Costs of Blackboard

John Jamieson made this Freedom of Information request to Glasgow Caledonian University

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Glasgow Caledonian University.

John Jamieson

Dear Glasgow Caledonian University,

Could you please provide details of the costs of running Blackboard for academic years 06/07,07/08,08/09,09/10 and the expected costs for 10/11?

These costs should include the cost to licence the Blackboard software, any costs associated with any computer hardware purchased to run the Blackboard system and any staff costs as appropriate. For years 08/09 onwards, can you include any associated costs of outsourcing the Blackboard system?

Yours faithfully,

John Jamieson

Freedom of Information Enquiries,

Dear Mr Jamieson

Glasgow Caledonian University has received your request for information (below). The University is currently processing this and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Enquiries

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Freedom of Information Enquiries,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jamieson

I refer to your request for information dated 3 May 2010 (email below).

In the academic years 06/07, 07/08 and part of 08/09, Blackboard was hosted on site and maintained by Glasgow Caledonian University's own staff. The actual cost of this cannot be accurately calculated due to the shared nature of the overhead costs associated with such a system. For example, in addition to the licence paid to Blackboard and the staffing cost of our system administrators, there were hardware costs (servers, racks, SAN), estates costs incurred in housing the servers (cooling, heating, lighting, power), staffing costs in the infrastructure team in running data backups and off-site secure storage costs that supported a number of systems and not just Blackboard.

The University outsourced the hosting to Blackboard on 1 July 2008. This is a three year contract with the option to extend to five years. The University has to make a decision next year whether to extend this contract or change supplier. In either case the University feels that our negotiating position would be substantially weakened if we published the current cost to the University of outsourcing this system. It could also have an adverse affect on Blackboard's commercial interests. Hence the University is relying on the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 paragraph 33(1)(b) Commercial interests and the economy to with hold this information. The University has, as is required by the Act considered the public interest. While it accepts that it is in the public interest to ensure that public money is spent wisely to release information which could put the University at a disadvantage when trying to negotiate the best possible price would not be in the public interest. The University considers therefore that to release the requested information would not be in the public interest.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Enquiries
Glasgow Caledonian University

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