SOURCE: NComputing

February 23, 2009 08:00 ET

Massive Andhra Pradesh Educational Computing Rollout to 5,000 Schools Completed in Just 4 Months With NComputing

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - February 23, 2009) - NComputing, the world's leading provider of ultra low-cost computing, today announced that the company and its technology partners have completed the installation of a massive computerization project for Andhra Pradesh government schools in just four months. This remarkably fast achievement affirms the decision by the Andhra Pradesh government to adopt virtual desktop using NComputing's technology. The accomplishment also demonstrates the success of the government's Public - Private Partnership to achieve transparency, accountability and efficiency in the education segment.

The ambitious project was funded jointly by the Central and State government under the ICT@Schools program. The goal was to bring computer training and e-learning to 5,000 government schools with 1.8 million students and was commissioned in November 2008 after a competitive tender process. Four months later, the schools have each been equipped with an up-to-date computer lab with the latest computer hardware, Microsoft software, trained instructors, and reliable power-supply solutions.

"The government's goal is to accelerate computing access to the millions of students in its system, but to do it in an economical, eco-friendly way. NComputing plays an important role in achieving that goal," said Suresh Chanda, IT Secretary of Andhra Pradesh. "We are pleased that this first milestone has been met and that computing access has been created for 1.8 million students around the state -- most of whom have never had the opportunity to even touch a computer."

"The students and their parents are very happy. The computer is becoming a part of their today and tomorrow," said Mrs. Pushpavati, Principal, Zilla Parishad High School, Medak.

The computerization project has been successful due to two key factors. First, the government was determined to provide maximum number of computer seats at a minimum cost and chose the NComputing desktop virtualization technology. The NComputing solution is based on a simple fact: today's PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of students only use a small fraction of the computer's capacity. NComputing's virtual desktop solution taps this unused capacity so that it can be simultaneously used by many students. Each student connects their own monitor, keyboard and mouse to an NComputing device which is then connected to the shared PC. Each student gets a full PC experience. The NComputing devices are easy to deploy, rugged, and only use 1 watt of electricity. The low electricity usage is critical because electricity in India can be expensive and often unreliable. With NComputing, the Andhra Pradesh government will use 90% less electricity compared to a traditional all-PC lab.

The second element of the project's success is the Public-Private Partnership model wherein the Government of Andhra Pradesh has awarded turnkey contracts to Education Service Providers (ESPs) like NIIT. This model was implemented through a transparent open tendering process and the contracts signed with 8 such ESPs for:

--  System integration
--  Site preparation
--  Facilities creation
--  Faculty
--  Teaching to students as part of syllabus
--  Courseware support
--  Facilities management
    

"We are honored that NComputing was selected for this very strategic initiative as it will teach and empower the next generation of Andhra Pradesh's workforce," said Raj Shah, Chief Marketing Officer, NComputing. "We believe that NComputing's low cost and energy efficiency makes it the ideal computing platform for the public and private sector, especially in these difficult economic times. In just 2 years, over 40,000 organizations around the world have installed NComputing to expand computing access at an affordable cost."

"The Government of Andhra Pradesh has shown a great deal of vision and foresight in designing a model for enhancing the education of the next generation, and the early success is very positive," said L. Balasubramanian, President of NIIT's School Learning Solutions division. "NIIT has been involved in bringing this cost-effective technology for computerization of schools in Andhra Pradesh. We are happy that the shared-computing technology has been scaled up to 5,000 schools. We feel that this can be a suitable model for schools in other States."

The computing labs are being used to teach computer skills, office productivity (such as spreadsheets and word processing), as well as subjects like reading and math. The systems run on the Microsoft Windows Server operating system and Microsoft Office Suite. Commenting on the initiative, Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India, said, "Under our global effort of Microsoft Unlimited Potential, we are committed to support relevant and affordable technology solutions that reach the benefits of technology to the underserved. Education remains an area of priority in India -- and one where technology can really bring about a transformation -- so it is good to see the success of innovative solutions like NComputing."

According to Sankalp Shrie, Senior Manager of Computing Products Research at IDC India, "With CIOs becoming more aware of the need to minimize the cost of power and cooling, 'Green Computing' is graduating from being just a buzzword to the central theme of IT strategy. Desktop Virtualization/Thin Clients could be the answer to many of the questions and issues facing corporate IT managers."

Sankalp further added, "Desktop virtualization as a technology is expected to see more and more takers across a range of applications and environments, as thin clients witness increased deployment. This kind of scenario may be a boon for knowledge-based verticals like Pharmaceuticals, R&D institutions, design firms and other related end-user industries. Desktop Virtualization also potentially offers advantages for verticals like ITeS (BPO, KPO), Travel & Hospitality and Telecommunications where the high cost of real estate space has become an area of concern.”

NComputing began operations in India in 2007 and has been recognized for its role in bringing truly affordable computing to schools, hospitals, factories and business. NComputing is working with nearly 15 states in India to pilot or implement the virtual desktop computing solution.

About NComputing, Inc.

NComputing, Inc. was founded with the goal of making desktop computing affordable for everyone. Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, NComputing is a privately held virtualization software and hardware company. The company's award-winning patented technology lowers desktop computing costs, improves manageability, and reduces both energy consumption and e-waste. For more information, visit http://www.ncomputing.com.

About NIIT

NIIT Asia's No 1 trainer and leading Global Talent Development Corporation, offers learning and knowledge solutions to over 5 million students across 40 countries. www.niit.com

About Microsoft India

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation India Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in 16 cities -- Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, and Pune. www.microsoft.com/india/msindia

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Renee Deger
    GlobalFluency
    (650) 433-4153
    Email Contact

    David Rand
    NComputing, Inc.
    (650) 517-5806
    drand at ncomputing dot com