Neckarsulm, 24 June 2015 – Since 2007, the German state of Baden-Württemberg has been providing its universities with specially priced standard computers. This year, the state added energy efficiency to its selection criteria, alongside the ability of PCs to boost IT standardisation across institutions. Introduced under the leadership of the University of Freiburg, the so-called BW-PC has been well-received at all of Baden-Württemberg’s institutions of higher education.
The main highlight of the first contract, signed eight years ago, was the ability to pool orders from all Baden-Württemberg universities through the University of Freiburg. Individual universities were thus able to benefit from special prices based on volumes that even a large institution would never reach on its own. At the time, the University of Freiburg issued a call for tenders on behalf of the state for powerful PCs with standard applications such as Microsoft Office. The computers were then distributed to universities based on their requirements as determined by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts (MWK). Driven by the positive response, 54 universities have since been procuring the BW-PC. Energy efficiency recently became a key criterion in the selection of devices.
Optimum price/performance ratio.
The “BW-PC” framework agreement lets universities in Baden-Württemberg order the specially configured computer for an advantageous price. “By pooling their orders, universities are getting maximum value for their money”, states Karl-Heinz Augustin, Managing Director of the Bechtle IT System House Freiburg. “It’s commendable that they’re now taking advantage of this successful system to roll out resourceconserving equipment.”
Zero-Watt PC Saves Energy and Simplifies Administration.
The selected computer was the Fujitsu zero-watt PC, which uses zero energy when in sleep mode while remaining entirely manageable, resulting in less energy consumption and greater savings. This PC switches to zero-watt mode automatically, without requiring the user to power down. It can thus be maintained remotely—to install software updates, for example—even outside regular business hours. This means that administrators can make the necessary configuration changes without interfering with the user’s workday. If no administration is planned, the PC simply remains in sleep mode.
Part of Baden-Württemberg’s Green IT Strategy.
The MWK considers the zero-watt PC’s positive environmental impact valuable enough to fund their acquisition for all universities. The state government strives to set an example of responsible resource stewardship, one basic tenet of which is to reduce energy consumption through Green IT solutions. The BW-PC therefore perfectly integrates Baden-Württemberg’s sustainability strategy. “The state government’s decision takes into account the whole picture. Economic considerations have their place, of course, but even if the higher purchasing cost of a zero-watt PC cancels out the energy savings, the lower energy consumption remains an important factor in our investment decisions”, explains Dr Gerhard Schneider, CIO at the University of Freiburg. Dr Schneider was responsible for initiating the BW-PC contract and also campaigned for the zero-watt PC.
So far, participating universities have ordered over 10,000 workstation PCs through this pooled-order approach, the only one of its kind in Germany. This has allowed Baden-Württemberg to standardise its IT infrastructure to a high degree, which greatly simplifies administrative tasks, among other benefits. “Through our discussions with data centre directors from the R&D field, we see time and again that Baden-Württemberg is looked up to as an example of how to cooperate successfully with the Ministry”, states Ole Behrens, R&D Manager at Bechtle AG.