4 Universities Move to Cooperative Support Program for Open Source LMS
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Four universities have joined Unicon's Cooperative Support Program for the open source Sakai collaboration and course management platform, the uPortal enterprise portal framework, and Centralized Authentication Service (CAS) single-sign-on platform. These include California State University, Sacramento; the University of Rhode Island in Kingston; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
The Cooperative Support Program provides member institutions with a predictable cost support structure for their open source applications along with a team of development and technical specialists who deliver direct support and assistance. The program includes scalable support options and discounts when multiple platforms are selected. All development work and fixes performed by the team for individual institutions are contributed back and shared with the respective open source communities.
"Unicon's Cooperative Support Program is a 'must have' for our institution, and we would not be running our open source solutions of Sakai and uPortal without having a commercial support provider," said Duran Goodyear, Web developer and portal administrator, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, which adopted the service in 2007. "We know Unicon can handle any issues that might potentially arise."
"Having Unicon and its Cooperative Support Program were big reasons we felt comfortable deploying Sakai," said Trisha Gordon, Sakai project lead, University of Virginia in Charlottesville. "The program is great. It enables our institution to be actively involved in future enhancements for Sakai through our voting as a program member."
"We deployed uPortal as our campuswide portal in 2007 and immediately saw strong value and benefits to joining Unicon's Cooperative Support Program," said Paul Gullette, Web application programmer, University of Louisiana at Monroe. "Having their team of uPortal experts available for any potential emergencies and routine technical assistance gave us an extra level of confidence to move forward with this open source solution."
Unicon currently has 30 colleges and universities enrolled in its Cooperative Support Program.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.