Not-for-profit organisations claim union will create ‘public sector technology powerhouse’
Two of the UK’s leading not-for-profit public sector digital organisations, Jisc and Eduserv, are to merge.
The union will take place on 1 January, after which the two charities will initially continue to operate under their own brands, before ultimately adopting the Jisc name for the combined entity.
Jisc, which focus on the higher and further education sector, is best known for providing the national Janet network used by education and research bodies. The charity, which has 620 staff in offices in London, Bristol, Harwell, and Manchester, also negotiates aggregated IT procurement contracts for use across the sector and provides institutions with technology advice.
Eduserv, which is based is Bristol and employs about 100 people, offers digital transformation and cloud support to public sector organisations and charities. It also has a procurement man, focused on software licensing, as well as running the OpenAthens sign-on service that provides four million users with remote access to web-based resources.
Eduserv’s Bristol headquarters is currently being refurbished. Work is forecast to be completed in around autumn 2019, after which the building will also house Jisc’s 220 workers located in the city.
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Jisc chief executive Paul Feldman said: “Together, Jisc and Eduserv will have greater scope to co-create innovative products and services to meet the needs and expectations of students and citizens, without duplication of effort, time and money. Jisc is committed to making the UK the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world, and this aim will be bolstered with the addition of Eduserv’s expertise.
He added: “As a bigger social enterprise organisation, we can invest our income into developing digital services and products that empower colleges, universities and research centres to provide students with an outstanding education experience that will set them up for the needs of the modern workplace. This merger will also allow us to help lifelong learning and research be the best it can be.”
Feldman’s counterpart at Eduserv, Jude Sheeran, will assume a position as a trustee on Jisc’s board.
“As a combined entity, we believe that we can have a substantially greater impact and help develop the UK’s standing as a true powerhouse of digital technology,” Sheeran said. “This merger will give the public and third sectors access to more, better and potentially lower cost technology services and digital knowledge transfer at scale, as well as a strong, ‘top-table’ advocate for digital progression.”