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BSF Thread, Tell us about BSF in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; The Cost of running the Network will double with less service.....as the BSF costs are 100 per child this is ...
  1. #31
    Grommit's Avatar
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    The Cost of running the Network will double with less service.....as the BSF costs are 100 per child this is what the big 4 are charging..

    So our School that has 1400 students is being run with 1 Network Manager and 2 Technicians..

    Cost to School = 60,000 per year (with flexi hours)

    Basic cost to school under BSF Managed Services= 140,000.00 (basic working hours)

    Our School now..

    1400 Kids

    ICT Staff: 60 000

    Jobs handled

    PC's, Servers, Printers, Vandalism, Projectors, Telephones, AV for lessons, AV Screens, OHP's, Hand Holding for OFSTED and other Lessons, Lesson Covering, SIMS (installation and bug fixing at workstation), Cashless Catering, Photocopiers, off site AV productions, Access Control, CCTV, Library Database, TV's, Plasma's content, COMPLUS Tanoy System, CCTV event capturing, VOIP, Video Confrencing, and legacy equipement (3 year old PC's and Servers) which are still working fine but the BSF said they would not support..

    maintainance CCTV: 25 000

    Total in-house cost 75 000 for everything 18 hours a day 7 days a week

    BSF Basic Cost: 9 - 5.... 5 days a week only.... is 140,0000.00

    this is a basic cost for only Servers, PC's (under 3 years ) and Printers

    Also all faults have to be assessed to see if they are covered by the SLA and if not a PO has to be issued before any work gets done.



    Additional work we do that is not under the basic BSF SLA and has to be added to the Managed Services Contract

    maintainance CCTV 25 000

    Cashless Catering: ?

    Library Software: ?

    Teacher Hand Holding: ?

    Access Control: ?

    Specialist Tanoy System: ?

    Movement of Equipment: ?

    Telephones: ?

    Photocopiers:?

    Legacy Equiptment:?

    AV and Media:?

    After Hours: ?

    Vandalism: ?

    Alrady the costs have doubled and we haven't even started ...

    The Technicians will not be under the School control so cannot take instruction from the staff... where as now we work for the School and Staff and assist them when ever needed...

    As my friends said when they renounced their Managed Service Contract..

    "A school close to me has taken their ICT out of the managed service.

    They had a site manager working on site for the Managed Service Company. Any IT requests had to come in writting to him from the headteacher, they where then sent to the PFL's head office to see if was a chargable request. Once confirmation of charge or no charge was agreed the PFL scheduled their IT tech to do the job. If it was a chargable request the Head had to agree to the cost and fax a purchase order over to the PFL's head office, who them scheduled the job.

    Think 3 weeks to move or install printers.

    A two pence piece in a floppy drive was counted as vandalism and the drive replaced, even if the drive worked after the coin was removed. 10 minute job 65 charge. Replacing 15 in August soon mounts up


    I worked last night and this evening on the Open evening setting up the IT and AV for the School, finished at 8:30...

    Now because I work for the School I did this as part of my job (can leave early one or two days)... Yet under the BSF this would have been a chargeable service or not in their remit..

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  3. #32
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    Many valid points made, mostly concerning the model of support, and the actual system capabaility, however what systems are actually being installed. The template output spcification is so woolly that not all of it makes sense. The BSF boards, and E-Learning boards speak so much of vision and are promised so many functional things, like laptops for all, access to everything anywhere with only one password, but no one has put any practical guidance or baseline system specs for them to be measured. School being told by P4S that they must provide access to all network services to any teacher or student on any computer on the LAN or WAN is not only technically very difficult to acheive, expensive and time consuing, but also not required by most schools.
    In our county we had a support company born out of the LA that used to run all IT in schools, back in the day when there was maybe two or three BBCs per school. The time passed, and technology moved on to a point where they were unable to keep up with the schools. They then evolved into a ring and repair service, with chargeable technician services for small school, or those with low requirements. The story here was that the support company was unable to respond quick enough to faults, was not involved in the strategising with the school teachers, and therefore the IT systems were significantly sub standard. I was hired a few years ago and began to aim at a professional IT department responding not only to day to day, but long term technical strategy but also the teaching and learning strategy. It's the third task that sets educational IT staff apart from industry. Why would teachers need to know about active directory or any of the other rubbish we fill our heads with, they don't want to be concerned with IT, they just want it to work how they want, when they want. But they often don't know what it is they want to do until they come to do it. No telephone service can respond that quickly.
    The proposal I have made to our childrens services is a proper sized county wide IT department. Take the large scale corporate model of central IT managent, decentralised local It departments reporting up. Break that down by pyramid, feeder school tech report to secondary school IT Manager, who works with the team of IT managers for that region, who in turn report to the LA based IT management. Local response and accountability. Instant support, in house innovation with shared good practise and effective cost savings from large scale supply contracts.
    If you are going to have a standard approach it will fail, understand that each school will want to do it's own thing, as they have for a long time, and build a proper management infrastructure around that requirement.
    Brain surgery it ain't.

