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BSF Thread, BSF - Email from Steve Moss in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Would the idea of accreditation to a specified level against the Becta Technical Competencies appeal to you then? Something with ...
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Would the idea of accreditation to a specified level against the Becta Technical Competencies appeal to you then? Something with shows to what standard you *can* work ... and is not platform specific but based on ability? Network Managers in schools should be at least level C ... preferrably level D.
    Excellent Idea, but in too many cases the tech/NM are competent but the idiotic decisions are made by SLT against the advise of NM, it's one thing that outsourcing will fix. As I said in my eariler post, all the current system needs is some form of accountability.

  2. #47
    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Would it make any difference though Tony? BSF won't let you get out of managed services without losing a large portion of ICT spending is that fair I myself don't mind going out a finding another job but some of these schools have brilliant technical support which they'll lose when the Managed Service comes along, okay there are many schools around the country that have very low levels of ICT use and support which will benefit to a certain degree although unless the staff are willing to put it to use it's still a waste of money. Many schools only start to use ICT when the support they get reaches a level where they feel comfortable asking the technical staff questions about how to use it? I may be sarcastic and ironic at times but I still see the school as one big company and I'm making sure all the staff (pupils and teachers) can be trained being "tuped" isn't really an option for me I'd rather work at a company I choose, I know people on here are worried about their jobs and this is understandable but I'm worried about the state these schools will be in when we leave, some teachers may breath a sigh of relief at the thought but most will wonder who'll answer all of their questions about little things we we've been forced out? COuncils will be no better off they'll lose quite a few "techies" too as there won't be any more need for them so seeing as unemployment will rise it should be interesting to see how long schools last before cancelling the managed service contract and phoning old Net Managers and Techies up asking if they'd like to come back?

    Tony do you think there will be any leeway for schools to opt out of the managed service? I work in an non-lea school and we are quite independant but we'll still get made to use the managed service how will other schools who have a good, reliable and efficent ICT provision and support be in a position to say we don't need this?



    Wes

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by broc
    10 ways in which a Managed Services Provider can 'take advantage' of a Managed Services client, in no particular order:

    1 ) keep the contract content to a minimum, keep as much detail out of it as you can so you can ask for more money to do anything outside the contract.
    2 ) standardise the specs for all devices, software, configurations so you can charge more for 'variations'
    3 ) minimise planned/scheduled changes, so you don't get the blame when you change things & they go wrong. Also means you can charge more when the client requests changes that are not part of contract
    4 ) Provide as little Documentation, Information & Training as you can up front, so you can keep the client in the dark & lower their skill levels & increase dependency upon your services. Remember Knowledge is Power!
    5 ) Make sure your (managed services) staff give nothing away. Every request for assistance, information etc has to be logged & checked to see if it is within the scope of the contract before being acted upon.
    6 ) Limit service hours, so you can charge more for anything out of hours
    7 ) Offer your (managed services) staff a bonus for identifying & 'selling' additional opportunities to charge the client for services.
    8 ) Always assume the problem/request/action is not part of the contract, is chargeable & leave it up to the client to argue otherwise.
    9 ) Repair or replace defective equipment based upon the lowest cost to you. Re-cycle equipment/spares between clients to keep your costs as low as possible.
    10 ) Keep your staff costs down, use short term contract staff if possible.


    I am sure there are more, but these are ones I have seen in action in a former 'life'.
    You too Broc? I was about to write something similar from my days in "pre-sales" support in the "Dark Side". Nothing got a bigger grin from the salesman sliding into his gigantic BMW than a client that didn't know their @rse from their elbow - everything was an "extra" on those accounts - even our hotel bills - which must've come as a shock when we used to try out the best brandy at £70 a glass...

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Opting out of the managed service? very little chance ... but there is a chance that more stuff may be covered in house with agreement from the contract winner ... techies may get employed by the LA or if the deal is done in -house the LA section will be minimal but provide a level of accountability ...

    The best chance is schools employing you directly and agreements being made that you are allowed to do stuff with the systems. Contract winners are likely to be happy as it means they have to directly employ less techies and there is likely to be a better service ... but it may be that this only becomes apparent after the first couple of waves are up and running ... as mentioned previously ...

    I am asking what all the options are .. but because of the limited information from both sides (the BSF winners and the schools with good support) then it is hard to give the right people suggestions about who to limit damage or make the most of the staff already there.

    I still stand by the idea that by taking on different roles you stand a better chance of staying at your school and having a chance to keep out of the company ... and this is an idea that has been mentioned by a number of govt agencies now ...

  5. #50

    broc's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    @SpuffMonkey

    I worked for a Global IT Company for 30 years in various technical pre & post sales roles (Systems programmer,Systems engineer, IT consultant) . My ex-employer also had an outsourcing division; sometimes I would work for the outsourcing division, sometimes for a client of the outsourcing division! My employer was a very ethical company however the competition we came up against from time to time were less so. Even so, business is business and we were expected to maximise our corporate revenue on any client engagement. I worked with some very large corporate accounts who had armies of legal & contract specialists who dealt with suppliers everyday.

    I took early retirement 4 years ago, I accepted a £30k+ pay cut to work at a school but at least I don't live out of a suitcase anymore & I can sleep at nights and I have a life again!

    Schools & LAs will have difficulty being able to pick their way through the contact minefield facing them, so some schools will be exploited without any doubt.

