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BSF Thread, Some Facts (Not Rumours) Required Regarding RM, Northgate and Redstone in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by Moby Richie, When labour lose the next general election, the the whole project is likely to be ...
  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moby View Post
    Richie,

    When labour lose the next general election, the the whole project is likely to be scrapped anyway.

    Moby

    The Tories haven't said they'd scrap BSF - they just want to cream off some of the funding from BSF and spend it on New Academies, whatever they are (see this drivel). Do you suppose all we badly-paid NMs would get a better deal out of this?

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    Just to pick up on 2 points in this thread.

    I have a little experience of said company.

    RM do have an Indian call center and they will frequently phone you
    up and ask you to do the five troubleshooting steps you have indicated
    in the the call notes that you have already done.

    RM's policy is to promote you if your 'face fits' or you have great
    interview skills. Ability is rarely considered and once an appointment
    is made you can be as inept as you like because your manager will never
    admit he picked the wrong candidate for promotion.

    RM used to be about the kids and the education and I still have a lot
    of time for Mike Fischer. Unfortunately RM is now in the hands of
    the bean counters. It's all about market share and no longer about
    delivering IT solutions that actually benefit the curriculum.

    If you want to be a 'bleeding edge' computing school and you get
    assimilated to RM then your dreams are over. RM's system works well.
    It's reliable and guarantees high availability and security. However
    it is also a straitjacket and you can kiss innovation and creativity
    goodbye.

    (sorry.. very personal opinions expressed, I know)

    C

  3. 2 Thanks to cerberus:

    Alis_Klar (10th March 2010), Grommit (14th May 2009)

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngreenwood View Post
    I agree with the answers to your questions. As a guy who has worked in a council run ICT team and now works for RM but was not TUPED I an in a unique position to step back and view it all.

    1. What happens to the Network managers?
    They get Tuped in the same role. Managed Services need onsite management just as much as anyone else.
    No they all don't a lot of them have been told by RM especially in Hackney that they can apply for the RM Pool jobs and that they won't be TUPED over. and the senior Technicain will be the point of contact at the scholl because the School is managed by RM not the Network Manager

    I think hackney is losing a 1/3rd of its Technicians...

    Also read 2x IT Technician - BSF - Kent about how TUPING is not secure
    Last edited by Grommit; 14th May 2009 at 01:45 PM.

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    I am sorry to hear that but at the end of it all if you are good enough you will get one of the pool jobs and progress much quicker than when employed by the council. Same as any private sector employment.

    The example you give is Northgate, what I see everyday with RM is network managers who have been TUPED over and then promoted to positions which they are really enjoying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngreenwood View Post
    I am sorry to hear that but at the end of it all if you are good enough you will get one of the pool jobs and progress much quicker than when employed by the council. Same as any private sector employment.

    The example you give is Northgate, what I see everyday with RM is network managers who have been TUPED over and then promoted to positions which they are really enjoying.

    Which is fine if you want promotion and don't mind travelling all over the place.
    As for me, I'm happy where I am and at my current level, so whichever company takes over it looks like I'm stuffed... unless we get one of the few companies that still realises the vlue of having local staff

  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngreenwood View Post
    I am sorry to hear that but at the end of it all if you are good enough you will get one of the pool jobs and progress much quicker than when employed by the council. Same as any private sector employment.
    Oh look threre's Laa Laa, Tinky Winky, Dipsy and Po... wheeeeeeee lets go play in la la land...

  8. Thanks to Grommit from:

    Netman (27th May 2009)

  9. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngreenwood View Post
    I am sorry to hear that but at the end of it all if you are good enough you will get one of the pool jobs and progress much quicker than when employed by the council. Same as any private sector employment.

    The example you give is Northgate, what I see everyday with RM is network managers who have been TUPED over and then promoted to positions which they are really enjoying.
    A lot of people here have worked in industry before; a world ruled by accountants, where the only thing that matters is the balance sheet, shareholder value, and bonuses. A world where staff are hired & fired short-term to make the books balance, where employee satisfaction & job security has no place..... where end users are simply that; names, numbers, job requests, problem reports..... a treadmill..... where employees have 'utilisation' targets to meet.....

