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BSF Thread, Kent BSF Wave 3: 11 schools and Northgate in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Another small update. In addition to the two meeting dates next week, Northgate are scheduling additional 1:1's with all technical ...
  1. #46
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    Another small update. In addition to the two meeting dates next week, Northgate are scheduling additional 1:1's with all technical staff being tupe'd and will be advertising two new project-management posts for this wave that they hope to fill from the existing staff.
    Last edited by Deaks; 3rd June 2008 at 05:11 PM.

  2. Thanks to Deaks from:

    elsiegee40 (3rd June 2008)

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    Thanks for these updates, I'm watching this thread with bated breath.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Likewise, thank you Deaks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    Another small update. In addition to the two meeting dates next week, Northgate are scheduling additional 1:1's with all technical staff being tupe'd and will be advertising two new project-management posts for this wave that they hope to fill from the existing staff.
    So the 2 existing employees that get the job are most likely commiting employment suicide as they will have no job when the project ends...

  6. #50

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    Not really ... in any cluster or LA there will always be change. For those with the skills to manage change they can always find work. Will it mean that they only work on that LA on that project for 5 years? Probably ... but they may then pick up a subsequent project in the same area or a different project elsewhere.

    I think most people have accepted that a job for life is a thing of the past, it definitely is in other sectors ... people move around, change roles, change jobs ...

    Again ... it is a poor arguement to knock promotion. Especially since they are likely to get a nice pay rise and be that Uber-network manager you have mentioned in other posts. The only difference (and it is a big one) is that they are not likely to be directly employed by the schools or LA, but by the contractors.

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    Interesting development yesterday.

    Dane Court has been taken out of the wave and they are arranging a seperate Dane Court BSF contract so we become basically wave 3a. They are still planning to use the managed service as provdided by the LEP but finanical close is likely to be later than other wave 3 schools. This is all down to the cost of the refurb here. Wether or not Northgate will tupe us before they reach financial close is unknown.

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    Just had official notification of the Northgate School Technician Open Day running on the 11th & 12th next week. It's running at the Thanet Skills Studio, Westwood Industrial Estate, Margate.

    EDIT: Have this additional information:

    I have attached the original information. The programme for the day in the information is what we will be sticking to. There will be experts on different areas of the BSF managed service there to demo and discuss these areas, and we hope that you will be able to find out more about all of it and focus on any areas that particularly interest you or which will particularly affect your school.
    Have attached the file that was sent.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Deaks; 4th June 2008 at 03:27 PM.

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    Over the last two days myself and the two other techies here have been to the Northgate School Technicians Open Day, and members of our Leadership Team have a similar event today.

    It was held at a "skills centre" on a nearby trading park, the sort of place that kids go to learn catering, car mechanics etc..., with bookable rooms for conferences. Northgate were there en-masse with almost as many staff as there were delegates. Around the room there were various displays including Scantek engineering teaching products, Mobotix CCTV systems, Cisco IP phones, some whiteboards and a whole range or portable devices.

    There was no real structure to the day, instead we were all encouraged just to mingle, look at the kit and systems on display and chat to the Northgate staff. They were all introduced to us and they were there to cover different things. I spent a lot of time chatting to the woman from the helpdesk side of things, plus the guy who will be involved in managing the installations over the next few months.

    Firm information was thin on the ground, partly becuase stuff is still being developed or decided, and partly because each school will have a say on how things work for them. Chatting to the woman from the helpdesk it was clear that their focus will be that the first support contact for teching staff will be to email the central helpdesk. They acknowleged that staff will always phone internal staff, or pop into the office, and that would be ok, but they would engage the teaching staff and encourage them to log everything centrally. This was mainly because they would try and do as much as possible remotely using Netsupport.

    There was lots of talk of support and training for techies and teaching staff, and assurances that they would be there to back us up and if we hit any problems all we had to do was escalate it. It got a little vague when we got to the practicalities of how we receive instructions. We were told we'd receive instructions and jobs on the PDAs we'd be given, also that if we did pick up jobs informally from staff that we would have to phone them in. She seemed reluctant to show us the call management system, almost as if we would never use it as we'd simply receive instructions or do everything over the phone.

    A couple of us spoke to a guy about the network management system, and while he couldn't show it to us he said we'd have no trouble with it and would be able to do everything we expect to be able to do like passwords, access user areas, change permissions etc.. We would be the only ones in the school with "admin" access to the network.

