A different kind of consortium

While many regional consortia use the collective power of members to negotiate purchasing contracts with volume discounts, it can pay to think beyond neighboring colleges when looking at this cost-saving solution.

That’s what the 19 members of the LAMP Consortium did when they joined colleges from around the country to get affordable access to Sakai, a popular open-source learning management system.

Partnership benefits: The LAMP Consortium reduces the expense associated with software hosting, maintenance, training and other services by sharing the costs with member organizations.

Link to main story: Buying strong at small colleges

Savings by the numbers: About $70,000—Annual cost of self-hosting an open-source LMS $2,500—Annual LMS charge for LAMP members (plus a fee that’s based on the number of active users)

Example: A school with 1,000 users will be charged $12,000 plus a one-time $2,000 fee to integrate the LMS with the school’s administrative system.

Total cost: $16,500 the first year

Source: Martin Ramsay, LAMP consortium director

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