NComputing, provider of low-cost computing solutions, today announced that it was chosen to supply a massive 5,000-school educational computing initiative in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, per VentureBeat. The initiative will provide computing access to 1.8 million children throughout the state. The win marks the largest single deployment of NComputing’s solution in India.
By leveraging NComputing, the government expects to save $20 million in up-front and ongoing costs. The government will also use 90% less electricity compared to a traditional all-PC solution.
The NComputing solution is based on a simple fact: today’s PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of applications only use a small fraction of the computer’s capacity. NComputing technology creates multiple virtual desktops on a single PC so that many users can tap the unused capacity and share it as if each person had their own computer. Andhra Pradesh chose the NComputing X300 solution, which enables up to seven users to simultaneously share one PC.
The computing labs will be used to teach computer skills and office productivity (spreadsheets, word processing) as well as subjects like reading and math. The entire system will run on the Microsoft Windows Server operating system and use Microsoft Office Suite.
The project is based on an innovative outsourcing model. The Andhra Pradesh government will outsource the entire project for five years to leading educational IT companies, including Educomp, Everonn, NIIT, and Social Computers. The model is referred to as Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) and requires the companies to install, staff, and manage the labs. This arrangement helps ensure that the labs are installed quickly and performance benchmarks are met. The five-year period also enables school staff to develop their own competencies in managing the labs and computer-aided teaching.
NComputing’s technology is used by 20,000 organizations in more than 90 countries. In the United States, NComputing has been deployed by over 4,000 school districts in classrooms, computer labs, and libraries. Although smaller in scale than Andhra Pradesh, school districts in North America face many of the same challenges including tight budgets, demand for wider computing access, limited IT support staff, and a desire to use “green” technology.