The University of Notre Dame is moving from a proprietary LMS we host in our own Data Center to an open source system, Sakai, hosted with rSmart. Two big changes we’re lumping together. Ask yourself …
What advantages do you expect to gain when switching from a proprietary system to an open source system?
Does outsourcing the system’s management mitigate against those advantages?
What we’ve found so far (6 months):
|Some Fixes/enhancements: can still be deployed faster than with a proprietary system, but not as fast as we expected …||rSmart, or other provider, will still have tested version combinations and be reluctant to share risk with you of deploying a tool version in a lesser tested Sakai version|
|Staffing. You can redeploy your app admin to direct faculty support and do away with sys admin, DBA, etc.||You didn’t have Developers before & by hosting, any development (customizations even) you wanted to contribute now will be problematic unless you still build an in-house development/test instance.|
|TCO: You may find the costs between licensing/hosting yourself and not-licensing hosting elsewhere to be very similar.||You are re-arranging your human resources, which could bring advantages to your faculty despite the similar cost of ownership.|
|SIS integration: Always more difficult when your ‘home data’ has to be shared with someone off-site.||Particularly bad at the moment as the industry transitions from former methods of SIS- LMS integration to the new LIS 2.0 standard.|
|Part of fixes/enhancements, that of User Acceptance Testing, involves back and forth communication, and management of Help Desk ticketing between you and your host vendor.||You have a dependency on the ability to use a test or 2nd instance with your live data, but this synchronization between live and test is no longer handled by you – but by your vendor.|