Keeping technology and software up to date can sometimes feel like a daunting task – especially when quite often it feels as though the next best, fastest, coolest software is just around the corner.
When Richard Pycroft began his role in ICT at Harper Green School in July 2011, the school was using Windows XP and Office 2003 as well as running off out of date servers with some kit being over 10 years old. To bring everything up to speed and back up to date, Richard wanted a solution that would be easy to use, help with cost saving and still be able to upgrade as and when software updated.
Already knowing of the benefits that Enrolment for Education Solutions (EES) could bring, Richard decided that this solution would bring these requirements together.
Within weeks after starting at Harper Green School and signing up to EES, Richard was able to roll out Windows 7 and Office 2010 across the school and although there is an on going cost element to have EES, the benefits which include having the option to upgrade as and when the software updates, is something that Richard really likes.
‘’We can push technology as and when we feel necessary with no pressure’’
At the same time as signing up to EES, Richard also upgraded 20 of the school servers to Hyper-V, with the assistance of Microsoft Gold Partner Lanway and Bolton School ICT Unit again saving money by having all virtual servers for example, not use as much air conditioning to keep the server room cool. By integrating Virtual Machine Manager 2012 with this, Richard then had a management solution for the virtualized datacenter, enabling him to configure and manage the school’s virtualization host, networking, and storage resources in order to create and deploy virtual machines and services to a private cloud.
And Richard hasn’t stopped there. Also installing Lync 2010 and Exchange 2010, Threat Management Gateway 2010, which differentiates between the staff and pupils using the internet so that for example, only the staff can search for sites such as YouTube and finally looking to ask a third party to build a SharePoint site for the school, in just under 12 months, Harper Green School has not only kept up to date and can continue to do so with EES, but also ensure that the students have the software and technology to assist them with their education.
The biggest benefit for Richard is the overall cost saving that will be seen over the next few years. Richard explained to me that because of the drop of birth rate in the area over the last few years, the number of pupils coming through the doors of Harper Green School will reduce. By looking at ways to cost save now, the shortfall that will come with the reduction of pupils will help balance this out.
All in all, Richard and with the help of others has managed to roll out and up date new systems within the school in less than 12 months. With the flexibility behind EES, Richard has confidence that the option to upgrade the school’ technology as and when needed can be done easily and efficiently.