    When I left the 'commercial' IT industry to work in a school, it was because I wanted to be part of an organisation that was not driven by profit & greed..... where you went home at the end of the day feeling you had helped someone & added real value. I was also looking forward to having regular hours, reasonable travelling, being able to go home each day rather than staying in yet another 'clone' hotel room. You may think a life on the road, with a company car & company expense account looks attractive, but the novelty soon wears off. I took a 60% pay cut to work in a school, but at least I regained control of my life & increased my chances of surviving to retirement age

    Being TUPE'd into a big commercial organisation driven by profit may suit some people, but not me.

    Sadly, BSF is mostly about profit......

  10. #23

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    It is not just down to the individual service provider (RM, Northgate, Redstone, etc) but also down to how the LA set everything out to start with. Remember that the LA only care about the education of the students and not the people sorting out the boxes on the desks, etc ... a few will be learning the lessons of previous waves but that is only really going to hit wave 4 school onwards (if you are lucky).

    It all boils down to how prescriptive or adaptive the LA make the original papers that the whole strategy is based on. If you can get access to those docs it will give you a better idea about the direction the LA is expecting the school to take as well as setting out how much flexibility there is for the school to do their own thing or make their own decisions.

    It will also highlight which jobs that you may already be doing that will get shoved elsewhere (eg CCTV into building management). Look for the missing bits such as A/V, learning resource creation, staff IT CPD ... others who are post TUPE can say what the schools have suddenly found are missing and the MSP needs to be chased about.

    Central support varies ... some use it, others don't ... again it is down to the LA request. Some here can give you some horror stories of how a call from a teacher in a classroom has to be made to the central team which is then farmed out to the local support staff who then find it prioritised in their job list below other items ... when it is actually the teacher next door to the office has a bulb blown that can be swapped there and then ... but others can tell you about how it is almost (only almost) working as normal ... it also depends on the previous set up of the school. Some like Grommit have found it nearly unworkable but of the wide changes made ... but other schools with limited and poor existing support will find it an improvement.

    Get the LA papers if you can ... and if you have bad or good press about a particular MSP see how the LA docs compare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post

    When I left the 'commercial' IT industry to work in a school, it was because I wanted to be part of an organisation that was not driven by profit & greed..... where you went home at the end of the day feeling you had helped someone & added real value. I was also looking forward to having regular hours, reasonable travelling, being able to go home each day rather than staying in yet another 'clone' hotel room. You may think a life on the road, with a company car & company expense account looks attractive, but the novelty soon wears off. I took a 60% pay cut to work in a school, but at least I regained control of my life & increased my chances of surviving to retirement age

    Being TUPE'd into a big commercial organisation driven by profit may suit some people, but not me.
    Big ditto from me - very similar story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    No they all don't a lot of them have been told by RM especially in Hackney that they can apply for the RM Pool jobs and that they won't be TUPED over. and the senior Technicain will be the point of contact at the scholl because the School is managed by RM not the Network Manager

    I think hackney is losing a 1/3rd of its Technicians...

    Being a school technician in Hackney myself, I'd love to know where your getting this information from and how upto date it is, as :

    All contact I've had from RM, and also my collegues here, has been that school technicians will be TUPED over.

    I don't know if that also applies to the LEA technicians, maybe it's that the aplying for RM pool jobs might apply to them, which would make a fair ammount of sense as they would not be part of the school personael infrustructure.

    In many areas the LEAs would have also been a rival bidder, so there may, in some circumstances, be a bit of PR spin involved, hoping to influences the outcome.

    Personally I'd rather be TUPED to RM, who come out well in polls on how companies treat their staff, than to a LEA setup bidder, your link to the Kent situation being a good example of why.

  13. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by glensc View Post
    Being a school technician in Hackney myself, I'd love to know where your getting this information from and how upto date it is, as :

    All contact I've had from RM, and also my collegues here, has been that school technicians will be TUPED over.

    I don't know if that also applies to the LEA technicians, maybe it's that the aplying for RM pool jobs might apply to them, which would make a fair ammount of sense as they would not be part of the school personael infrustructure.

    In many areas the LEAs would have also been a rival bidder, so there may, in some circumstances, be a bit of PR spin involved, hoping to influences the outcome.

