This is a process to help you answer two key questions: 1) Does my organization
use technology effectively to meet our goals, such as, increasing the ability to
support more effective classroom instruction and to administrate more
effectively? and 2) What technology components are necessary to meet our
goals, considering both existing components or additional components?
Techmasters recognizes the budget realities that education faces, and our
recommendations are made accordingly. The end result of a technology audit is a
prepared document, suitable for School Board review, delivered to the
superintendent, accompanied by necessary briefings for key district personnel.
Preparation for an E-rate Audit
Many schools and libraries are caught off guard when faced with an SLD audit.
Our staff prepares you for an audit by focusing on those areas most likely to
generate findings. We help you to identify problem areas, find good solutions and
recommend ways to implement those solutions. When appropriate, we schedule a
time to conduct a mock audit with you, and then conduct the actual audit at your
location. Finally, we present the results of the mock audit findings to you and
recommend next steps to better prepare you for an actual audit. The end result is
a well prepared, confident entity, ready to stand the scrutiny of an E-rate audit.
The Techmasters staff has been intricately involved in both the E-rate and the
California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) process from inception. Members of our staff
have been certified by the California Department of Education (CDE) and have
helped train education groups from all over California in the nuances of both CTF
and E-rate. Our staff members have helped districts realize many millions of
dollars of technology savings over the years and we can help you save as well.
Some ways we can do this include: reviewing your technology plans to ensure
that they are in compliance with requirements for discount savings; helping to
revise technology plans where appropriate; ensuring that your applications are
filled out properly and in accordance with applicable governing regulations;
making sure that you meet all application deadlines and track the various
deadlines; documenting your E-rate and CTF application processes for inquiry
and audit; and assisting to prepare bid specifications for discounted services.
Managing projects can be an enormous drain on the staff resources of a district.
Techmasters can be a viable option for those districts with limited resources or
project management expertise. Techmasters personnel have experience in
successfully managing projects ranging from multi-million dollar ventures to very
small projects. We also have the talent to effectively integrate third party vendor
support within a project. When outside services or equipment are necessary, we
are also skilled at bid development and preparation.
Many districts simply have limited resources for technical staffs; others may
have experienced technology personnel turbulence. That is where Techmasters
can be your Chief Technology Officer (CTO) equivalent, whether for short-term
cases ranging from a few weeks or months, or for the longer haul for periods up
to a year and beyond. The Techmasters CTO feature has a variety of cost
effective options available, including some that incorporate other offerings such
as the Comprehensive Renewal Review Services (CRRS), which includes
E-rate/CTF assistance and Technology Planning and Disaster Recovery functions
as part of the CTO package. It is also possible to share the resources of a
Techmasters CTO with other districts. This feature is much the equivalent of a
time-sharing philosophy, which allows districts to partner to share a quality,
experienced technology executive on an affordable interim basis. When districts
are looking to completely outsource their technology management functions,
consider Techmasters as a viable operations management option. If you need
quality operations management, Techmasters will design an option to suit you.
Network Planning and Installation
Techmasters has the expertise to assess the current status of your network and
to help you with network planning, determine whether you need to install or
upgrade local or wide area networks, and assist with troubleshooting problematic
or dysfunctional networks. In some cases, where your expertise or staff
resources are limited, Techmasters may be able to remotely help maintain your
network for you, effectively functioning as a member of your staff.
A technology plan is no longer a nice to have document, rather it is absolutely
required in order to receive E-rate and state discounts and grants. Techmasters
has the expertise to build a professional technology plan for your district that does
three things: 1) blends with a district's existing educational master plan – in other
words, your technology plan will reflect your districts philosophy and culture; 2)
becomes certified for approval by the CDE, so that you will be eligible and
compliant when applying; 3) becomes your functional technology road map
toward the cost effective use of technology in your district.
Virtualization allows you to improve the efficiency and availability of applications
and to save valuable IT resources in the process. Multiple operating systems can
be run on the same machine, and hardware resources can be shared dynamically
and transparently. If you think saving resources and improving efficiency is of
benefit to you, our virtualization team can get you there.
Comprehensive Review and Renewal Services (CRRS)
This is a flat-rate cluster of services, with pricing based on district size, providing
the client with a full review of existing conditions and, where appropriate, revised
or new plans and procedures that enable the client to better manage these critical
technology components on their own. The basic CRRS package includes
Erate/CTF, Technology Planning, Network Planning, and Disaster Recovery
Planning. This is an excellent option for districts whose investment in Technology
staffing is limited or resource constrained. The savings generated from new
Erate/CTF discounts plus the money saved by making informed purchases to
sustain or grow your technologies greatly enhances the value of this service.