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VDU 2021 – Education Recap: Stimulus Tips & Technology for a Better Future

Kristen Fielding
  • Jun 21, 2021
  • 4 minutes

EDU VDU notes

If you had a chance to attend this year’s Virtual Dude University, then you most likely heard three key themes coming through at many of our sessions: efficiency, risk mitigation and future-proofing. 

These themes certainly rang true in our education industry connect sessions. We had over 515 education attendees representing over 215 education organizations join us at 2021 Virtual Dude University to discuss K-12 and higher education and share in a discussion around stimulus funding. 

Our higher education kick-off session was led by Brandon Jordan, Sr. Sales Manager and Mike Ficalora, Sr. Product Manager – Energy, and our K-12 kick-off session was led by John White, Sr. Sales Manager, and Dan Mishra, Sr. Director Product Management, Strategic Work & Asset Management. Both education kick-off sessions began with an overview of stimulus funding that has been released into education over the last year. Here’s the breakdown:

  • March 2020 = $31B Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
  • December 2020 = $82B Coronavirus Response and Relief Support Act (CRRSA)
  • March 2021 = $168B American Rescue Plan (ARP)

John noted, “This is the most money that has gone into public education in the history of public education." With the funding trickling down from a federal, state and local level, many school districts and higher education institutions have their shovel-ready projects ready to go, waiting until the funds are received.

As schools begin to reopen and plan to stay open, education operations professionals are hoping to get back to a normal school year with a better plan. This will require more flexibility to adapt to future changes in order to meet these demands and it will become even more important to manage operations differently, and more creatively. 

Whether it’s harnessing new efficiencies, proactively managing your operations to reduce risk, or future-proofing by leveraging your data, Mike highlighted the solutions that empower operations professionals to answer critical questions needed to plan for the future.

Stats around planning for the future

Here were some of the client insights the team shared: 

Efficiency with Energy Manager™

  • Up-to-date and accurate databases pay off: Buildings with data entered by Dude Solutions’ bill population service (UBP) experienced 5% higher savings on electric than those who did not use this service

It’s imperative that my database is up to date. When it isn’t, it impacts decisions and communications that I’m making.

-Nell Boyle, City of Roanoke, VA

Mitigating risk with Asset Essentials™

  • Reopening schools and staying open: With Asset Essentials, facility operations can put a preventive maintenance program in place that calls for sanitation of workspaces, proper marking of distances, and proper replacement of air filtration systems, hand sanitizing stations, and administration of proper PPE. 

Future-proofing with strategic asset management

  • Strategic asset management as the future: Rancho California Water District saw a 60% savings of $8.2M over 10 years by using Capital Predictor™’s what-if analysis capabilities to quickly and accurately compare and analyze various meter rehab and replacement strategies, ultimately identifying an optimized strategy. 

“We had been experiencing mixed results employing different asset management products and solutions that never quite lived up to our expectations. Our results really turned for the better once we started using Capital Predictor and adopted a lifecycle approach to our long-term strategic asset management strategies.

-Dr. Jeff Kirschberg, Rancho California Water District

New product features to help

Lastly, Dan and Mike reviewed some new features in each product category. New features and/or enhancements include: 

  • Asset Essentials - Expense Reclassification on the new Work Order Form, the addition of Work Category Assignments, and an Improved Requestor Experience enabling a simple, easy-to-use workflow submission on the web and mobile app. 
  • Event Manager™ - A cleaner view with an enhanced event list to quickly see all important information at a glance. 
  • Energy Manager – Visualization of large quantities of energy interval data via the interval data demand intensity heatmap. This simplifies the interpretation of interval data and makes identification of unusual demand patterns easier to detect. Another new feature includes the grants and rebates program search enabling users to find energy incentive funds by quickly and easily identifying available funds for energy upgrades and projects. 
  • Capital Predictor - Capital Predictor Core is our newest strategic asset management product, recently released as a companion product to Asset Essentials. It allows the user to model facilities out to 30 years with “what-if” funding scenarios. Capital Predictor Enterprise is our stand-alone version that allows the user to model infrastructure out to 100 years. 

Explore all our solutions for education organizations and reach out for more information.

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