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BSF Thread, Kent BSF Wave 3: 11 schools and Northgate in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; When Fronter put in bid for LGfL they only sited their servers in their own data centre. LGfL were happy ...
  1. #61

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    When Fronter put in bid for LGfL they only sited their servers in their own data centre. LGfL were happy with this.

    Some other LAs and RBCs when meeting with Fronter were not happy about this (and Fronter subsequently did nt get shortlisted or lost bids) so it appears that for BSF there is enough leverage to force Fronter to change.

    Some might argue that LGfL were not pushy enough, and did not negotiate it to host it on the LGfL servers ... but it may be that Fronter have realised they have to compromise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    When Fronter put in bid for LGfL they only sited their servers in their own data centre. LGfL were happy with this.

    Some other LAs and RBCs when meeting with Fronter were not happy about this (and Fronter subsequently did nt get shortlisted or lost bids) so it appears that for BSF there is enough leverage to force Fronter to change.

    Some might argue that LGfL were not pushy enough, and did not negotiate it to host it on the LGfL servers ... but it may be that Fronter have realised they have to compromise.
    The LGFL were going to host fronter on servers in London and ring fence London... but something happened and this has seemed to have been scrapped..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    The LGFL were going to host fronter on servers in London and ring fence London... but something happened and this has seemed to have been scrapped..
    It may well have been the slew of London data center issues that took place over the last year.. In truth, having a datacenter in a different country is not such a bad thing. If Fronter have their own techs, know their stuff and have every reason to pull bad components and software offline and fix them then it'd seem a bit odd to want to have it local.

    Even the timezones work in our favour because they're not too far ahead, are going to spot a problem there before we even get up and have had more than a couple of cups of coffee in their system so they're on the ball before us

    IIRC there's a data pipe from Scotland to that area of the world so it's relatively local and not going to suffer greatly from any bottlenecks.. I'd need to check further to be sure but I'm fairly confident that's the case.

    Can't see any major issues in truth, unless of course the real issue is that each county has picked a POS RBL provider with nothing like the proper spec internet provision and as a result anything outside the LEA WAN crawls like a dead lizzard.
    Last edited by contink; 15th June 2008 at 01:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    The LGFL were going to host fronter on servers in London and ring fence London... but something happened and this has seemed to have been scrapped..
    Hosting someone else's servers in your data centre for a service you are buying from them has certain contractual obligations. SLAs are just the tip of the iceberg. It may be that LGfL decided the costs or contractual obligations that were needed to get Fronter to host within LGfL were not worth it. From comments I had heard Fronter do not like doing it that way and tend to put some very strict things into the contract ... that would preclude most RBCs / LAs from even considering and I was under the impression that LGfL had ruled that out at bidding stage. I am surprised to hear differently. Who told you it was going to be hosted with LGfL?

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    Some interesting documents came out yesterday.

    Two job descriptions for the posts being advertised. These and any future posts will be offered to existing staff first, before being advertised more widely.

    edit: I received some good advice and have removed the documents until I clarify if I'm allowed to post them into the public domain.
    Last edited by Deaks; 24th June 2008 at 07:04 PM.

  6. Thanks to Deaks from:

    Diello (24th June 2008)

  7. #66
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    Make for an interesting read...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    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.
    Having to report all faults by email would be very unpopular with a lot of our teaching staff, and is simply not practical if there is a problem in a lesson. We get a lot of 'Oh by the way...." type problems. Asking staff to go and email it would not go down well.

    Many simple jobs like replacing mice, plugging cables back in and switching stuff on (or off and on again) will simply not be recorded, to do so could take longer than the actual fix. Next thing that will happen is the number of technicians will be cut back because of the low number of calls actually logged!

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    Diello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanVin View Post
    Having to report all faults by email would be very unpopular with a lot of our teaching staff, and is simply not practical if there is a problem in a lesson. We get a lot of 'Oh by the way...." type problems. Asking staff to go and email it would not go down well.

