We've experienced similar, in fact, even longer for a single user to be provisioned correctly but of late they have improved somewhat ... I think they in the end accepted that listening to the IT Technical staff in schools can work in their favour as we're not all mushrooms.
I still like to give them the benefit of the doubt sometimes though as there are as one would imagine conflicts between inter LA views, LA's and EMBC, and of course EMBC & Synetrix. It's a difficult amount of people to please with a single brush stroke.
Yes, this sums up the problem with running such a project and its easy to zone in on the problems at your school(s). Each LA has hundreds of schools each wanting different things and the EMBC has a number of LA all trying to communicate what their schools want, who then have to communicate it to Synetrix.
Originally Posted by kmount
I know I have been quite negative in the past, with good cause I think, but I do think that things are improving. We do still suffer some downtime which is frustrating but this usually takes the form of a couple of mins of timeouts rather than the entire school day we used to get under Fujitsu.
Since the email problems during transition were sorted, the mail seems stable and people seem to prefer the OWA interface than the old CG one.
The WAT tool seems to be improving, users are provisioned fairly quickly now and the reports are useful. SSO will be a big improvement as well.
Continueing from yesterday ...
Those who were at the Northants IT Managers Meeting have had a heads up on the local upgrades for schools in Northants. It does vary from LA to LA, but work is being done on the upgrade program. Unfortunately this sort of program will take a good 6 months to prepare and 12 months to rollout.
Although local services such as cable and ADSL may have come down in price the contention rates have gone up. This is not the case with EMBC and they strive to keep it this way be improving the core network to get rid of contention / bottle necks. The other issue is that we do still have rural shires involved in EMBC. There are areas in Northants that are flippin' expensive to upgrade because exchanges are simply not enabled or a large amount of dig work is needed. Also remember that at the start of the contract the LAs know they have x amount ... and some prices go up, some prices go down ... there is not a lot of slack in the central pot for extra work, it has to be covered by your LA ... so lack of upgrade is not really the problem of EMBC /Synetrix (or even Fujitsu before them).
Yes ... we have asked for the RSS feed, but since it is service related there is still a requirement to log in. Let's face it, most companies don't like to stick on the public 'Net that they have issues ... so instead I am now looking at authenticated RSS feeds and how they can work in sharepoint (also looking at this from an LA perspective for out learning platform).
The ability to have your own page where you can drop in whatever feeds you needs (CERT advisories, EMBC alerts, MS Blogs, etc) seems to be one of the most popular communication requests, but I haven't seen a fully operational system for doing this yet when I have had a look around.
To some extent this might rely on SSO too (answering another question about single U/P ... this will be released shortly to tie in your EMBC ID to NetSweeper, EMF, etc ... and then various LAs are working on SSO into provided platforms too ... and there are the pilots for ADI / LAN Login ... I will be asking for volounteers from Northants at the next meeting in November).
I hope this has gone to answer a few more of the questions ... if you have other concerns then please raise them.