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Choosing products for new Chest Agreements

The following resources are being considered for new Chest Agreements.

With the support of our customers Chest considers lots of opportunities to add new resources to the Chest Agreement portfolio. These resources are suggested by a member of the academic community, identified by Chest, or are from ad hoc approaches from suppliers.

If there is enough backing from the community then Chest will start negotiations - there is strength in numbers!

Our selection process is simple. It is driven by demand and the need to provide better value for money and licence terms than can be obtained elsewhere.

The resources, both Software and Online Resources*, are presented with most recently added first.

To express your interest in any of these resources login to the Suggestions page and click the appropriate vote button or email Chest Help.



Xensam logo

Some of you may recall in 2019 we ran a Call for Interest for Xensam.  A number of institutions expressed an interest in putting in place a Chest Agreement, but unfortunately changes within Xensam meant we were unable to proceed at that time.

Fast forward to 2021 and Xensam are back, with an offer for academia that they believe to be even stronger than before.  The below image summarises what Xensam bring to the table, click on the image for further information.  Any Chest Agreement that was established would conform to the usual Chest conditions: preferential pricing and standardised terms and conditions.

Xensam image with text

Click on the above image for more information.

Xensam are going to run an Introductory demo webinar and take questions on the 23 February.  Sign up here. 

At present, this is just a Call for Interest, if you would be keen to see a Chest Agreement for Xensam please let us know by sending an email to ben.offiler@chest.ac.uk.  If there is sufficient interest, we can move this very quickly to an Agreement.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Added: January 2021

Practice Labs - The IT Competency Hub

Practice Labs logo - Practice IT, Prove IT, Do IT

Bridging the digital skills gap

The digital divide increases daily, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Regardless of the age of equipment available to them, staff and students can grow their confidence in using technology and practice their work-ready digital skills through the Practice Labs Cloud.

The Practice Labs Cloud hosts hundreds of pre-configured virtual machines, each containing live-lab environments including:

  • Entry-level guided labs to extend cyber-awareness and build fundamental computer skills.
  • Technical task-driven labs covering specific IT disciplines for upskilling or reskilling.
  • Freestyle sandboxes where IT professionals can test their theories and experiment without risk to work systems.

To find out more you can view their flyer here, watch a short video explainer or visit the Practice Labs website

If you’d be interested to see Practice Labs available through a Chest Agreement, please let us know.

Added: October 2020

Assista AcademICS

 Assista logo

One for your Finance colleagues - please share

Assista AcademICS Financial Solutions:  Student Level Costing

Need a student-level costing system that has been designed specifically to meet the needs of TRAC reporting?  Assista AcademICS Financial Solutions provides a new generation web-based Student Level Costing solution designed by experienced costing practitioners and powered by the Qlik Analytics Platform.

AssistaAcademiCS (Information & Costing System) has been developed to help university and college finance teams calculate the cost of their courses, research and even individual student bills in granular detail.

Using the same costing engine as Assista Monitor, the leading NHS costing tool, Assista AcademiCS, has been specifically designed to produce the TRAC and TRAC (T) returns.

More than just a regulatory tool, Assista AcademICS also enables first class financial decision-making by bringing together your financial and activity data all in one place.  Directors of Finance can quickly see where they are making or losing money.

The software is fully transparent, and users can track output costs all the way back to trial balance entries.

Since 2004 Assista’s approach has been to develop relationships with clients first before conducting any business in order that they can properly understand their individual requirements.

Click here to find out more in their brochure.

Added: October 2020


 Ocrato logo

Ocrato - convert scanned documents and images into searchable PDFs, saving time and money

A UK company called Ocrato have developed a tool that helps reduce document storage costs, increase remote productivity and ensure all documents are easy to find and faster to download.

