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General Chat Thread, Sticking with EMBC? in General; Originally Posted by sparkeh Probably [indeed :-)] I think that some of the information coming out of the LA is.. ...
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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Probably [indeed :-)]
    I think that some of the information coming out of the LA is.. how can I put it... not 100% accurate?
    I'm with you here...I've been given all kinds of scare stories in the past from them - particularly when we used our own internal IP range for years, and the use of the dreaded internal proxy - but I feel able to sort the wheat from the chaff...other people are, shall we say, more inclined to believe every word they say. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's deliberate, but I do tend to think that they can sometimes only present one side of the story and that the story can be tailored to a specific audience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Plus being the main source of LA info I can't see that they could reasonably bar you on the basis of the ISP you choose.
    I can't speak for Leicestershire but I know that several years ago Notts LEA would only allow access to certain systems (mainly financial) through an "approved link". One of the other schools had to have a separate BT line installed for this when they ditched EMBC and went to NTL.

  3. #33

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyJF View Post
    I'm with you here...I've been given all kinds of scare stories in the past from them - particularly when we used our own internal IP range for years, and the use of the dreaded internal proxy - but I feel able to sort the wheat from the chaff...other people are, shall we say, more inclined to believe every word they say. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's deliberate, but I do tend to think that they can sometimes only present one side of the story and that the story can be tailored to a specific audience.
    This is what worries me. I am in touch with a fair few primaries and the misunderstandings are rife.
    I am not anti-embc at all but schools should be making decisions based on the facts of what is best for them.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36Degrees View Post
    I can't speak for Leicestershire but I know that several years ago Notts LEA would only allow access to certain systems (mainly financial) through an "approved link". One of the other schools had to have a separate BT line installed for this when they ditched EMBC and went to NTL.
    The cynic in me - a large part of me, admittedly - thinks the LEA/EMBC will make it as tough as they can do for people to leave. I'm not even in favour of leaving - only securing the best deal for the school. In many ways, it makes sense to stick with what you have if it suits your needs, which the current service mostly does. I just want to know it's a level playing field. A lot that's said in the tech meetings and written in various litarature does seem to favour a single train of thought.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    EIS is another one that is cited when there are already schools out there that don't have an embc connection who have been offered/have access to EIS. Plus being the main source of LA info I can't see that they could reasonably bar you on the basis of the ISP you choose.
    Latest notes says it'll be available, but charged for.

    AVCO operates on a public IP so that should still continue to work.

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    Gibson335 (23rd March 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    No idea how the Leics group got formed, it seemed to be a closed group! No idea who is in it either.
    The group was formed after a message was placed in EIS calling for volunteers to sit on an LA ICT group. A full list of members is available in EIS from the re-procurement area.

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyJF View Post
    No, not the LEAMIS one - we have two people going to that. No, the one I'm on about is for network managers and technicians set up by network managers and technicians, but I forget exactly who organises it. I have it in my old e-mails somewhere. It's held in Leicester - I think there have been 3 meetings so far.
    The meetings were held at Samworth in Leicester but I believe that Matt, who organised them, no longer works there so needs someone else to take over if the meetings are to continue.

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    Gibson335 (23rd March 2011)

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    The procurement process will lead to a pricebook where services description and costs will be made available by suppliers. The contract is due to be signed by the end of October 2011 so schools should see costing information around this time. As progrees is made in the procurement process the LA will add information into EIS.

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    Gibson335 (29th March 2011)

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    The EIS area will only get updated when there are updates to release to schools. There are strict protocols for the duration of the competative dialogue process so it will not be possible to release detail about the process during this time.

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    There are a couple of points here.

    Firstly schools without an embc connection have to pay for EIS access as these costs are part of an LA schools contribution towards embc and LA services. The second part is related to the security of data that is transferred about the embc network. While some data transfer like AVCO does cross the raw internet other services operate only within the embc network where data is retained within the private network and therefore security is guaranteed. I am sure you are right in that Leamis will want to retain business but there could well be additional costs associated with this for schools using a non embc connection and it might not be possible to provide a secure service unless demand is high enough to warrant investment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ictinterested View Post
    There are a couple of points here.