    DC

  4. #33

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Some more good responses there ...

    @Grommit : Some good points made with the figures there ... you could go a bit further by asking schools with student laptop schemes what their support costs are as they tend to run slightly higher due to increased staffing and also the requirement for spares for swap out etc.

    To respond to some of the services that you provide ... CCTV and VoIP are both part of the Building Management, not under IT (even though they may run across the same network and have a major impact if QoS /CoS is not set up right!), so they can no longer be consider your area. I would also suggest that people that are looking after CCTV and/or VoIP that they check their job description to make sure it says this, otherwise it can cause issues if and when transfer takes place.

    Video conferencing - that is plug and play. Most RBCs will provide VC facilities, either via a fancy web interface for use with a webcam or via JVCS. Both can be deemed as not requiring significant technical input once staff are trained or good user guides are created. At this point it becomes a CPD issue, and again, check your job description to see if you are responsible for staff CPD for IT.

    Vandalism - this is a leadership responsibility. If it is costing money then it is up to the leadership in the school to come up with ways of stopping it, better sanctions and a better ethos of the school so it is less likely to happen in the first place (respect your school and the facilities!) If there is a financial incentive to come up with methods of stopping it or reducing it then that is proven to be successful.

    Cashless catering - again, building management. Part of the support contract with the service provider (usually a subcontract). Many schools with Cashless Catering already operate in this way so nothing new there.

    Tannoy system - building management

    Access control - building management

    After hours - there should be set rates for this and most providers are expecting a bit of common sense to come in to play here. It is partly down the how the contracts are worded, but a school can request a change of hours for support staff for particular events. They may choose to ask you to do 12-8 one day due to open evening, but you may usually do 9-5 or 8-4. If the school decides it cannot afford to lose you at all then it has to pay extra. This is still the same model that many schools use today with support staff. Instead of time in lieu they use overtime instead. Overtime costs more. Nothing new about that idea and is a bit of a red herring!

    Photocopiers - let's face it, this varies from school to school already. Some schools don't have tech support going anywhere near the photocopiers other than making sure there is a live network port and it has an IP. Others treat it as a network print station. That said, a lot of the copier companies look after the machines themselves, have little to do with tech support and it is up to the school what happens with regards to controlling the printers. Yes, you can get some snazzy software to do print control to these machines including arranging the print jobs into tickets, etc ... but that still does not have to have anything to do with tech support other than it being another printer to be added as required. No special case or anything and should it go wrong the copier company provide support. Again, already a normal state of affairs ...

    Library software - why is this so different to any other software you run? Surely it is the same as your MIS, your finance software ... it is a database that is accessible to certain people on certain machines. There is nothing special that has to be done other than importing new students as part of the year end. Again, the companies that provide this software have support teams and will do their bit the same way that Capita do for SIMS, Sage do for Line 50, etc. Even if you look at biometrics, web parts, etc ... there is nothing special about this software.

    AV and Media - we are back to how schools do things differently. I know some schools where they are a separate department completely, and other schools where it is all in together. If it is in the contract that you support it then that is what you support. There is nothing special about cleaning projectors, providing DVD players. If you are talking editting then yes, that is probably the sticking point and one of the reasons why some school have separate departments. Having spoken to a school in Wave 2 they plan to keep the AV Tech on under a school contract as the higher percentage of his time is spent preparing T&L or marketing resources. The AV kit will be managed and maintain by the provider but that is fine as it gives him more time to work on resources. Again, we see a schoolll wanting to keep someone directly because of their link with T&L.

