Phoenix, Ariz. — Unicon, Inc., the open source experts for enterprise portals, applications, and professional services for the online campus in academic institutions, today announced its new Sakai Pilot Program designed as a first step for educational institutions wishing to implement or convert to the Sakai Community Source Collaboration and Learning Environment for Education. The pilot program provides a fast and affordable hosted environment for colleges and universities to develop, run, and evaluate a fully-functional Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment for its faculty, administrators, and students. The Pilot Sakai program costs $4995 for 6 months of hosting for up to 500 users and includes all Sakai Core and Provisional tools. As part of the program, Unicon will install, configure and connect the MySQL database with the Sakai implementation, provide Webinar training for staff, and apply a basic brand for the institution´s look and feel. Additional levels of support, service, and customization are also available.

More program details can be found at: http://www.unicon.net/sakai/pilot.

As educational institutions face increasing costs of proprietary software licenses and maintenance fees, Unicon provides an increasingly attractive alternative with open-source and hosted solutions for cost-conscious, resource–constrained organizations for their online campuses and communities.

"Our new Turn Key Pilot Program for Sakai provides an excellent, enterprise-class evaluation platform for universities and colleges serious about migrating to Sakai, and wanting to fully explore its features, capabilities, and performance," stated John C. Blakley, CEO of Unicon, Inc.

Pilot Sakai Program — Features and Benefits

Fully Functional: Educators, administrators, and up to 500 students can experience the full functionality of Sakai´s Collaboration and Learning Environment.

Fast Deployment: ASP model enables pilot classroom launch in a matter of days.

Low Cost: Zero hardware and software costs.

Low Risk: Very little time, resources, or budget needed to run complete pilot project.

Accurate, Real-World Testing: Enables educators and administrators to evaluate solution capability and plan for scaled deployment to more classrooms, departments, and campus wide.

Growth of Open Source Technologies in Higher Education

Open source technologies for online campuses and classrooms is gaining in popularity from higher education as recent vendor consolidation in the industry has given them few future purchase options and serious choices for the future. Open source solutions have been successfully implemented at many of the largest universities and colleges around the nation. Besides reducing dependency on software vendors, open source allows institutions to enhance the software specifically for their needs. Now higher education organizations can implement more sophisticated technology solutions utilizing open-source technologies, reducing their spending budget significantly.

About Sakai

The Sakai software is a community source effort to develop a platform for innovation in collaboration, teaching and learning, and research support software. The Sakai Project´s primary goal is to deliver the Sakai application framework and associated course management software (CMS) tools and components that are designed to work together. These components are for course development, delivery, management, and, as an augmentation of the original CMS model, they also support classroom and research collaboration. The software is being designed to be competitive with the best CMSs available. For more information visit: www.sakaiproject.org .

About Unicon

Unicon, Inc. is the leading independent provider of open-source frameworks, applications and professional services for the online campus. Unicon delivers enterprise portal, collaboration, learning and integration technology for higher education institutions worldwide. The company is a Sakai Commercial Affiliate for the community source Collaboration and Learning Environment and also a commercial affiliate of the uPortal open source Web portal initiative. Unicon strives to base its solutions on open-source technology for increased productivity and reduced costs. Unicon also provides a full complement of professional consulting, training and support services. More information about Unicon, Inc. is available at www.unicon.net .

Unicon is a Registered Trademark of Unicon, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

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