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General Chat Thread, managed services in acadamies in General; Hi all I have been asked to prepare a document on any pros and cons on managed services within academys. ...
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    managed services in acadamies

    Hi all I have been asked to prepare a document on any pros and cons on managed services within academys. I would appreciate any comments and accept we will have a bias, I would be keen to here from anyone who delivers such services and ask their take on what they deliver, what could be done different better etc.
    I have my doubts about outsourcing anything and so llok forward to your views.
    As always thanks in advance.

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    I can introduce you to a chap who oversees the managed services of several acadamies, not sure he'll want to do anything less than a presentation though!

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    What is the big difference between a managed service in an Academy and in BSF / PFI?

    Firstly, it depends on what type of academy you are. If you are a high flying school then you get to dictate pretty much everything in the build ... the problem is that you might not be politically allowed to specify things.

    If you are a failing school and it is all part of a rebuild and last chance, then your supporters get a certain amount of say.

    Secondly, identify the educational needs for IT before you look at what you want a managed service company to offer things.

    State flexibility from the outset, use published guidance from Becta (Technical and functional specifications for IT Infrastructure) to back up your desires and then add 'industry guidance' on top where needed.

    Have a look at what other schools have done via http://www.ict-register.net, and try and visit as may of these schools as you can.

    Mistakes to avoid ... try not to go down the one-stop shop route ... ie all wireless, thin client, Macs, etc ... a company that has the expertise and experience to install a mixed, diverse platform is more likely to be flexible and response to changing needs to one that provides a solution based on a single technology. Find examples of white elephants that have been purchased within your school over the last 5 years and find out why they did not get used. This can help the same mistakes being made again, or better still, find out if you can use existing technology to do what the naff kit was bought for!

    Be aware of all the stakeholders. As well as the school you may still have connections within the community that need to be serviced (after school use of facilities, etc), you may have strong links with the LA still, you may still be receiving your 'Net connection via the RBC and still have to meet their rules too.

    Just a few things ... but I would strongly recommend the ICT Register as a good source on this side of things at the moment.

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    thanks for this its good info, but i was really interested to here from those either currently in a managed service contract or those that have been in one and cut and run for what ever reasons.

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