In March 2021 CDW and Amplified IT announced their partnership and their mission to accelerate the transformational nature of Google Workspace for Education by extending their repository of technical solutions. CDW and Amplified IT have served the same academic institutions as independent entities for years but are now uniting to have a greater impact on the edtech sector together, and customers are more than excited about what this alliance means for the success of their stakeholders.
CDW’s Amplified Services
South Hamilton Community School District (SHCSD) serves a little over 800 administrators, staff, and students in Jewell, Iowa. As a small district with a lean team, Loyal Winborn, the IT Director, is not only responsible for the institution’s Google Workspace for Education domain, but he also wears many other hats. “I’m also a member of the administrative team. I’m a trapshooting coach, I help with lighting and sound for theater and athletics, and I teach basic coding classes,” he explained. “It’s not just me. We all pitch in and do whatever needs to be done.”
Prior to joining K-12, Loyal was a college tech professor teaching computer forensics and large networking and, before that, he worked for the federal court systems in Omaha, Nebraska. It was there that his engagement with CDW began, working with them for their mass distribution capabilities of large-scale tools and volume licensing. He recalled, “I was out of the purchasing role for a bit when I went into higher ed but came back to it when I became tech director here. I reached out to CDW immediately because I remembered them from my Omaha days.”
One aspect that Loyal never forgot and continues to rave about to this day, is CDW’s top-notch customer service. While the institution has a couple of service deals with other companies, CDW has demonstrated stability in their account representatives. “With those other bids, I get a new rep every six months it seems like, but at CDW I’ve had the same one, Danny, for at least six years now,” Loyal said. “And it’s not just about the sale for him. He truly does have my schools’ best interest at heart.” There have been times when SHCSD was interested in a product and their account representative pointed out factory defects or compared it to their strategic goals they wouldn’t have otherwise considered. This helped them find the device that would best serve their administrators, teachers, and students.
Amplified IT’s Google Workspace expertise
Amplified IT was introduced into the SHCSD’s Google Workspace for Education operations after Loyal discovered them online while searching for a Google certification course. “I was getting really frustrated not knowing that console as well as I wanted,” he admitted. “The Google Admin console is a monster and it’s always changing. My apps would be ‘here’ one day and ‘there’ the next.” During his research, Amplified IT’s certification courses were the only ones he found that were education-based. He began by taking their free courses to learn more about the Admin console. One day he saw that their technical team was hosting an in-person training so he signed up, attended, and left a completely certified Google Admin. “I have three Google certifications now through Amplified IT,” he added.
Loyal has also benefited from the products and expertise that Amplified IT offers academic institutions. He’s had a Google Workspace for Education Audit for a thorough deep-dive into their domain’s systems and configurations and has utilized support hours for projects he may not have had time or resources to complete. “It’s always been Amplified IT to the rescue. They give you your best fit options and guide you in how to implement them,” he elaborated. “Google is just such a big company, they can’t cater directly to our small institution with the help we really need.”
He also uses Gopher tools. “We have teachers that won’t even reboot their own device for 14 days so trying to get them to encourage students to do it was another challenge. Gopher for Chrome just does it automatically and it’s great. I’d like to get Little SIS next,” he said.
SHCSD learned about the CDW’s acquisition of Amplified IT from their CDW account representative. Loyal beamed, “Danny said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this new group coming on!’ Little did he know we had an independent relationship with Amplified IT and had been working with them for years,”
According to Loyal, there are three things an academic institution’s technical department needs to be successful and two of those are CDW and Amplified IT. Their solutions have saved him so much time and have kept him from burning out in his role. “Trying to research every Google update, the fatigue of fielding phone calls, working the never-ending pile of tickets…it’s difficult to solve something quickly when it’s out of your knowledge base,” he articulated, “I’ve got 20 plus years of technical experience but things change so much that there’s no way one person can keep up with everything.”
CDW gets classroom IT and Amplified knows Google and knows education, which makes for the perfect partnership to leverage edtech tools and modernize today’s teaching and learning environment.
To learn more about the services Amplified IT offers and will continue to offer with CDW to help you get the most out of your Google Workspace domain, contact an account manager.
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Head of Marketing
About the Author:
Jennifer Lux, Head of Marketing, joined Amplified IT with 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, and client experience. With a degree in Neuroscience, she is passionate about the intersection of psychology and marketing. While involved in marketing efforts for educational institutions throughout her career, witnessing educators struggle to adapt to digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to join the Amplified IT team. When she isn’t studying business strategy and leadership, Jennifer is active skiing, hiking, and running with her family in the Colorado mountains.