    Legacy equipment - You agree to support things older than 3 years. By year 2 of the contract most of the companies will also be supporting kit older than 3 years depending on what has been transfered across. The 3 years thing is to try and cover the issue of sustainability in schools. Too many schools think they can keep kit running forever and still ahead of the times. There are times when you have to think a bit sidewards on things (I nearly said 'think outside the box'! Sorry) and accept that it is not a bad idea to plan ahead. If the company is pointing out that the kit that you have is likely to be defunct in 2 years time so get rid of it now for better kit that will last longer, and at the same time plan in for replacements of some kit during the contract (again, this is down to the writing of the contract ... LA representation and so on!) then I struggle to see how we can shout this down as this is something most of us have been complaining about for years. The reliance of bits of extra funding to kit out rooms, replace servers, white elephants appearing due to some extra money. Yes, we may think up of decent ways of keeping the kit going by upgrading memory, installing Linux on the desktops, using the old desktops as thin clients ... but there is no guarantee that this cannot be put into the contract anyway.

    I can see where you come from on many points, but there are already examples of schools working differently tat *do* fit in with how BSF are moving, giving them enough backing to question why you think you are right and they are wrong.

    @donutcat

    Yep, the hierarchy can be a good thing, and some suppliers are actually going to do this anyway. Some providers may call them team leaders, some as area managers, some as IT managers. It all means the same. One of the reasons why it doesn't work that well now is school and LA politics. Take a county that has been quite happy for schools to go GM and the foundation status. A number of specialist schools become even more independent of the LA. You have towns in the county that are fiercely competing for students and primaries that feed 2 or more secondaries. It becomes a political battle as to which secondary supports the IT of the feeder primary. By having it provided by a managed company you cut through that.

    The one thing that you do cover that raises a major issue is that of how the IT strategy fits into T&L. There have been members who have previously said that they don't want to be involved in the T&L side. They don't want to use that as an excuse to protect their jobs whilst seeign an outside company rip apart what they have put together based on little knowledge of the school. I have said before that the difference *is* that many of us are switched on to the impact IT has on T&L and we should plan for that. The major downside is that in spite of Govt programs to get leadership more switched on to IT strategies, and get into their heads about devolved leadership (TeamSLICT was *all* about devolved leadership for ICT, but there are many other Govt program aimed at getting school SLTs switched on to devolved leadership), this is still not happening at a fast enough, so the Govt forces the issue by taking more control. This is done under BSF, by changing the goal posts for performance, by changing funding streams and so on.

    Many members in schools aren't in a position to find out this information, those that are aware of it may not be in a position to change how a school changes due to Govt strategies and fewer still are in a position to be part of that change. Making senior leaders in school aware of possible issues and getting them to get involved in the dialogue from word go seems the best option, but as we have seen from some members this is too late. I am now convinced that the Business Plan stage is the key stage to have representation for your school, with further input throughout the scoring of bids and working with bidders. Remember that representation does not mean that all schools participate, only a few. Getting the right schools involved is important. Heaven help Northants if we are picked ... I can think of other schools that would be better to get involved that would ensure a wider range of provided services with greater flexibility.

  5. #34
    Grommit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Some more good responses there ...

    @Grommit : Some good points made with the figures there ... you could go a bit further by asking schools with student laptop schemes what their support costs are as they tend to run slightly higher due to increased staffing and also the requirement for spares for swap out etc.

    To respond to some of the services that you provide ... CCTV and VoIP are both part of the Building Management, not under IT

    Video conferencing - that is plug and play. Most RBCs will provide VC facilities,

    Vandalism - this is a leadership responsibility. If it is costing money then it is up to the leadership

    Cashless catering - again, building management. Part of the support contract with the service provider (usually a subcontract).
    Tannoy system - building management

    Access control - building management

    After hours - there should be set rates for this and most providers are expecting a bit of common sense to come in to play here.

    Photocopiers - let's face it, this varies from school to school already. Some schools don't have tech support going anywhere near the photocopiers other than making sure there is a live network port and it has an IP. Others treat it as a network print station.

    Library software - why is this so different to any other software you run? Surely it is the same as your MIS, your finance software ...

    AV and Media - we are back to how schools do things differently. I know some schools where they are a separate department completely, and other schools where it is all in together.

    Legacy Equipment - You agree to support things older than 3 years. By year 2 of the contract most of the companies will also be supporting kit older than 3 years depending on what has been transfered across. The 3 years thing is to try and cover the issue of sustainability in schools..
    All the above on our site are supported and run by the ICT Department... We are responsible for the good running of it all... not Building management and i trust it's the same in most schools... if it has a plug it's the ICT departments responsibility..

