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How do you do....it? Thread, Moving away from LEA bundled deals (SIMS, Espresso, AV, Filtering, etc) in Technical; Afternoon folks Right, a school I work in is now seriously looking at getting other provisions for the facilities that ...
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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Moving away from LEA bundled deals (SIMS, Espresso, AV, Filtering, etc)

    Afternoon folks

    Right, a school I work in is now seriously looking at getting other provisions for the facilities that have, historically, been provided by the LEA (CLEO), so I'm just wondering what others have gone to for such things and, where possible, any cost ideas.

    Just for our sales friends on here, there is nothing guaranteed, this is simply an investigation to see as the school becomes less and less enthused with the service they are being provided with by OCL.

    My own thoughts are I'll probably move to Office 365 for the e-mails and such as the staff are used to the Outlook interface, so it won't be a massive change. This is probably something that will happen no matter what goes with the rest, but other services would be:

    Filtering (currently online based with limited interaction from my point of view)
    SIMS (currently maintained and upgraded via the LEA - will probably approach Capita direct - in fact I already have for a quote)
    Espresson/ClipBank (currently we only have Espresso in the school, but ClipBank looks like it might be a good resource too - will probably approach direct again for that)
    Antivirus (currently Sophos is provided as part of the bundle, but they're removing this from the bundle from next year so they can get an appraisal of the license requirements - so time to shop around me thinks - though I quite like Sophos, seems to work well - but open to options)
    Remote backup for SIMS data (currently done via OCL again, but this doesn't have to be this way, and seems quite expensive for what it is, but other options are more than welcome)
    Broadband (we're on a radio link as historically, traditional feeds haven't been able to offer the speed we need. For this, I would consider looking at Fibre now FTTC is in the area, but also, I have a working relationship with Boundless Communication over Preston way as I use their service for my farm)

    I'm sure there are other bits they do that I'm missing somewhere, but I think that's generally it, but please do add to. Will be interested to hear feedback / suggestions on it all.

    Thanks
    Andy

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    ticker's Avatar
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    Have you tired Virtue Technologies, they can provide most of the services you are asking about (internet,filtering, Moodle, Email, Anti-Virus and remote backup) i can PM you some contact details across as i know several schools in Lancashire who have made the move with them. It also helps that its from one provider rather than several different ones.

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    soveryapt (29th November 2013)

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    Blue Orange IT in Adlington can also provide all of the services above and have the added value of being ex LCC staff including engineers so they know how a school ticks and what needs to be covered :-)

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    soveryapt (29th November 2013)

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    I found Sims was way too expensive when looking at going direct to capita.

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    soveryapt (29th November 2013)

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    Try looking at neighbouring local authority support for you Sims.net. We licensed Sims via Capita but bought our support from another local authority. Got support way cheaper and MUCH better.
    We're in Birmingham.

    I'm also looking at the same at the minute. Anyone got any good suggestions for leased lines in the North Birmingham area?

    Happy to hear from any ISP's/Suppliers out there. PM me please.

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    soveryapt (29th November 2013)

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    I found Sims was way too expensive when looking at going direct to capita.
    Yeah, I realise the direct thing might be a bit expensive, but we've been looking at their Swordfish product of late (amongst other document management things) and I've basically said "see what you can do for us" .. so they might come up with a nice package deal on it all that whilst initially might be expensive in buying a new license (Lancs kept a hold of them and made schools contractually buy into their services as a result - so we might have to rebuy our SIMS license .. grrr) but will see what comes of it. I've been working with another supplier of mine as well to look at options.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikkydoos View Post
    Try looking at neighbouring local authority support for you Sims.net. We licensed Sims via Capita but bought our support from another local authority. Got support way cheaper and MUCH better.
    We're in Birmingham.

    I'm also looking at the same at the minute. Anyone got any good suggestions for leased lines in the North Birmingham area?

    Happy to hear from any ISP's/Suppliers out there. PM me please.
    I think if we move it will be an independent supplier for both rather than getting tied into another LEA or anything. Will see what comes of it though. Re your leased lines, I'm just checking with a supplier I have in the area to see if they do leased lines. They're called Unique Business Solutions (www.ubsol.co.uk) - great team and very helpful, I've worked with them for the past 12 years or so without any issue, but don't know if they do leased line .. I suspect they probably do, or at least can point in a good direction. If I hear back that they can help, I'll PM you over my contacts contact details.

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    We have just signed up with RM Education who provide support for all we require apart from hosting our Moodle site.
    We are staying with OCL for our SIMS for the time being though but RM Education do provide an alternative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simmy View Post
    We have just signed up with RM Education who provide support for all we require apart from hosting our Moodle site.
    We are staying with OCL for our SIMS for the time being though but RM Education do provide an alternative.
    Thanks but *shudders* RM .. I've heard enough bad stories about getting them involved, so don't really fancy taking them for a spin anytime soon .. I mean, I wouldn't mind having the experience of using an RM system and such to "add to my CV" etc, but I just don't fancy working with it day in day out ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by soveryapt View Post
    Thanks but *shudders* RM .. I've heard enough bad stories about getting them involved, so don't really fancy taking them for a spin anytime soon .. I mean, I wouldn't mind having the experience of using an RM system and such to "add to my CV" etc, but I just don't fancy working with it day in day out ..
    To be honest we only moving away from OCL because of the pricing which IMO is extortionate.
    I rarely need support from them but when I have, it has been pretty good just slow.
    Fingers crossed we get a good speed from RM. I have been told we will get FTTC next year and RM will upgrade to this when available free of charge.
    ATM we are paying almost 8k a year for a broadband connection

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    you know lancashire are soon deploying office 365 and lightspeed filtering, mdm and my big campus vle ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by browolf View Post
    you know lancashire are soon deploying office 365 and lightspeed filtering, mdm and my big campus vle ?
    Yup .. as @Simmy hinted though, it's more the and quality of service as well .. it's just shocking .. when you do get help, it's ok, but not great ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by browolf View Post
    you know lancashire are soon deploying office 365 and lightspeed filtering, mdm and my big campus vle ?
    I do mate yes which is great but others have already deployed office 365 including RM Education.
    The filtering has been a long time coming as the current system is annoying!
    Regarding vle, I've worked in 3 schools now and only 1 teacher out of the 3 schools uses Moodle.
    I have given training and insets on it but they have told me it is too time consuming and complicated.

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    Look at Eset for your Anti Virus. What you pay is what you get. PM me if you want further info

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    I love ESET and have used it at home for probably a decade now, but do NOT use it on your servers! It murdered ours, even with all the exclusions added (and there are a LOT of exclusions depending on server role).

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