    Firstly schools without an embc connection have to pay for EIS access as these costs are part of an LA schools contribution towards embc and LA services. The second part is related to the security of data that is transferred about the embc network. While some data transfer like AVCO does cross the raw internet other services operate only within the embc network where data is retained within the private network and therefore security is guaranteed. I am sure you are right in that Leamis will want to retain business but there could well be additional costs associated with this for schools using a non embc connection and it might not be possible to provide a secure service unless demand is high enough to warrant investment.
    I guess schools will survive, much as they did before EMBC came along. Just have to do things a different way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ictinterested View Post
    other services operate only within the embc network where data is retained within the private network and therefore security is guaranteed.
    Any idea which services?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Any idea which services?
    I was wondering that too. B2B perhaps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Any idea which services?
    Northants operates differently to Leicester or Leicestershire, and does not use EMBC for direct services between schools and the LA anymore. We do not operate any traded service which relies on EMBC (at the moment), but use of EMBC helps schools meet a number of security criteria for access to things like eCAF. B2B can operate over other lines as can AVCO ...

    At the moment Northants do not charge schools for a traded service around IT, so the time of people managing the EMBC contract, for providing additional advice and guidance on IT Infrastructure, change requests, support on IT investment, etc has previously been covered partly by NCC and partly by the HT grant ... as with all the cuts this means that this is being reduced so if anyone does require any support over and above the basics (mainly stuff which is already covered in documentation or in common sense) then it will be charged for I suppose ... I hesitate to say what my daily rate is but ...

    If folk can remember that many of the LAs operate differently and the flexibility allowed for within the EMBC contract covers this ... as folk in Northants know we have a different approach to the use of local control of filtering than some other LAs, but other LAs might provide more access to tools to manage things via stuff like Securus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ictinterested View Post
    There are a couple of points here.

    Firstly schools without an embc connection have to pay for EIS access as these costs are part of an LA schools contribution towards embc and LA services. The second part is related to the security of data that is transferred about the embc network. While some data transfer like AVCO does cross the raw internet other services operate only within the embc network where data is retained within the private network and therefore security is guaranteed. I am sure you are right in that Leamis will want to retain business but there could well be additional costs associated with this for schools using a non embc connection and it might not be possible to provide a secure service unless demand is high enough to warrant investment.
    I cannot see how the LA or embc go about this because the services such as AVCO and EIS used to be accessible by non-embc connections and should remain so as well. If it does not fit the model that embc want to take then then need to provide alternatives to non-embc connections without charges even though it may cost embc to implement these. Trying to restrict things like this are exactly the things that switches schools off in having any faith in embc/RBCs. One size does not fit all and nor should any effort should be made to do it like this. Opt-out as always there and should be as well.

    The issues here are the expensive so called ICT consultatant who think what schools needs/requires rather than listening to schools in terms of their requirements. Don't get me wrong there have been more of an effort made to listen to schools on this but making statements such as this will be only available on this and it may cost extra does not help when these services were already available to schools. You can't just make those services closed to schools because it fits better with your infrastructure or security checklist.

    It is nice to see the LA is asking schools their opinions on the services and how it looks to future with connectivity etc by having a survey on the EIS platform.

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    AVCO works for non embc schools. That service is not dependent on embc as it runs across the internet.

    EIS however is different. It is an LA service hosted within the embc portal. As such schools who are embc subscribers have access to the portal and because they are LA schools can access the content hosted in EIS.

    If an LA school does not subscribe to embc then they have to 'buy' a presence on the embc network so that user accounts can be created for access to the portal and so access the hosted content.

    There will also be some sort of charging for EIS content should a school or college become an Academy, but that is another matter.

    What do you mean by expensive ICT Consultant thinking they know what schools want? There are plenty of ways for school staff to let the LA know what is important to them both by formal and informal methods.

    Security matters are critical and there is a balance between what exists now which the LA provides within a secure network and the implications in terms of security and cost in making services available in more flexible ways. As money is moved to schools it will be a school choice on how to spend it. The difficulty is that fragmentation in suppliers is likely to mean a more diverse range of access requirements. Inevitably this means additional expense is necessary to provide the same secure functionality in by different routes. There is no money going to LAs to set things up centrally any longer so costs for service modifications away from the current arrangements will have to be paid for by schools.

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