    And having all this go to a seperate support contract is going to send the cost of supporting the school out of thim world..

    Tills go down middle of lunch = Call ICT, ICT are there instantly (heh heh imagine caling a help desk)
    Doors Locks don't Open = Call ICT, ICT are there instantly
    CCTV is not working = Call ICT, ICT are there instantly
    VOIP (phones not working) = Call ICT, ICT are there instantly
    Photocopiers not working = Call ICT, ICT are there instantly
    Library Scanner not working at Lunch = Call ICT, ICT are there instantly.
    Need AV in a room for a presentation = Call ICT, ICT will set it up
    Legacy Equiptment Call ICT, ICT will support all Equipment on site no matter how old. (it's our job, we don't just fix new kit)



    And the biggest issue of all.... The Destruction of the Schools In-House ICT Support Community...

    We are part of the School, we work for the School, we discuss and develop ideas and visions for the School, we are run by the school, we go to the schools chrstmas party, we go to the prom,.. we have the schools and local communitys intrests at heart..

    under the BSF we will no longer be part of the local community we just will be IT Contractors working on a site.
    Last edited by Grommit; 12th March 2008 at 12:51 PM.

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  7. #35

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    And the biggest issue.... The Destruction of the Schools In-House ICT Support Community...

    We are part of the School, we work for the school, we discuss and develop ideas and things for the School, we are run by the school, we go to the schools chrstmas party.. we have the schools and local communitys intrests at heart..

    under the BSF we will no longer be part of the local community we just will be IT Contractors working on a site.
    There is already a counter arguement to that with examples from other Govt sectors.

    The MOD has been usingthe number of outsourced companies for some time, but they still take from the same pool of expertise and have had little notice about the difference in the 'community' side of things. Often the staff in the companies previously worked for the MOD, or specifically at that base ... so other than the regulars moaning that they outsourced staff get paid more than the soldiers doing the same job, hey outsourced workers don't have garrison duties to perform unless it is part of their contract, and they still get to go the to Mess for cheap food / beer.

    The other counter arguement is adapt into your new community. Companies are communities too and people moving jobs should accept that this wil open up other avenues for them.

    Please note that the above I first heard being used when council officials were arguing with NUPE / NALGO in the 80s and then 90s.

  8. #36

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    @Grommit
    Yep, you support a lot of stuff and damn well from the sounds of it, but there are many successful schools that don't do it that way ... and they get good results ... and outstanding in OFSTED ... and have SLT with vision.

    Have a guess who will be listened to most.

    Again, we come back to the fact that you are presuming that most schools work the way you do. They don't ... that could be taken as an arguement in your favour that schools don't work the same, but instead you are trying to set a benchmark of service without tying it into the impact it has on the school. Without measurable outcomes you can provide the best service in the world, but you can't prove that it is worth the time, cost, effort, or that you would make a greater impact than someone doing it via a different method, including methods other members use in their schools.

  9. #37
    Diello's Avatar
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    Surely though it doesn't matter if it's the IT Department within a school, or a member of the office team, or a dedicated repographics clerk, fixing the photocopier - or the CCTV - or the cashless catering - to me the point is the one Grommit makes "...are there instantly"

    Unless the ICT Managed Service, or the Building Managed Service, people are going to put a member of their staff in each school, with the power to do what is necessary to resolve issues with the various items of equipment under their perview and provide continuity of service - support will not be "there instantly". With the most rosy view in the world of BSF, even if you think the Managed Service are angels in disguise, if someone with the power is not there, instant support will not happen. It's a simple matter of the laws of physics - unless they're also coming with teleports - they cannot go from their base of operations, to the problem, in the time it takes one of the in-house support team to get to the problem.

    The point with the MoD - and I admit I'm not talking from experience - but from what you say with regards to "Mess for cheap food / beer." - implies support staff, with the necessary authority to respond in a timely and required manner, are on-site. A toner-drone who isn't allowed to make network alterations isn't the same thing.

  10. #38

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    An example from MoD would be the dreadful way they treated RCT (Royal Corps of Transport) when it all got lobbed in together with Royal Logistics. The motor pools went private for many areas, they turned to fleet cars and a lot of the drivers became civvies doing the same job but with better conditions.