    Personally I'd rather be TUPED to RM, who come out well in polls on how companies treat their staff, than to a LEA setup bidder, your link to the Kent situation being a good example of why.
    My understanding is that up to now at least LEAs have not been able to bid for BSF contracts as it's a conflict of interest. Not sure if you mean or think that in Kent the bidder was somehow connected to the LEA but it was not. Land Securities and Northgate are no different to RM and they're overall bidding partner, ie. companies who were simply bidding for the contract with no prior connection with the LEA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glensc View Post
    Being a school technician in Hackney myself, I'd love to know where your getting this information from and how upto date it is, as :

    All contact I've had from RM, and also my collegues here, has been that school technicians will be TUPED over.

    I don't know if that also applies to the LEA technicians, maybe it's that the aplying for RM pool jobs might apply to them, which would make a fair ammount of sense as they would not be part of the school personael infrustructure.

    In many areas the LEAs would have also been a rival bidder, so there may, in some circumstances, be a bit of PR spin involved, hoping to influences the outcome.

    Personally I'd rather be TUPED to RM, who come out well in polls on how companies treat their staff, than to a LEA setup bidder, your link to the Kent situation being a good example of why.
    Jill from Stoke Newington.. she said her NM is not being Tuped and has to apply for pool jobs with the other NM's, that the amount of technicians are being reduced and a technician school share is being started by RM..

    Read her blog which seems to have stopped in October last year (as per the norm of BSF assimilation/gagging)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    Jill from Stoke Newington.. she said her NM is not being Tuped and has to apply for pool jobs with the other NM's, that the amount of technicians are being reduced and a technician school share is being started by RM..

    Read her blog which seems to have stopped in October last year (as per the norm of BSF assimilation/gagging)
    I was reading her blog up till it stopped, real shame it did as it was quite insightfull.

    Still, it seems to me, maybe a bit too much to extrapolate that 1/3 figure from a single instance and apply it to the area as a whole.

  16. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    My understanding is that up to now at least LEAs have not been able to bid for BSF contracts as it's a conflict of interest. Not sure if you mean or think that in Kent the bidder was somehow connected to the LEA but it was not. Land Securities and Northgate are no different to RM and they're overall bidding partner, ie. companies who were simply bidding for the contract with no prior connection with the LEA.
    There have been some situations where LAs have been successful in bidding (in partnership with private companies) to run a managed service. Typically these can take the form of a private company that does the 'design & install' and the LA then runs the service with staff transferred from schools to the LA managed service. This happened early on during the BSF process but it is probably too early to say how well things have/will turn out.

    You have to believe that at least an LA run MSP will not be driven by profit, but will they be as capable as a commercial company such as RM? Time will tell......

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    redstone in Birmingham..

    news from the front line here in Birmingham.

    Frankly this is a total balls up. Redstone do keep changing their minds, and it all seems to be about their finance and cost models.

    Here's a typical example - Birmingham’s learning environment.

    We were first shown ITWORX - some Egyptian piece of share point, they then three weeks later said there was no way this would be ready in time, so they said we would probably get RM kaleidos. Week or two later, we wont get RM because it's too expensive. Back to ITWORX, this time working with moodle.

    Funny really link2ict (bgfl) were at the meeting regarding this and they looked like they were going to bust a blood vessel over the integration with cmis. Seemed to be the first thing they knew about it.

    After all was said and done, Birmingham is expected to sign up for a learning platform nobody has seen working, sure we've seem a few schools in Egypt and the like, but it's nothing like the Birmingham situation, or complexity.

    Also

    here's something people might not realise, lets say your a phase 1 school, but still a year or 2 from actually being hit by this. Once the 1st school has been done we have to start paying for it £65 per student per year. Hmm, actually it could be £63. anyway, remember this could be for a few years with no benefit to us or any other school at all. Now they do say the systems will be available for use to use ie, the learning platform, but frankly who going to rip their network apart to utilise the learning platform at this stage. I mean it's bad enough that staff and students hardly have any storage space on the thing, and we wont be able to home any curriculum data locally any more.

    To sum up, our systems will be removed and replaced with APP-v and a share point solution of types.

    From a school who has 1 nn and 2 technicians we're down to 1 tech and a 6th former.

    Still according to our figures we’ll receive sh*t loads of those little eeepc’s when this is all over. Seems to be cheapest way to boost the student to computer ratio. Oh goody. I guess it wont be my problem by then. Oh well.

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