Ocrato is a powerful optical character recognition (OCR) solution that allows you to:

  • Create searchable PDF files from scanned documents, images, or existing PDF documents;
  • Compress and optimize your files during conversion;
  • Make your documents searchable and compatible for long term archiving;
  • Ensure the highest quality and smallest file size for storing and downloading;
  • Identify documents that are redundant, outdated and trivial. It is estimated that as much as 33 percent of the data stored by organisations is redundant, obsolete, or trivial.

According to research 33% of documents stored are duplicates or no longer needed.  Ocrato dramatically reduces file sizes by hyper-compressing documents and removing duplicates and obsolete documents, so given the average cost to store 1TB of data per year is £3,241, the predicted savings for an average sized university are around £64k per year; a large institution could double this.

Ocrato also offers a free no obligation health check to help you identify the potential data storage cost savings.

Find out more with these two datasheets (Product Information and Cost Saving), or watch a 1 minute overview video

If Ocrato sounds like a product that could be of interest to your institution, please do let us know, by emailing us at help@chest.ac.uk.  Chest’s objective is to help universities and colleges save money, and we will not put Agreements in place that aren’t of interest, but we do need your feedback either way to help us decide what is wanted.

Added: October 2020



Picterra – an online geospatial GIS object detector authoring platform that saves institutions time and money

Picterra is a cloud-based geospatial remote sensing object detector authoring platform; unlike many other similar products it requires no coding skills or local processing resource. It is designed to help students and researchers find, count and analyse objects and patterns on the surface of the earth, using satellite, aerial or drone image sources.

Picterra allows what previously needed months of time to complete to be done in minutes, so much more can be achieved within existing research budgets. The cost of geospatial analytics becomes radically lower, and practitioners can to focus on the insights rather than the technology behind it.

Offering real usability for students studying Geography, Archaeology, Urban Planning and Agriscience, environmental studies much more besides, Picterra works hand in hand with existing technologies such as ArcGIS, and is already in use by many major UK organisations.

The entire workflow can now be deployed off campus, so undergraduate courses in remote sensing and analysis can be managed by course leaders as a complete distancing learning module.

Chest and Picterra are looking at site licences for institutions (with multiple administration accounts possible for different departments), so no limit on number of seats (students) under each faculty and no limit on number of detectors created.

Cost will be based on volume of megapixel processing bought used, with institutions able to pre-purchase processing as required.

On the Chest website you can find links to a number of webinars and case studies involving Picterra.  Alternatively, Picterra’s own website offers a wealth of further information.

Added: October 2020


Ayoa - Mind Mapping and Task Management - Call for Interest

Chest are talking to Ayoa about a potential new Agreement for their unique Mind Mapping and Task Management software.   We’d be really grateful if you could let us know whether your institution could be interested in this Agreement.

As we enter an age of digital transformation, the Education sector is evolving like never before - and new technology must facilitate innovative pedagogical methods and creative learning techniques.  Proven to boost productivity by 46%, Ayoa is perfect for helping students, educators and administrators with essay writing, course and project planning, delivering content and managing daily tasks. Its visual interface is designed to inspire creativity, increase engagement and ultimately generate outstanding results.

Ayoa is DSA-approved, making it suitable for neuro-diverse students, specifically those with dyslexia, allowing educational institutions to maintain an inclusive workspace for all students. Ayoa is accessible any time and from anywhere, offering complete flexibility - working in Windows, Mac, on mobile devices and in web apps.

Check out this flier for further information including testimonials and details of some of the blue-chip organisations and institutions already using Ayoa.

We’d love to know whether an Ayoa Chest Agreement could be of interest, not only for direction now but also to help guide us with future conversations.  Please email us either way at help@chest.ac.uk

Added: March 2020

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* Software

Software Agreements cover products widely used in teaching and research. As well as generalist products from Microsoft and Adobe they include subject specific products in GIS, statistics and maths, qualitative data analysis, mind mapping and others.

*Online Resources

Online Resource Agreements include all types of digital resources: from eJournals, eBooks, backfiles, databases, reference materials, standards, to videos… and more.

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