    This fitted in for many but those career soldiers that wanted teh travel, that wanted the opportunities for promotion got shafted. Their whole network was going to be pulled out from under their feet, their benefits and perks would disappear.

    It was a bit in between in reality. It worked for some and not for others. Many where happy to stay at the same location doing what they did and they took the limited opportunities for advancement. Others moved into different roles in the RL and progressed higher and further. In both situations the same network still existed even though people moved to new areas or stayed where they were, but on civvy street. The NAAFI was still the NAAFI, rankign civilians could still go and get smashed in the Sgt's Mess or have cream teas with Officers.

    We are almost in role reversal to this though. We have limited scope for progression at the moment but there is likely to be greater scope for those with the skills under managed provision.

    Aor the immediate response side of things ... on site support staff will still be expected to do incident management on site. If that means turning up to an issue to find out what is wrong, fixing it and then completing the ticket then that can happen. It is for larger changes that the central helpdesk would be used. A typical example (again a wave 2 school) is that a call is made by a teacher in a classroom to the in school helpdesk. They are told that someone will be with them shortly. The techie on site looks at the remote tools to check if there are any issues with the room and then makes their way down to complete the assessment. They can confirm that the port that should have something attached to it does not. They plug the network cable back in. They go back to the office and complete the job ticket. No additional time is taken.

    A teacher wants software installing. They want it tomorrow for one lessons. Tough. That is no different to whether you are on a managed service or in house support. If you get calls like this then you are leaving yourself open to abuse. it does not take a great deal of effort to force teachers to plan ahead and tell you when stuff is needed. Again, what difference does it make if it is a managed service.

    Problems with CCTV? Fine, a call is logged, a fault is raised, a technician goes to deal with it. Many here have a managed service for this already and have no issues. It makes no major impact on the results to have it fixed in 30 seconds or 4 hours.

    VoIP? A call is logged (or a runner is sent!) a ticket raised ... this is obviously a high priority call and someone gets out within x hours. The external lines are ok so there is not the issue about contact with the outside world ... again, a nice service but presuming that the faults are rare (which they should be) can you justify the job being done in-house?

    The whole 'there instantly' is a red herring. There will be staff on site. The arguement comes in when looking at whether the staff on site will have the skills to deal with major issues. Any CCTV system or VoIP system worth its salt should not have to be coaxed along or have a dedicated support specialist on-site. Good for you if you do, but is the expense worth it? Most managed service providers will reasonably expect that on site staff can follow instructions over the phone if they don't have the sills to deal with it directly.

    *That* side of it has been going on for years. In the early days of ARPAnet the IMP guys used to have to talk through cleaners reloading tapes onto the early routing boxes. Surely we are more skilled that cleaners?

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  12. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Aor the immediate response side of things ... on site support staff will still be expected to do incident management on site. If that means turning up to an issue to find out what is wrong, fixing it and then completing the ticket then that can happen. It is for larger changes that the central helpdesk would be used. A typical example (again a wave 2 school) is that a call is made by a teacher in a classroom to the in school helpdesk. They are told that someone will be with them shortly. The techie on site looks at the remote tools to check if there are any issues with the room and then makes their way down to complete the assessment. They can confirm that the port that should have something attached to it does not. They plug the network cable back in. They go back to the office and complete the job ticket. No additional time is taken.
    The only thing I note here, is the 'completing job ticket' stuff. Additional time must be added for you to complete whatever online forms need to be. Perhaps asking what the problem was, how long it took etc. That will still add time on to the complete job.
    If I'm asked to go fix a projector, I go do it. I don't come back and have to log in to the helpdesk to say what was done. Yes it may only take a few minutes, but if you complete five jobs in quick succession without having time to fill in the job report, it will soon equal an extra half hour here and there where you can't do the work because you are busy filling in reports.
    I thought that was one reason why the police force were so concerned with things, the fact that bobbys on the beat had so much paperwork to fill in it meant less time for them to actually be out doing there job. Surely the same principle applies here?

    And just on a side note about the CCTV - "It makes no major impact on the results to have it fixed in 30 seconds or 4 hours."
    It does. We don't do the admin for the main school CCTV but the CCTV in the high profile areas where kids are notoriously bad. If they are broken and an incident occurs where video footage could be used, there's a big difference between it being fixed in 30 seconds and 4 hours. A lot can happen in 4 hours.
    Last edited by MK-2; 12th March 2008 at 02:11 PM.

