School Specialty LLC (SSL) is the leading provider of educational ecosystems to educators across North America. With unmatched depth and breadth, SSL provides many solutions to support school districts from in classroom furniture, supplies, and technology to solutions unique for educators and districts.
With a diverse portfolio and wide expanse across multiple divisions – Learning Environments, Curriculum, and Education Essentials – SSL has grown into a company that includes over 60 subject matter experts and other industry thought leaders working to advance modern education. From crayons to curriculum to comprehensive learning environments, SSL offers over 100,000 products carefully designed to work together to elevate outcomes and transform schools and students. Connectria started working with SSL in 2016, primarily within the curriculum division, providing support for the Coach Digital platform, a supplemental solution for grades 1-12.
The first issue SSL had was its initial migration to AWS. “We had a narrow timeline for the initial migration and Connectria facilitated the transfer of those instances seamlessly,” said Pablo Saravia, SSL Associate Director of Digital Production. Connectria helped SSL in its initial AWS migration, setting up its new environment from reviewing the architecture and security groups to setting up the VPN. After a significant product upgrade, it came time to upgrade all instances in 2020.
Connectria’s technical expertise and patience provided the right solutions for SSL at the right time from maintaining its environment to helping during leadership transitions and more. “Connectria was able to harness the AWS infrastructure to help us succeed. Connectria has always been there to provide a path forward that not only meets our needs but exceeds our expectations. Their team of knowledgeable experts give us great direction along with their model which has been key to our success,” said Saravia.
Connectria replaced the per instance pricing to a percentage of total AWS spend. Doing so allowed Connectria to be more proactive in supporting the School Specialty environment. With this model, Connectria was able to reduce friction points in spinning resources up or down. Saravia said, “Connectria is able to support both the company at large and also individually at the manager level. They’ve helped me advocate for my team and achieve my needs and beyond. I find myself always looking forward to the next project.”
Connectria’s services and support has provided many positive results and improvements for SSL from the initial cloud migration to reducing friction points, assessing costs, and improving ticket response time. Connectria provides not only the basic tools and services but also the necessary support to enable success. “Connectria keeps our equipment running really smoothly. We’re able to sync quickly and streamline processes that used to take hours. Connectria has really freed up our IT team, enabling them to focus on other things and provide support for our products with higher profit margins. Therefore, we’re able to put more internal talent around our divisions with stronger revenue streams,” said Saravia
He continues, “The responsiveness we have now, with Connectria, feels instantaneous. They’ve removed friction points in our day-to-day activities. Now we’re able to assess volumes, old instances, and other costs from deep within our environment. We’ve gained both operational advantages as well as financial improvements in terms of cost reduction and savings.”
SSL provides a wide array of digital curriculum solutions for grades 1-12 in Math, ELA, Science to a substantial number of students and teachers.
SSL recently rostered another batch of users to their Coach Digital Platform, roughly 18.6K Students and 1.7K Teachers across 50 districts and 163 schools. “We are able to quickly support these customers because of tooling, software, and expertise now at our disposal thanks to Connectria. We’re able to grow our product offering which allows us to embrace more business from larger districts and other new opportunities,” said Saravia.
He continues, “Connectria’s compliance support and enhanced security offerings also help our efforts in expanding into new geographies, as different districts and schools each have different security requirements. We’re able and excited to work on our projects with Connectria, as well as look at future opportunities we can take advantage of because of Connectria.”