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BSF Thread, BSF - wasting money before we start.... in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Article in yesterdays Observer newspaper.... "Millions wasted on school contract bids" http://observer.guardian.co.uk/polit...ticle_continue I was particularly amused by the quote from ...
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    broc's Avatar
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    BSF - wasting money before we start....

    Article in yesterdays Observer newspaper....

    "Millions wasted on school contract bids"

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/polit...ticle_continue

    I was particularly amused by the quote from the Chief Exec of Partnership for Schools, referring to the successful Bristol Brunel Academy....

    "has substantially reduced the number of exclusions compared with the school it replaced, and seen pupils embracing a new uniform. "

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    Times article on Brunel Wirless not working

    Head of Bristol Brunel Academy says much school IT spending is wasted - Times Online

    An academy designed to be the first fully wireless school has been blighted by computer problems since being opened by Gordon Brown more than two years ago.

    The head of the £24 million Bristol Brunel Academy — a beacon of Labour’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme — said that its wireless system had yet to work properly

    who's wireless is this then ? Cisco although I heard Xirrus ?

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    XIRRUS have come in and replaced the system that was mentioned in the press and they are saying it works very well with 500 current users logging into it

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    Hey all.

    I know the school quite well as I live really close, and they did have Cisco in originally. The school were not happy with its performance, and replaced with Xirrus. Problem is that isn't any better. The Xirrus product isn't really catering for the schools needs. I heard that there is still connectivity problems, and that when a number of the Xirrus Arrays failed, the school couldn't get through to any support from Xirrus! Not great, and suspect that's where the wasted money has gone!

    They certainly haven't got 500 concurrent connections at any time. My friend in the school, says that in banks of laptop trolleys, there's always laptops not connecting wirelessly.
    Last edited by BH3409; 28th April 2010 at 06:54 PM.

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    Quite frankly what is written above is simply untrue. I personally surveyed, managed and oversaw the installation at BBA and was even doing a reference visit there last week. Hundreds of users get on without issue everyday, and based on the success of the xirrus system they are adding another 200 or so users in September. Our support is excellent and we now have the biggest team in the UK for a Wireless Specific vendor.

    I have asked the customer to post on here so everyone can here straight tom the horses mouth so to speak.

    Btw a recent support call of the "failure" of 2 xirrus units turned out to be the managed service provider disabling the switch ports they were plugged in to.....

    Thanks

    Ben

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    biggest = the best these days?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BH3409 View Post
    Hey all.

    I know the school quite well as I live really close, and they did have Cisco in originally. The school were not happy with its performance, and replaced with Xirrus. Problem is that isn't any better. The Xirrus product isn't really catering for the schools needs. I heard that there is still connectivity problems, and that when a number of the Xirrus Arrays failed, the school couldn't get through to any support from Xirrus! Not great, and suspect that's where the wasted money has gone!

    They certainly haven't got 500 concurrent connections at any time. My friend in the school, says that in banks of laptop trolleys, there's always laptops not connecting wirelessly.
    I have to side with Xirrus here. 'My freind said' and 'I've heard' are not first hand infomation and facts often do get distorted.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    how about anecdotes.....

    A spokeswoman for PfS said that, anecdotally, it appeared that local houses that were up for sale had been taken off the market since the school opened

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    Quote Originally Posted by apoth0r View Post
    biggest = the best these days?
    I fully take your point on board - biggest doesn't always mean best. However our team is split with at least 2 Technical Staff to each Sales person, meaning our customers get ontime, local support from people involved with the site and direct from the vendor even though we are deliver through the channel. We deliver a indirect fulfillment with direct touch model to make sure our customers always get the best support.

    I even print all my contact details so anyone can call me!

    Thanks

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xirrus View Post

    I even print all my contact details so anyone can call me!
    Ben, I think you have the right idea there - far better for someone to call you following a forum post on your direct line than sit wondering how to get in touch.

    BTW.. when you say 2-techs-per-sales-bod, is that support or pre-sales or both? Just curious

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    @Xirrus
    1st posts from anonymous users are completely ignored so don't worry

    regars

    Simon

  12. Thanks to SimpleSi from:

    Xirrus (11th May 2010)

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    Thanks Tom - All our techs are multi-purposed, as are our Sales people (Sales also are fully tech trainined and capable of surveys, design, install and support). Generally the same Tech will provide survey, design, installation and support so each site has a continuity that most people don't get.

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    @ben thanks - we tend to try and keep continuity in sales and support where we can - you're right that its unusual, but valuable. Always interesting to see how others operate though.

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    Question.

    Has anyone seen, and I mean actually seen any evidence that BSF schools provide good value?

    Has anyone been collecting evidence that BSF provides no value, added or otherwise.

    If the answers to the above are no then yes maybe it's about time the data was catalogued and submitted to the new Education Minister who would no doubt be happy to save the billions that would otherwise be poured down the drain. As Partnerships for Schools and BSF co-ordinators have been forcing contracts on people without informing them of the opt-out alternative the contracts may not stand up to a legal challenge.

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    Thought I would post here to clear up any confusion about the wireless system at Bristol Brunel Academy. I know the school quite well as I am Head of IT there. We originally had Cisco wireless as part of our BSF ICT Managed Service. We always had problems with it and were advised that it would not cope with the hundreds of netbooks we were getting. It was this that the Principal was referring to when he was reported in The Times as saying that the wireless didn't work. We now have a Xirrus system and I have not heard of any complaints from users. We have 470 wireless devices in the school and they all seem to connect wherever they are. We shall have another 230 netbooks in September. We did have a couple of arrays go down on the 30th April, but Xirrus support were very helpful and directed us to our ICT Managed Service Provider who reconnected the network ports that they had disabled.
    If any member of this forum has friends in the Academy who has problems with the wireless, please advise them to contact the eLearning Team in the LRC on the ground floor, who I am sure will be able to help them.
    Chris

  17. 4 Thanks to ChrisMac:

    Face-Man (17th May 2010), GrumbleDook (16th May 2010), mickeyh080 (7th June 2010), Xirrus (16th May 2010)

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