The St. Paul school district in Minnesota has contracted with Dell for much of its technology needs -- from computers to infrastructure. Experts say that partnering largely with a major vendor can be easier for school districts and less costly, but Kate Conners, of the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, advises districts to beware of "vendor lock-in." "Dell can take a lot off your plate," she said. "The other side of that coin is you are with Dell for a long time. If something new and innovative comes along, it might be too difficult and costly to migrate."

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