Project XCOE: The Small COE Answer!
For many of our smaller and remote COEs, it isn’t practical to implement servers and software, plus maintain and secure them. In order to serve those COEs, in 2008, we set up a cloud operation for Escape Online 5.
We call it Project XCOE. Our servers, software, and security hardware are housed within Placer COE’s IT department, providing smaller COEs with a secure and reliable environment, not some anonymous cloud.
Our servers are on the HSN (California’s High Speed Network), which is private. Smaller COEs now have access to the best school business system, without having to procure and manage the server environment. We manage the entire back end for our customers. We charge an annual fee that saves our customers tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Here is what Project XCOE makes available to smaller COEs:
- No IT staff requirement for server and application management
- No server / system software requirement
- No application manager requirement
- Guaranty of Continuity of Operations
- Important physical plant requirements provided by Placer COE
- Least cost method of acquiring the best COE school business system available
Project XCOE Customers
- Calaveras COE
- Del Norte COE
- Lake COE
- Mendocino COE
- Modoc COE
- Nevada CSS
- Plumas COE
- Shasta COE
- Sierra COE
- Sutter CSS
- Tehama CDE
- Trinity COE
- Yuba COE
The Placer COE Connection
Placer COE is an Escape Online customer, serving their 24 school districts. They have a very strong IT staff, great physical plant. They run a very professional implementation. Their computing infrastructure includes redundant power supplies, internet connections, and cooling.
When we came up with the XCOE concept, we approached PCOE and asked if we could purchase our own equipment, but locate it within their safe computing facility and use their High Speed Network internet connectivity. We appreciate them enthusiastically answering, “YES!”
So we own the equipment and PCOE provides the power, cooling and internet connectivity. They do not play any role in the operation of the Escape Online application.
Escape’s Role in Project XCOE
Escape Technology provides the IT staff to manage the hardware/software environment, perform upgrades, manage backups and so on. We also procure all hardware and software required for the XCOE system. New servers are added as required by implementations.
Our Customer Care staff provides technical expertise and hands-on assistance to county staff for maintaining system setup and troubleshooting issues — in other words, we perform the application management function instead of relying on COE personnel to do this.
It’s important to understand the cost savings to the COE with the XCOE arrangement. Beyond the server environment, managing the application is approximately a 0.5 FTE requirement.
Putting It All Together
Escape sets up the COE’s database with secure connectivity.
The only technology required at the COE is an adequate connection to the internet and our client software on your PCs/laptops. (This is easy!)
Escape maintains the server and databases, and acts as system manager, significantly reducing training.
Placer COE provides the secure physical space for the XCOE equipment, the redundant power, cooling and internet connectivity.
Your COE installs the Escape Online client on each desktop/laptop that you want to access the system. With your connection to the internet, you are ready to get to work!
Project XCOE was born after we visited several small COE's that had expressed interest in our system. I was amazed at their breadth of knowledge. They have to do the same scope of work as any COE, but with much less staff. We came away determined to provide a solution that worked for them. Project XCOE is the answer. They don't have to buy, configure and maintain the server environment. And they have Escape Online 5, the most powerful business system available to any COE. I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve these organizations, and for Placer COE's partnership.
Escape CEO Bob Towery