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General Chat Thread, Stone Group Research in General; Out of hours support will be call-centre based, sub-contracted, probably offshore, with all the problems that can bring..........
  1. #16

    broc's Avatar
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    Out of hours support will be call-centre based, sub-contracted, probably offshore, with all the problems that can bring.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by James_Bird View Post
    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Allow me to point you in the direction of the weblink for downloading the research ahead of Saturday:

    Stone Group Research Report

    This will allow you to see the full findings of our research, and most importantly, in the intended context.

    Stone’s assertion, in short, is that due to the growing reliance on online teaching resources and the growing government expectation that pupils have reliable access to school networks whilst working at home in the evenings, the provision of out of hours support becomes all the more vital – in turn making the statistic you mention that only 14% of schools offer out of hours technical support to schools and staff all the more surprising and concerning.

    Having now read the full survey, I would like to raise the following points:

    Methodology of data gathering - As has been mentioned, your survey is not representational of the mix of schools in the real world. Also the small sample size (200) is only 0.9% of the 22,000+ schools in England - this can result in large skews of data.

    The data has been used to backup opinion, not show what is fact.

    According to the survey over three quarters (82%) expect ICT budgets to decrease in real terms over the next financial year.
    From your data I could also say: Almost two thirds (64%) don't anticipate any reduction in their budgets next year and less that 15% believe this will have a significant impact on the service they look to achieve.

    ....schools struggle to comply with complex Government guidelines for both secure online access and strong physical network security to protect pupil data and work.
    There's no data in the report to back that statement up, 38% say it is a top 3 support challenge. I'd agree, IT security is a challenge, but its not something I struggle with - a challenge cannot be interpreted as a struggle.

    Furthermore, the reliance on internal skills means that only 14% of schools and colleges offer out of hours technical support to students and staff working from home. Despite government vision to deliver 24x7 school networks, it is not feasible for schools to deliver such out of hours support using in-house resources
    Did you conduct any research into if out of hours support was required? Surely that would have been a much better idea - to gauge if there is any actual need for it than assume its needed to try and sell it to schools you claim are short of money.

    If you need further ideas and / or survey respondents, I'm sure the edugeek community would be more than happy to help.

    While I am a fan of your hardware and technical support, I do find this bandwagon jumping a little concerning, not just from Stone, but lots of other players in the education market. Self promotion by profit orientated entities is to only be expected but any self respecting individual should always question the motives behind it.

    For the record, I will not let my personal option on this affect my work though and will continue to purchase hardware from the company that offers my employer the best value.

    NB. Unfortunately I didn't see you invitation to discuss this in person at the show until it was too late. However I must admit I would have declined this as I was representing my employer at the show and don't want to mix my personal views with my work.

  3. 2 Thanks to steve:

    dgsmith (17th January 2010), webman (18th January 2010)

  4. #18

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Regardless of such surveys and supposed research, I would hope a majority of schools in the market for some form of support, be it in-house or contracted out would be wise enough to explore all options themselves and choose what's best for them. What use is outsourcing support if you have the expertise on site or it's more cost effective to have your own guy/team. The only reason anyone would suffer by using in-house staff is if that/those staff are the wrong person/people to do it and not thinking on behalf of the school. If you can get the right person who knows and understands what the school needs, listening to their requirements and plans, there's no reason to make statements like that. The same applies to outsourcing, except generally there the contractors need to keep the school happy to keep their contract at renewal time.

    Right person at the right time makes all the difference.

  5. Thanks to synaesthesia from:

    broc (18th January 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Regardless of such surveys and supposed research, I would hope a majority of schools in the market for some form of support, be it in-house or contracted out would be wise enough to explore all options themselves and choose what's best for them. What use is outsourcing support if you have the expertise on site or it's more cost effective to have your own guy/team. The only reason anyone would suffer by using in-house staff is if that/those staff are the wrong person/people to do it and not thinking on behalf of the school. If you can get the right person who knows and understands what the school needs, listening to their requirements and plans, there's no reason to make statements like that. The same applies to outsourcing, except generally there the contractors need to keep the school happy to keep their contract at renewal time.

    Right person at the right time makes all the difference.
    Try using this logical, reasoned & balanced argument to defend the status quo in schools vs BSF & see where it gets you

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    well that's the trouble really - whatever happened to common sense and actually asking the schools what is best for them. It gets on my nerves to find schools being told what they need by some company before they've even sat down with them and asked them what they do currently, what they want to do in the future and what's holding them back. What is the curriculum demanding from them and the students, what will benefit everyone using them, and how would they like to do it.

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