The Pennsylvania State University
Penn State Gives Rimage Digital Publishing an “A”
The flexibility of the Rimage system has opened up the ability to offer the university at large a variety of other services.
Founded in 1855, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) is a multi-campus public university with more than 75,000 students and over 22,000 faculty and staff. Penn State utilizes its Information Technology Services (ITS) printing and copy center to publish digital information and distribute software to its students and faculty, providing over 40,000 discs annually. About half these discs encompass computer utility programs and software packages, while others contain custom-published digital content, including course materials or reports. These discs are typically created on short notice, requiring quick turnaround and flexibility. Penn State uses Rimage disc publishing systems to accelerate disc production and fulfill its unique, customizable, direct-to-disc publishing needs.
“The flexibility of the Rimage system has opened up the ability to offer the university at large a variety of other services.”
Jeff Badger, System Administrator, Penn State
For 10 years Penn State’s ITS department contracted with a third party service to duplicate course material and produce a large number of computer utility software discs. However, as student and faculty demand increased, the burden of warehousing large quantities of discs and discarding outdated inventory became too much for the university to handle.
As requests grew larger, it took longer to get software discs to students and faculty. “While using a third-party vendor, there were issues with timing and deadlines,” says Jeff Badger, System Administrator for Penn State. “We would have to wait weeks at a time for a vendor to fill an order request and spend a lot on shipping. Eventually, the size and complexity of our disc publishing needs became unmanageable.”
Furthermore, Penn State had no way to track cost recovery for CD and DVD duplication of software discs. When students and faculty requested disc duplication services, the ITS department was unable to determine an appropriate pricing structure.
When problems with outsourcing disc production became too painful, Penn State’s ITS department sought a solution to alleviate its disc publishing burdens.
“We first looked at Rimage because of our primary disc publishing need — computer tools for incoming freshmen,” Badger said. “When it got down to looking at comparisons, we knew we wanted to produce our discs efficiently, but with a high level of quality. We didn’t want a flimsy, one-off solution where we would need to hand-label thousands of discs.”
It only took one week to implement the Rimage solution, and Penn State noticed immediate results. The new in-house disc publishing system provides the university with greater efficiency.
By implementing the Rimage disc publishing solution, Penn State’s disc production capabilities can better accommodate faculty and staff requests, and the university can offer a variety of other disc-related publishing services that were previously unavailable. For instance, faculty can use the service to publish discs with course materials, reading lists and student reports, and students can produce school projects, study aids or extracurricular activities, such as creating multiple copies of original music performed by a Penn State student’s indie rock band.
Local organizations, such as the Pennsylvania 4H Club and the Future Farmers of America, have also benefited from the Rimage disc publishing solution. Penn State now publishes copies of research, reports, club projects and presentations for these unique educational groups.
Under the terms of its software licensing agreements, Penn State produces CDs and DVDs containing common software programs, such as engineering applications and operating systems, and sells them to students and faculty. The Rimage System has enabled Penn State to manufacture these software discs on-site. As a result, the university can negotiate discount pricing over and above the normal educational discount.
In addition, Penn State is now able to create custom student and faculty software packages on demand, giving everyone the tools they need for successful teaching and learning.
“In the past, our software and information packages had to be done too far in advance, so whenever we received updates, we had to throw away thousands of outdated discs,” says Badger. “Now, thanks to the Rimage system, we can change what is on the packets when we need to because we only make as many discs as we need at any given time.”
Return On Investment
The Rimage disc publishing system has enabled Penn State to bring its disc publishing and duplication projects in house. Now the university can professionally produce CDs and DVDs on a large scale, while minimizing costs and time — an invaluable asset to Penn State’s students and faculty.
“We can create the software discs as we need them instead of duplicating thousands at one time. This provides greater flexibility for us to create discs on-demand and produce continually updated discs as software versions change.”
Jeff Badger, System Administrator, Penn State