The sheer amount of cloud services and possibilities make it hard for research and educational institutions to choose a cloud provider. The fear of the so-called “vendor lock-in” further strengthens these institutions’ hesitation to choose. The European OCRE project was created to help institutions enjoy the benefits of the cloud – without the downside of being tied to a single provider. The project offers institutions multi-cloud solutions that go beyond specific providers. In Belgium, SoftwareONE secured one of the tenders within this project. That means SoftwareONE will now bring IBM Cloud to these institutions, within the framework agreement.
The OCRE project makes research institutions more future-proof and increases their freedom of choice
The Open Clouds for Research Environments project (OCRE) was created by GÉANT. This pan-European network is the largest and most advanced in the world. It boasts over 50 million users across 10,000 different institutions. 39 affiliated partners within the National Research and Education Network (NREN) make these connections available.
Cloud services providers were invited to tender for framework agreements within this project. Each agreement relates to access to a cloud provider per country – 40 countries in total. SoftwareONE won 68 framework agreements: 19 for IBM, 24 for Microsoft Azure and 25 for Oracle. In Belgium, SoftwareONE won the tender for IBM Cloud.
Value for Money
Cloud providers’ license structure makes procurement optimizing expensive for research and educational institutions. Yet at the same time, they do need the scalability, flexibility and mobility that the cloud has to offer. Thanks to the OCRE project, they are now able to enlist services from different cloud providers – without having to purchase several expensive licenses and without having to award several public contracts. All licenses are consolidated.
For educational institutions in particular the IT budget often becomes a problem. Unlike businesses, these institutions get a fixed amount per student. The costs of IT investments will not be offset by more efficient business processes or increased sales. Yet indirectly, the right IT investments determine the future number of students. That is why it is extremely important to spend the limited budget in a way that enables the institution to grow and meet the needs of its students, staff and market evolution.
The benefits of IBM Cloud
By winning the OCRE project’s tender, SoftwareONE can actively contribute to the future of research and education in Belgium and Europe. And it is proud to do so.
With the granted IBM Cloud framework agreement, SoftwareONE, as part of IBM's hybrid cloud ecosystem is able to provide education a good alternative to other cloud providers. Particularly in the field of privacy, IBM Cloud offers extra security, which is important when sharing sensitive research information.
“Thanks to our many years of experience with educational institutions across Europe we have a firm grasp on what’s important in their field. Winning this OCRE tender makes us incredibly proud, and we are convinced that our knowledge, experience and (managed) services for educational institutions enable us to contribute to the future of education in Belgium and Europe,” says David Steppe, General Manager at SoftwareONE Belgium and Luxembourg.
A strong start helps you save money in the long run
To ensure a solid start with IBM Cloud, research and educational institutions can call upon SoftwareONE to help them with the configuration of the platform. For example:
- Cost monitoring;
- Onboarding new students and staff;
- Gaining access to an online catalogue of cloud services, through SoftwareONE’s ADADCloud portal.
Tom Ampe, Sales Coach Public/Education at SoftwareONE: “SoftwareONE provides added value for research and educational institutions within the OCRE agreement. We assist and advise our clients during their migration to the cloud. We pay special attention to the right provisioning, as we know how important this is to clients with a fixed budget. Their needs must be met without any financial surprises.”
SoftwareONE is a leading global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions, headquartered in Switzerland. With capabilities across the entire value chain, it helps companies design and implement their technology strategy, buy the right software and cloud solutions at the right price, and manage and optimize their software estate. Its offerings are connected by PyraCloud, SoftwareONE’s proprietary digital platform, that provides customers with data-driven, actionable intelligence. With around 5,800 employees and sales and service delivery capabilities in 90 countries, SoftwareONE provides around 65,000 business customers with software and cloud solutions from over 7,500 publishers.