City of Liverpool College joins Jisc shared-services datacentre in Slough

Further education college set to use facility to help support roll-out of shared-services portfolio to other colleges

City of Liverpool College (CLC) has marked the start of its push to adopt shared-services by becoming the first further education provider to move into Jisc’s Slough datacentre.

The shared-services facility, funded with £900,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and operated by datacentre provider Infinity SDC, went live in September 2014 to support universities and colleges embarking on academic and medical research projects.

CLC plans to make use of the site’s capacity to support the roll-out of its shared-services platform, SharEd, to the rest of the further education sector.

The platform will be used by CLC to help provide similar organisations with access to a portfolio of services, spanning consulting, human resources, facilities, finance, IT and managed information systems.

CLC group CIO Alasdair Redmond said SharEd aims to help other organisations in the sector make use of the latest IT delivery methods and cut costs.

“Our SharEd offer is developed for the sector, by the sector. It will give organisations the tools they need to be able to achieve positive change and transform their operations at an accelerated pace, ensuring they are able to survive and thrive in such a challenging environment,” he said.

Redmond also cited financial pressure as one of the reasons why it decided to make use of Jisc facility, which counts University College London, King’s College London and The London School of Economics among its occupants.

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“As a top ten national further education provider with more than 22,000 students, we need to continually review how we deliver teaching and learning so we can offer the best possible experience under increasing financial pressures,” said Redmond. 

“Using the Jisc datacentre will allow us to achieve both aims, while passing the management of this service to people who are experts in their field,” he said.

By opting to use the Jisc facility, the college said it stands to save a significant sum of money as it will not have to build and operate a datacentre of its own.

Tim Kidd, executive director of Jisc Technologies, said as more universities and colleges make use of the datacentre and its facilities, the economic benefits of using it should continue to grow.

“There’s a big cost benefit, which will come as welcome news to further education colleges with ever-tighter budgets. Moving equipment off-site means reduced operational costs and allows better use of campus space and resources for teaching and learning,” said Kidd.

“Savings are set to increase even further as more colleges and universities take up the offer and we’re able to provide economies of scale at a larger level,” he said. 

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