  6. #51
    richard
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    I still stand by the idea that by taking on different roles you stand a better chance of staying at your school and having a chance to keep out of the company ... and this is an idea that has been mentioned by a number of govt agencies now ...
    To be honest if I wanted to become I something different in a school I would have done the appropriate training. As is it as the moment in the junior school I work for I am expected to run clubs every lunch time that I'm (ie get the troublemakers dumped on me intead of causing grief else where) , run a club one night after school. Take a group of kids so their teacher can have their PPA time and also act as TA.

    I came into education as I believed that my technical skills would help enhance the kids education by providing them with a modern, reliable ICT infrasturcture that would be used by the staff to bring the kids learning to life. I am now beginning to realise that this is not the case now.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    I do not use a managed service as i have no ties with RM no SLA with either them or LEA i just use the product which i have found invaluable. you do not have to tie yourself in with RM just cos you use their network management overlay. I can use whatever equipment i like and tailor it to our needs.

    In the end we all have to rely on some corporation or other i.e. Microsoft - Vanilla - RM etc

  8. #53

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    I still stand by the idea that by taking on different roles you stand a better chance of staying at your school and having a chance to keep out of the company ... and this is an idea that has been mentioned by a number of govt agencies now ...
    But it's not all about staying at the school - it's about doing what we do best and putting our skills to best use - technical support and network management. If we wanted to be teaching assistants we'd train and then apply to be one.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    ....

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Sorry folks got called away so last post was late in getting there ops:
    Richard: you are soooo right in what you say, why is it that a teacher can do just what they trained for and that is teach and yet we have to be masters of all trades and conceptions where is the logic in that. The logic being is that we do not belong to a 99.9% union membership and that is our demise.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Ok ... can people tell me what they would do if they were working for a regional office of a large conglemerate in the chemicals industry where each office had there own way of working based on what they did, and so the support team (employed directly at the office) fitted around them ... and then the IT gets outsourced.

    I know part of this is about protecting jobs and part is about protecting the schools, including the staff and students inside of them ... and it is hard to seperate those facts (which is what unions try and do most of the time).

    If your job was being outsourced if you worked in 'industry' what would you do?

  12. #57

    webman's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Hopefully the strong union we were all a member of would listen to its members, negotiate with the companies in our favour and call a strike if necessary to resolve the situation.

    The things is, a lot of schools, staff and students are fine the way things are now. IT works, the teachers teach and the students learn. If it aint broke don't fix it. But where it is "broke" - the LEA should step in and make sure the school gets the best out of in-house support.

    Schools ICT can manage just fine without managed services.

  13. #58
    richard
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Ok ... can people tell me what they would do if they were working for a regional office of a large conglemerate in the chemicals industry where each office had there own way of working based on what they did, and so the support team (employed directly at the office) fitted around them ... and then the IT gets outsourced.

    I know part of this is about protecting jobs and part is about protecting the schools, including the staff and students inside of them ... and it is hard to seperate those facts (which is what unions try and do most of the time).

    If your job was being outsourced if you worked in 'industry' what would you do?
    To be honest from what I know of outsourcing from friends of mine who been through it for those people who have been taken on by the new provider it was a rather rough time with the majority of those either finding new jobs or being made redundant within a year.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    One of my ideas would be.... If the school wants to keep in-house the County could employ a couple of Uber Geek Consultants that will go from school to school consulting with the Network Managers making sure Best Practice" is being used and advising on Disaster Recovery, Backups, Apple etc.... as well as advising on innovations in the Education ICT field..

    Plus the Network Manager would have a Highly Skilled ICT Consultant who he could bounce ideas off of and maybe improve his or her skills
    Sounds pefectly reasonable to me!


    If your job was being outsourced if you worked in 'industry' what would you do?
    On the money they pay me this would not be an option, remember, outside industry is profit led, getting someone in with a higher wage bill would be frowned upon, unless!!!!!! you live in an area, say wales and get an enormous government grant to do it???

    What would the taxpayer say if the government swapped 'X' employee at £17,000 a year for 'Y' employee at £30,000, got less for their money and could get the same or better level of service by keeping 'X' employee by just giving them the support, encouragement and recognition that they deserve??
    Oh, to answer the question........Go on strike :twisted:

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    If Partnership for Schools could demonstrate a valid, viable business case which proved that they could help an LA and its schools through BSF and IT managed services to deliver a more cost effective service and maintain or raise standards I don't think any of us would have a leg to stand on.

    However, in every case I have been involved in involving outsourcing, the client has been the one making the decision, initially deciding they want to explore managed services with some objective in mind; it may be to cut costs, consolidate or centralise, but they would have a reason for doing it.

    They would then draw up a set of requirements, invite suppliers to tender, and choose a suitable supplier. If none met the requirement/cost, they would re-examine the business case & requirements and either give up or re-tender.

    Now with BSF, we are being told; you have to play by our rules or we will take our ball (ICT funding) away.

    The rules of the game are : We (the schools) must have a managed service; we must agree to pay for it, even though we don't yet know what 'it' is. If we are already operating above the minimum level of service on offer, we must accept a degradation in service level, OR pay more. We must be prepared to TUPE our staff to a third party, we must conform to the 'standard' or be prepared to pay a heavy price for being 'individual' in our approach to delivery of ICT in our environment & with our curriculum.

    Does anybody spot the difference?

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