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

Bangalore, India (PressExposure) February 27, 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 a shared-computing model using NComputing’s desktop virtualization 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 scheme. 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 Mr. 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 desktop virtualization 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 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 scheme 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 Mr. 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 Mr. 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 Mr. Sankalp Shrie, Senior Manager of Computing Products Research at IDC India, “With CIOs becoming more aware of the need to minimise 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

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 shared computing solution.

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About NComputing, Inc.
NComputing was founded with the vision of making computing affordable for everyone. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, the company's patented technology enables schools, governments and businesses to dramatically lower computing costs, energy consumption and e-waste. NComputing has offices around the world. For more information please log on to http://www.ncomputing.com

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Press Release Submitted On: February 27, 2009 at 2:23 am
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