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General Chat Thread, Article: Dell and the Derbyshire Schools BSF Project in General; You can view the page at http://www.edugeek.net/content.php?r...ls-BSF-Project...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Article: Dell and the Derbyshire Schools BSF Project


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    Trapper's Avatar
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    Eeeee I remember Derbyshire schools when they had them Archimedes machines in 'em. By gum.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    with 1450 per pupil I would hope they get amazing it services - for me that would be almost 2.5 million. To then only be running a system with 2 virtual hosts doesn't sound a lot if I'm honest.would be interested to hear direct from the school staff about the system rather then Dell's pov

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    bossman (12th September 2011)

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    The £1450 was not just for IT equipment, but infrastructure, training, projects and a whole raft of other ancillery kit as part of the setup. And remember, this isn't an annual fee, this is a one off.
    And it was Ric and I that went to see this and this is our report from what we saw first hand. It really is a good example of what a BSF school should be had the project continued.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @Dos_Box:

    I would say that this is probably one of only 10% of all the BSF projects which has a happy ending, I would like to see after the first 5 years how it is managed, as you say the budget was a one off and therefore the when there is no money in the pot to maintain what they have it will deteriorate dramatically. I cannot advocate the use of laptops as these devices are so high maintenance, yes the students and teachers love to be able to carry them around as their own personal kit but they don't last very long in the hands of both.

    I'm not saying it doesn't work, what I am stating is the constant cost to maintain the equipment to the standard to which the new kit performs is taking a large chunk of the school budget year upon year.

    Good luck to those BSF schools who got it right from the off but so many got it wrong due to the shear greed of the consultants and the companies involved in the process. It has also been mentioned that the PFI solution which has been used throughout the country has been a costly disaster due to not being managed properly by those in charge of the funding.

    Thanks to Dos_Box and Ric for this report and I look forward to another in 5 years time to see how the solution stands up

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    The £1450 was not just for IT equipment, but infrastructure, training, projects and a whole raft of other ancillery kit as part of the setup. And remember, this isn't an annual fee, this is a one off.
    And it was Ric and I that went to see this and this is our report from what we saw first hand. It really is a good example of what a BSF school should be had the project continued.
    Didn't realise it was from your pov - but i've had a similar type school round here (although not bsf) who had alot of money for an expensive system and talking to students/teachers it just doesn't work in the way it was designed.

    Even so i've got 35 edge switches (e2810-48g) which are around 1200 each - plus my core which was 11000 (e5406zl) that is still under £50000 - i've got 900 desktops - i paid under £300 this year (I3, SSD's, 4Gb Ram) that comes to 270000 + 900 £60 monitors 54000 100 promethean boards plus speakers and installation (around 2200 each) is 220000, 20k for a 100 handset voip telephone system then 4/5 Virtual Hosts (say 8000 each dual xeon 64gb ram each) with a large san call it 50k i know there are parts i've missed but that lot comes to around 700000. plus say 100k for licenses (mainly to capita and Microsoft :P)

    what would happen to the rest of my money? dells pocket?

    also it shows how these companies are so tied into deals with microsoft that even is solutions on this scale they have implemented a near microsoft system - so even when the school no longer has dell holding its hand its going to be paying a fortune in licensing to said company.

    this obviously is just my point of view but i don't see why BSF always seemed to have the big players RM/Viglen/Dell essentially buying the rights to make shed loads of money whereas if the school/new school had just gone out and got the correct staff with the know how to setup a system like this then they may well be in a better situation in 10 years time then those schools which have been through BSF and had the likes of RM/Viglen/Dell eat at there IT budgets for those 10 years.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    A lot of thought went into the distribution of laptops and their maintenance. For example, all the laptop trolleys are network connected and when docked in them the IT staff can remote boot and do any maintenance they need whilst they are still packed away. I'll have to check my notes in the office to confirm this, but as for 5 years time, there is a hardware refresh due which has already paid for as part of the initial contract IIRC.
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 12th September 2011 at 10:47 PM.

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    You don't say how much the schools are paying for their managed service..... The BSF model mandates the school has a managed service & pays an amount per student per year for the duration of the contract. This payment varies according to how the contract is written but can be £100-£150 per student per year. Any refresh within the contract period is normally built in to the cost per student, which the school has to pay over the full term of the contract.

    If you 'do' the sums, you might wonder where a lot of the money goes. Many BSF solutions include extended warranty & service costs & occasionally accidental damage cover which cover the full contract duration. These are paid for up front from the BSF ICT capital funding. This can eat into the capital, especially for laptops. Schools normally remain responsible for deliberate damage & acts of vandalism & have to use the manufacturers 'approved' repairer to maintain the warranty on kit. There are a lot of hidden costs too, system design, project management & consultancy charges soon mount up.

    Bossman is right to be concerned about the total cost of the solution over its lifetime. The schools are tied into the contract regardless of how their budgets might be affected by external circumstances.... Govt cuts, falling rolls etc which may result in extreme cases schools could be forced to make staff redundant in order to pay their ICT costs.

    Picking up on the laptop issue, networked laptop trolleys are fine in theory, as long as staff remember to plug the trolleys in to power & data (& the cleaners don't unplug them) and as long as each laptop is connected to power & data internally. Of course, if you have 20-30 laptops in a trolley all connected through a single 100mbit port it can take a long time for updates to deploy.

    A greater concern is having students repeatedly plugging & unplugging power & data cables on laptops as they are removed & inserted into laptop trolleys. This can quickly take its toll on the equipment, the RJ45 data port is particularly vunerable to damage & as soon as these will no longer retain the data cable reliably laptop maintenance becomes a nightmare.
    Last edited by broc; 13th September 2011 at 08:42 AM.

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    bossman (13th September 2011)

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    trolley01's Avatar
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    A greater concern is having students repeatedly plugging & unplugging power & data cables on laptops as they are removed & inserted into laptop trolleys. This can quickly take its toll on the equipment, the RJ45 data port is particularly vunerable to damage & as soon as these will no longer retain the data cable reliably laptop maintenance becomes a nightmare.
    I have been down to Heritage and seen the laptop trolleys that they are using. Dell have worked with Ergotron to create a laptop trolley for their netbooks which the netbooks 'clip' into and are connected to both power and network with no cables required - a significant advantage over many laptop trolleys that I have seen.

    as long as staff remember to plug the trolleys in to power & data
    This is a staff discipline issue, but the whole process is helped by having ICT systems that reliably and constantly work. We have found here that when staff are given the opportunity to use equipment which is guaranteed to work all of the time, they take the time to ensure that it is plugged in and will be ready for them.

    We are currently working with Dell on the Cambridgeshire BSF project, IIRC Derbyshire was Dell's first venture into BSF, and looks like Cambridgeshire is their last! I have to agree that I don't always see where all the money is going, but I hope that in the end we end up with a solution that works as successfully as the Derbyshire project appears too.
    Last edited by trolley01; 15th September 2011 at 07:45 AM.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Although Derbyshire and Cambridgeshire are 2 notable presences of Dell in BSF, they have been very actively involved as a partner in many others ... it is just that they decided to cut out some of the middlemen and deal directly in these 2 cases.

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    I am not surprised that you went to Heritage school - staff and pupils there are very welcoming. Should have gone to Springwell! Having worked in all three schools I could talk for hours but it would not be very profesional so I'll shut up now...

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    After 3 years the water is very unsteady!

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