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Message from Grant Wood AEA Administration

(Spring 2021)

Clients of Grant Wood Business Software,


We want to thank you for being a long time Grant Wood AEA Business Applications client, and provide you an overview of how the agency’s support for the system will be changing.  


Recently our organization performed a comprehensive review of our technology services and programming support including our business applications. While our products and applications remain popular with districts across the state, this comprehensive review demonstrated that the projected costs associated with keeping our business application program current in an ever-changing technology world would be cost-prohibitive. As a result of this review, our agency will be phasing out the programming of our business application system.  


Recognizing that our software has a loyal client base, we looked for alternatives to sunsetting the software which led to opening a bidding process for purchasing our software. Our hope with initiating a bidding process was to identify an organization that would continue providing the software to interested schools and AEAs.  


Our bidding process has closed and we have identified, awarded and contracted with a buyer. Vista Software LLC (Vista) is a software company owned by Rich and Jessica Toomsen.  You may be familiar with Rich as the longtime lead developer of the GWAEA Business Application software.  Rich will be leaving GWAEA in June to focus on the development and growth of Vista.  


This partnership will help ensure that districts see little change in the day-to-day use of the business application system.  As part of the purchase agreement with Vista, Vista has agreed that they will not increase rates by more than 5 percent annually for a period of three years. Additionally, districts contracting with Vista will continue to receive support from Grant Wood AEA consultants for the foreseeable future through an additional contract between Vista and the AEA. 


In the next month Vista will be reaching out to each existing client to connect about the future plans for the business application system, and will then be issuing contracts for fiscal year 2022. Vista clients will continue to receive support from SBO-level Grant Wood AEA consultants, and can expect to stay on the same fee trajectory. It is the intention of Grant Wood AEA and Vista to make this transition as seamless as possible. 


GWAEA is excited about this transition and the vision that Vista has for the future of the product.  We also recognize that this is a big change to our clients and encourage you to reach out to me with any questions and concerns.  


Jason Marshall

Coordinator of Educational / Information Technology Services

Grant Wood Area Education Agency


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