by E&I Cooperative Services & CDW-G
Melissa Deets, Manager – Education, Contract Execution at CDW-G, shares the benefits, advantages, and goals for the two technology contracts with E&I.
Tell us about the two E&I CDW-G contracts. What do you think is the biggest value each contract brings to our members?
CDW-G is proud to provide E&I members with two contract options for member technology needs. The first is unique because it’s focused specifically on cloud applications and services. The Cloud Storage and Productivity Solutions agreement offers E&I members the flexibility to choose from multiple “as-a-service” solutions fitting within the institution’s own environment, as well as solutions for application installs. Additionally, the contract includes subscription services for cloud content management and file sharing.
Our other E&I agreement is for Computer Equipment and Related Hardware, Software (minus cloud), Services and Support. The balance of the CDW-G product portfolio can be found in this contract, which offers members competitive pricing on over 150,000 different IT products. This agreement includes exclusive member-specific pricing advantages from Apple, HP, and Microsoft, to name a few. The biggest value both of these contracts provide is a competitive advantage on all IT solutions, because they offer highly competitive pricing, and they have both already been through a rigorous solicitation process and a formal review.
Why is this partnership with E&I important to CDW-G and your OEMs?
Contracts are a vital component of procurement within the public sector, as our education customers often require a contract for purchases. Contracts are also helpful to the private sector, since they offer time and cost-savings opportunities those institutions can take advantage of. Most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) do not have a dedicated team focused on contracts, and they don’t have a depth of knowledge about contracts for educational institutions. CDW-G helps bridge the gap by offering OEMs a clear pathway to provide their products to education using a trusted contract provider like E&I. E&I is recognized by a large number of higher education institutions and school districts based on the strength of its contract portfolio.
How have the teams at E&I, CDW-G, and your OEMs been working together to meet E&I member needs?
Our teams have collaborated on activities contributing to thought leadership through webinars, conferences, and equipment demos. Our teams also attend conferences together to support education on emerging technologies. For example, CDW-G attends education conferences where we showcase our modern learning environment, which is an area where we, along with our OEMs, demonstrate the latest technologies used in eSports and hyper-converged infrastructure.
What differentiates CDW-G from your competitors?
CDW-G teams are highly verticalized and focus specifically on those segments. What this means is that our Higher Education Team only services higher education institutions, and our K-12 Team only services K-12 schools and school districts. Specialization makes sure each team member is fluent in the needs of that particular segment. Given that the needs of higher ed are different from those of K-12, this is very beneficial to our customers. In addition to our robust sales teams, CDW-G features a best-in-class Program Management Team which uses due diligence to ensure that contracts remain in compliance and are updated as needed. This team also provides ad hoc reports to members on an as-needed basis. Our Program Management Team can also provide E&I members reporting around sustainability and other green initiatives for EnergyStar rated or EPEAT certified products. This reporting is extremely valuable to customers looking to do more with less.
Our self-generated online reporting capabilities are extremely flexible, comprehensive, and easy to use. Members have 24/7 access and can create and save custom reports through our Account Center Portal. The ability to manage data and information helps each member make more cost-effective purchase decisions and reduces administrative and purchasing costs involved in procurement. Members are encouraged to reach out to their dedicated account manager if they do not have access to their account portal.
With all of our certifications and the huge amount of equipment we’re using, CDW-G has a unique level of access to OEMs—and we have their ear. This makes us readily able to help bridge any gaps between the customer and the OEM.
Please illustrate how CDW-G differentiates itself in meeting the unique needs of E&I members.
CDW-G has teams specifically focused on learning space design, data center modernization, client devices, e-commerce integration, technology integration into the classroom, and more. Additionally, CDW-G account managers are segmented by vertical, providing E&I members with industry-focused solutions. Solutions can be delivered at the account manager level, through e-procurement systems and sites, or by CDW-G Badged Solution Architects. Our Blueprint to Design™ service, for example, provides educational strategists and designers to help members evaluate how furniture, color, and technology will look in a redesigned, modern learning environment.
What are your future goals for the E&I CDW-G contracts?
CDW-G strives to continue offering E&I members exclusive advantages through the contracts, the latest and emerging technologies, and added-value from solutions engineers and others who understand sophisticated solutions within each member’s unique learning and operational environment. As our partner ecosystem evolves, CDW-G remains committed to bringing E&I members diversity and choice regarding technology offerings and partners.
Find out more about E&I’s competitively solicited contracts with CDW-G for Cloud Storage and Productivity Solutions and Computer Equipment and Related Hardware, Software (minus cloud), Services and Support.