independenceIT™ (iIT), provider of the complete cloud workspace, today announced that Student Transportation Inc. (STI) (TSX, NASDAQ: STB) has realized significant benefits from its cloud-based IT infrastructure. Through its strategic use of iIT’s Total Freedom™ Workspace, STI is able to allocate less than one percent of revenues to its IT operations while ensuring its U.S. and Canada offices have reliable, secure 24 X 7 access to all business applications from any Internet-connected device. This is a remarkable figure, representing millions of dollars in savings, as the latest Society for Information Management 2011 Annual CIO survey found that companies typically spend 3.55 percent of their annual revenues on IT. STI Director of Information Technology and Investor Relations Keith Engelbert said, “We are an Old World business with New World technology. Working with independenceIT for the past 10 years has opened our eyes to the strategic benefits of the cloud.” Engelbert continued, “What started as a cost-saving IT project quickly blossomed into something much bigger as we realized the cloud could be a major business enabler for us. iIT’s innovative application layer allows us to incorporate nearly 50 business applications into our cloud infrastructure – a feat companies many times our size cannot match.” STI is a major player in the student transportation industry with over 8,000 buses in the US and Canada and contracts with over 200 school districts. iIT was critical to the growth of the company as it allowed Engelbert and his team to scale IT operations quickly while delivering predictable costs to the finance department. While cost savings were the original reason for moving to the cloud, STI quickly found that the technology had additional benefits and could bolster its Merger & Acquisition (M&A), audit and strategic IT operations. M&A activity is STI’s primary method of growth. The company has acquired over 40 companies since inception and has no intentions of slowing its acquisition strategy. A major challenge for companies that rely on M&A for growth is the process of integrating new companies into the existing IT infrastructure of the parent company. STI does not have this problem. iIT’s proprietary application layer allows Engelbert and his team to upload the acquired company’s data and applications and then present them via a cloud environment. This allows each of STI’s acquired companies to keep and run applications in the same way as before, while STI slowly and seamlessly integrates each organization into the new tech ecosystem.
The company’s “Cut and Paste” functionality is a critical competitive differentiator during the contract bidding process for STI. The capability enables new busing contracts to operate as they always have without learning a new system. The backend data is passed transparently into the iIT corporate system so employees never have to change the way they work. This is a huge benefit when negotiating with school districts—not only can the school district and STI avoid investing in expensive software upgrades but STI can also create views into the busing and routing system whenever a school district requires it.STI’s status as a publicly traded company requires it to comply with many stringent financial regulations. iIT’s cloud environment eliminates the difficulty of auditing a company with hundreds of offices across the United States and Canada by creating a centralized repository that is accessible at any time through an Internet-connected device. “STI has shown true technological vision in its strategic use of the cloud,” said Anthony Whitton, CEO and Chairman of the Board, independenceIT. “We are proud to have helped STI build a best-in-class IT infrastructure which touches almost all facets of its business. Expanding the business value of their IT deployment beyond traditional footprints showcases the true potential of the cloud’s ability to empower an organization.” About independenceIT independenceIT (iIT) is the information technology services company for VARs, ISVs and MSPs that work with organizations of 1,000 employees or less. iIT enables organizations to rapidly transition away from traditional IT and quickly realize the cost savings and operational advantages of the cloud. For more than a decade, iIT has successfully delivered the complete cloud workspace, providing all applications required to manage enterprise technology needs. Please visit www.independenceit.com for additional information. About Student Transportation Inc. Founded in 1997, Student Transportation Inc. (STI) is North America’s third-largest and most progressive provider of school bus transportation services, operating more than 8,000 vehicles. STI’s family of local companies delivers safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation solutions to school districts throughout the U.S. and Canada. Services are delivered by drivers, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, terminal managers and others who are caring members of their local communities. For more information, please visit www.rideSTBus.com.