  13. #40
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    They can confirm that the port that should have something attached to it does not. They plug the network cable back in. They go back to the office and complete the job ticket. No additional time is taken.
    Call from classroom - it's getting close to coursework deadline - Little Johnny can't login - on-site assistant resets LJ's password, checks "remote tools", all is OK with PC - LJ still can't login - obviously a deeper problem with that user account on the network. Then what? Exactly what sort of on-site person is there? A toner/password/network cable Changer who has no autonomy? Or will they actually put someone in-place who has the knowledge, and access to investigate and amend as necessary? Or will they then have to log a ticket with the central helpdesk somewhere? Even if they are significantly more efficent than most helpdesks, most of the lesson will be gone and LJ's education has just been adversely affected.

    A teacher wants software installing. They want it tomorrow for one lessons. Tough. That is no different to whether you are on a managed service or in house support. If you get calls like this then you are leaving yourself open to abuse.
    Indeed - and I'd never make that part of our SLA (ours says 8 days should reasonably be expected from the point it's delivered to us) - however, there are extreme cases where it can be accommodated. Will teachers be able to choose the software that best fits in with their SoW and teaching style? Or will they be forced to use whatever is offered? If they can pick their own software - how long till deployment? What about support within that specific package?

    there will be staff on site. The arguement comes in when looking at whether the staff on site will have the skills to deal with major issues.
    I think the argument is actually whether the staff on site will be given the ability to deal with major issues - not if they will have the skills. The skills are already there by-in-large, the issue is will those with the skills be kept in the school by the managed service, and will they be given the ability to do what is necessary.

    Surely we are more skilled that cleaners?
    The question is whether those with the skills would want to become mere robots following step-by-step directions from those sitting in a call centre - or change to a job where they are allowed to use their skills.

    A Managed Service as an idea isn't flawed - where it becomes flawed is when you don't have anyone local enough who can provide support and developments in a timely manner, flexible to the individual needs of your end-users.

    Who are the end-users of ICT in schools? Teachers, pupils, admin staff. How many of them have been consulted about their requirements? None. How many IT professionals in schools have been asked of the issues and the needs? None. Teachers I've had discussions with about the changes BSF will bring are horrified.

    As skilled IT professionals - we should all know that a system is worthless if it doesn't take into account the requirements of it's end users.

    Interestingly I was chatting with our Bursar last night, who expressed her own shock and horror at the changes the Building Managed Service will bring as well, so this isn't even just limited to ICT.

  14. 2 Thanks to Diello:

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  15. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    An example from MoD would be the dreadful way they treated RCT (Royal Corps of Transport) when it all got lobbed in together with Royal Logistics. The motor pools went private for many areas, they turned to fleet cars and a lot of the drivers became civvies doing the same job but with better conditions.

    This fitted in for many but those career soldiers that wanted teh travel, that wanted the opportunities for promotion got shafted. Their whole network was going to be pulled out from under their feet, their benefits and perks would disappear.

    It was a bit in between in reality. It worked for some and not for others. Many where happy to stay at the same location doing what they did and they took the limited opportunities for advancement. Others moved into different roles in the RL and progressed higher and further. In both situations the same network still existed even though people moved to new areas or stayed where they were, but on civvy street. The NAAFI was still the NAAFI, rankign civilians could still go and get smashed in the Sgt's Mess or have cream teas with Officers.

    We are almost in role reversal to this though. We have limited scope for progression at the moment but there is likely to be greater scope for those with the skills under managed provision.

    Aor the immediate response side of things ... on site support staff will still be expected to do incident management on site. If that means turning up to an issue to find out what is wrong, fixing it and then completing the ticket then that can happen. It is for larger changes that the central helpdesk would be used. A typical example (again a wave 2 school) is that a call is made by a teacher in a classroom to the in school helpdesk. They are told that someone will be with them shortly. The techie on site looks at the remote tools to check if there are any issues with the room and then makes their way down to complete the assessment. They can confirm that the port that should have something attached to it does not. They plug the network cable back in. They go back to the office and complete the job ticket. No additional time is taken.

    A teacher wants software installing. They want it tomorrow for one lessons. Tough. That is no different to whether you are on a managed service or in house support. If you get calls like this then you are leaving yourself open to abuse. it does not take a great deal of effort to force teachers to plan ahead and tell you when stuff is needed. Again, what difference does it make if it is a managed service.