    There was a demo of both their MLE N-Able and VLE Fronter(sp?) and explanations of how they work with Sims etc... Seen one, seen them all on that so I zoned out a bit I must admit. Both of these are hosted on off-site servers, while the main network will be local servers.

    Some other stuff that was said, in no particular order. Their desktop OS will be Vista, Office version will be 2007. One of our techies who went the previous day said they were talking about shift-work with support on-site from 7am to 7pm, but I didn't hear that. Somthing else said on the previous day was that they intended to install just one large copier/printer in each department, not printers in each class. Hmmmmmm......

    The two jobs that will be advertised later this month will be a "Team Leader" for all the techies from the 11 schools, plus the project-management post. They do want to fill these posts from existing staff, and generally made a big thing of how valuable our local, and school-specific, knowledge was to them.

    I'll add more if I remember anything else, and feel free to ask questions as it might jog my memory. As I've said previously, I like what I'm seeing of the Northgate people, but am still very nervous about how well things will actually work once it's all in place.

    Deaks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post

    The two jobs that will be advertised later this month will be a "Team Leader" for all the techies from the 11 schools, plus the project-management post. They do want to fill these posts from existing staff, and generally made a big thing of how valuable our local, and school-specific, knowledge was to them.
    Deaks.
    I'm guessing the Team Leader post is a Senior Tech Job and the project management could be handled by an existing Network Manager. So how many are set to loose their jobs ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    The two jobs that will be advertised later this month will be a "Team Leader" for all the techies from the 11 schools, plus the project-management post. They do want to fill these posts from existing staff, and generally made a big thing of how valuable our local, and school-specific, knowledge was to them..
    Of course they would.. because without you they wouldn't even know where to begin... but once they have sucked you dry of Information ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    They acknowleged that staff will always phone internal staff, or pop into the office, and that would be ok, but they would engage the teaching staff and encourage them to log everything centrally. This was mainly because they would try and do as much as possible remotely using Netsupport.
    How are they going to plug in a printer or Calibrate a whiteboard with Netsupport ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    There was a demo of both their MLE N-Able and VLE Fronter(sp?) and explanations of how they work with Sims etc... Seen one, seen them all on that so I zoned out a bit I must admit. Both of these are hosted on off-site servers, while the main network will be local servers.
    The VLE is being rolled out accross London by Fronter hosted on Fronter Servers in Norway... Northgate has nothing to do with it... so if they are showing it off then they are reaping accolades for something that has nothing to do with them...
    Last edited by Grommit; 13th June 2008 at 03:49 PM.

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    They did say that Fronter was a bought-in product. However, unlike elsewhere Northgate are hosting it on their own servers and involved in the development as there was a guy from Fronter there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I'm guessing the Team Leader post is a Senior Tech Job and the project management could be handled by an existing Network Manager. So how many are set to loose their jobs ?
    Just the oposite I think. The team leader job seemed to be staff management etc..., while the project-management post covers the installations accross all 11 schools.

    There has been no talk of job loses in school, and even talk of recruiting more techies. I think Kent have agreed a minimum on-site number of staff.

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    "A couple of us spoke to a guy about the network management system, and while he couldn't show it to us he said we'd have no trouble with it and would be able to do everything we expect to be able to do like passwords, access user areas, change permissions etc.. We would be the only ones in the school with "admin" access to the network."

    That's the bit that interests me... access to what extent... and how much say do those that know what's needed within the school get to put those measures into place without going through levels of red-tape...

    ---

    Did they mention salaries for those positions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    Of course they would.. because without you they wouldn't even know where to begin... but once they have sucked you dry of Information ?




    How are they going to plug in a printer or Calibrate a whiteboard with Netsupport ?



    The VLE is being rolled out accross London by Fronter hosted on Fronter Servers in Norway... Northgate has nothing to do with it... so if they are showing it off then they are reaping accolades for something that has nothing to do with them...
    Have to reinforce what Deaks said about Fronter being hosted in this country rather than Norway. That's what I was told by a couple of chaps from Northgate a few months back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    They did say that Fronter was a bought-in product. However, unlike elsewhere Northgate are hosting it on their own servers and involved in the development as there was a guy from Fronter there.
    I don't understand why this is as every single London Borough is having Fronter hosted on Fronter servers...



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