutting edge technology.

“Budget is always a challenge for school districts, and technology, while critical, is expensive. We go beyond offering attractive lease terms and invest the time to understand the nuances of each unique situation including challenges, goals and schedules,” said IFS. “In this case, we learned that the district needed a strategy that would allow it to stay ahead of the technology curve, while on a limited budget. As an independent partner, we were able to help the district in ways that other financing arrangements may not have allowed for.”

The Situation

The school district wanted to refresh its technology equipment for its 25,000 students and 2,500 faculty and staff. With a strong belief in personalized learning and creating innovative thinkers, this district was driven to provide not only current equipment for its student body, but to use leading edge technology including advanced solutions such as digital inking.

IFS worked with the district to help them navigate vendor contracts so they had the right level of flexibility to make changes as needed. For example, when the district took delivery of 5,000 hybrid laptop tablet devices it discovered that they didn’t work as expected in its environment due to manufacturing issues. But IFS, acting as an independent partner, was able to work with the district and the manufacturer to replace the devices smoothly, and with no additional cost. IFS then helped the district provide a compelling flexible three year leasing solution for the devices to replace the ineffective hybrid laptops.

The Solution

IFS met with the district’s IT Director and staff to gain a strong understanding its situation, IT environment, challenges and goals. In doing so, IFS was able to become the independent third party partner that this district needed to support all its leasing needs.

For core leasing terms, IFS structured the lease to match the school calendar for delivery and refresh. IFS offers more flexible standard terms and contracts so that districts can have better options such as like-for-like returns, with no specific serial numbers required. IFS also offers line item decision making for end-of lease options (buy, extend, or return), which is not always available from other lessors. This district took advantage of this feature when it was in the process of refreshing teacher devices. It opted to purchase and keep existing monitors while returning the laptops.

The Results

The partnership between IFS and the district achieved a 100% technology refresh for 2,500 teachers and all students. As an independent firm, IFS has the ability to act as an extension of the district’s purchasing and finance departments rather than being tied a single technology vendor. Additionally, short three year terms allow the district to always stay current. Given the district’s commitment to innovative technology, this approach allows the district to be nimble and pivot quickly when necessary. It gives the district the freedom to obtain desired equipment, regardless of vendor, and if necessary, return it and move quickly toward a better solution. This flexibility ensures that the district can explore multiple options and always have the right equipment at the right time.

“Being closely aligned with the school district is significant when it comes to delivering long-term value. For districts like this one, that are dedicated to advancing teaching and learning, being an independent partner with a deep understanding of its operation, has made all the difference,” concluded IFS.

Insight Financial Services (IFS), a division of Insight Investments, LLC, delivers financially transparent technology leasing solutions for businesses acquiring hardware, software and associated services. Its Asset Management Online System (AMOS) provides anywhere, anytime asset management. An ISO 9001:2008 certified organization, IFS serves more than 400 active customers with a managed portfolio in excess of $750 million. For more information, visit www.ifsleasing.com.

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