    Problems with CCTV? Fine, a call is logged, a fault is raised, a technician goes to deal with it. Many here have a managed service for this already and have no issues. It makes no major impact on the results to have it fixed in 30 seconds or 4 hours.

    VoIP? A call is logged (or a runner is sent!) a ticket raised ... this is obviously a high priority call and someone gets out within x hours. The external lines are ok so there is not the issue about contact with the outside world ... again, a nice service but presuming that the faults are rare (which they should be) can you justify the job being done in-house?

    The whole 'there instantly' is a red herring. There will be staff on site. The arguement comes in when looking at whether the staff on site will have the skills to deal with major issues. Any CCTV system or VoIP system worth its salt should not have to be coaxed along or have a dedicated support specialist on-site. Good for you if you do, but is the expense worth it? Most managed service providers will reasonably expect that on site staff can follow instructions over the phone if they don't have the sills to deal with it directly.

    *That* side of it has been going on for years. In the early days of ARPAnet the IMP guys used to have to talk through cleaners reloading tapes onto the early routing boxes. Surely we are more skilled that cleaners?
    I have no idea and it quite staggering to comprehend to why you are supporting the BSF Managed Service Senario..... ?!? It beggers belief..

    We are trying to set some groundwork and get the ball rolling in the questioning of the BSF and we have you within our own ranks shooting us down... are you trying to sabotage our efforts in getting the press onside ?
    Last edited by Grommit; 12th March 2008 at 02:27 PM.

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  17. #42

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    But there is no point blindly spouting random things about BSF. Otherwise we may as well start passing the flaming torches and pitchforks now and just be done with it. I think GrumbleDook is playing a very healthy role in being Devils Advocate, especially it being an unpopular viewpoint, as it makes us think about our arguements and brings up counterpoints we may not have thought about.

    It's not like he has been planted here by the BSF group as a sleeper agent and is really logging all our posts so BSF tactical teams can hunt us down [1].

    Don't get so het up and worried by it!

    [1] Well I hope not. If so, long live our new BSF overlords

  18. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post

    Don't get so het up and worried by it!
    Only problem there is, it's our employment, so a lot of people will get het up and worried about it.
    If your school told you that you were being made redundant, would just sigh and say 'ah well I had a good run here,' or would you be a bit worried that your employment future seemed uncertain?

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    I have no idea and it quite staggering to comprehend to why you are supporting the BSF Managed Service Senario..... ?!? It beggers belief..

    We are trying to set some groundwork and get the ball rolling in the questioning of the BSF and we have you within our own ranks shooting us down... are you trying to sabotage our efforts in getting the press onside ?
    Tony's only playing the part of what the BSF supporters will say - what would be the point of us sitting here ranting about it, if there wasn't someone putting forward the counter-arguments for us to pick apart? Read his article in EduateIT@BETT to see that, whilst yes, he is a little to positive on BSF for my liking, he certainly doesn't think it's the Holy Grail.

    Only problem there is, it's our employment, so a lot of people will get het up and worried about it.
    If your school told you that you were being made redundant, would just sigh and say 'ah well I had a good run here,' or would you be a bit worried that your employment future seemed uncertain?
    Sorry - but NO IT'S NOT - and that's what the BSF supporters can latch onto to silence us, that we're just moaning about our jobs. Anyone here who is experienced at their jobs can probably go and work for industry - at the end of the day, our experience is probably more wide-aspect than a lot of private sector workers. Whilst some people work as Exchange Administrators, that is just 0.1% of the systems we handle on a daily basis.

    What this is about is, 1) the schools loss of control on it's own resources, 2) the schools loss of the ability to innovate using ICT, and 3) the schools loss of effective and timely support - boiling down to: An adverse affect on teaching and learning for our future generations.

    I'm not that happy about finding another job either (unless Northgate can truly offer me a decent reason to work for them), but fine, I'll deal with it, my problem is that we're b*ggering about with kids education just to satisfy a political agenda and keep business happy.

  20. Thanks to Diello from:

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  21. #45

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    Diello, I'm not saying the main reason for us to be upset over BSF is our jobs, but it is a factor.
    It is entirely understandable for anybody who is in uncertain terms over there employment to be upset. I'm not trying to imply that should be the only reason we are opposed to BSF, just merely saying that feelings will run high regardless because of the situation.

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