    Many simple jobs like replacing mice, plugging cables back in and switching stuff on (or off and on again) will simply not be recorded, to do so could take longer than the actual fix. Next thing that will happen is the number of technicians will be cut back because of the low number of calls actually logged!
    That's exactly what is going to happen though, and it's not going to matter a jot of teachers like it or not, BSF has not been designed with those "on the ground" in mind.

  10. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanVin View Post
    Many simple jobs like replacing mice, plugging cables back in and switching stuff on (or off and on again) will simply not be recorded, to do so could take longer than the actual fix. Next thing that will happen is the number of technicians will be cut back because of the low number of calls actually logged!
    If they want to stay in a job, the technicians will have to either a) reject 'ad hoc' requests for assistance and insist the calls are logged first or b) retrospectively log the calls themselves after dealing with the problem.

    You can be pretty sure the managed service provider will be measuring & monitoring call levels, response times etc as these will inevitably form part of the contractual agreements and service levels. You may even find the technicians are given targets that become part of their performance management reviews, this is often how it works in private industry.

    Lots of logged quick fixes will look good in the measurements..... a bit like the police boosting their crime figures by pursuing motorists.... point a radar gun at a motorist speeding, give him a ticket & there you have it.... crime committed, detected, solved, one for the statistics and a lot easier & less dangerous than catching muggers & burglars

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    Some interesting documents came out yesterday.

    Two job descriptions for the posts being advertised. These and any future posts will be offered to existing staff first, before being advertised more widely.

    edit: I received some good advice and have removed the documents until I clarify if I'm allowed to post them into the public domain.

    ...................
    Last edited by Grommit; 25th June 2008 at 10:10 PM.

  12. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    If they want to stay in a job, the technicians will have to either a) reject 'ad hoc' requests for assistance and insist the calls are logged first or b) retrospectively log the calls themselves after dealing with the problem.

    You can be pretty sure the managed service provider will be measuring & monitoring call levels, response times etc as these will inevitably form part of the contractual agreements and service levels. You may even find the technicians are given targets that become part of their performance management reviews, this is often how it works in private industry.

    Lots of logged quick fixes will look good in the measurements..... a bit like the police boosting their crime figures by pursuing motorists.... point a radar gun at a motorist speeding, give him a ticket & there you have it.... crime committed, detected, solved, one for the statistics and a lot easier & less dangerous than catching muggers & burglars
    You are absolutely correct. We will have to learn to live with it. Or move on into private industry, local government, NHS, etc and learn to live with it there instead

  13. #72
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    Hi all, Northgate are doing the rounds of the Kent schools this week having 1:1's with all of us tuping in September. Just had my meeting. The focus was entirely the transfer of employment so did not cover the systems we'll be using, network or anything like that.

    Most of the meeting was a detailed comparison of their and KCCs T&C. Each significant element was listed with details of the respective T&Cs and how they compared. If KCCs were better they would be honored, if Northgate's were better we would be invited to move over to them. Where things didn't quite marry up, or Northgate were unable to match the T&C there was a good explanation of the issues.

    This was a discussion rather than "this is what we intent to do" and I've got to say that overall the ammended T&Cs would be better in almost every way, and the changes that were not were very minor in deed. There was also a clear undertaking that our Tupe rights were still firmly in place and bowing to these changes did not leave the door open for other changes in future.

    I would post the details as they left us some documents but I've aksed the question of what I can and can't share on an open forum and they've taken it away for clarification.

    As I've said previously, whatever you think of BSF the actual process of moving over to the managed service is being handled sympathetically and professionally buy everyone I've dealt with from Northgate so far.

  14. Thanks to Deaks from:

    Diello (3rd July 2008)

  15. #73
    Diello's Avatar
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    It certainly seems that Northgate is the lesser of the evils, which is good news indeed!

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    Three weeks and counting!

    Current TUPE date is October 1st so just a little while to go. We've got another set of 1:1s next week to deal with the final part of the process, and possible to meet the new team leader recruited from the existing support staff. My manager went for it but didn't get it.

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    How long has the whole process taken? I notice you posted in Jan 2008 was that the beginning or were you already part the way though? We are in the early stages so I am finding the whole thing a bit fuzzy at the moment, the only thing I know is that we are currently working on our vision statement.


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