I've accepted a job in another team at work, so I won't be supporting schools any more and more importantly, SIMS. Yipppy!!! So I'll be slowly disappearing from here and SupportNet over the next few weeks whilst I migrate over. Before I disappear I just wanted to publicly say thank to a few people - mainly at Capita
Firstly massive thank you to Simon Reilly and Alan Low - both who have already moved on to greater things. They really were totally awesome and stopped me from wanting to blow by brains out when something when wrong and all the helpdesk answer was, try reinstalling it - which often took a while to even get that response!! - generally not something you want to hear when your back is up against it. Capita would not be where it is today without these guys - or at least a number of us LA would be ranting a LOT more. Also a thank you to Simon Cronin who's replace them, or as I like to call him, Simon 2.0 - hopefully it'll catch on. He's got massive shoes to fill but I'm sure he'll do fine.
Janet Albarella for getting SOLUS stuff sorted - especially since Simon left.
Ilian Gavillet (who's now moved to testing stuff) for actually getting my B2B and WAV issues sorted. Basically if you're an LA, you understand how completely rubbish it is and how much hassle it is when calls go over to the ONE desk. It's always nice when you meet someone who is proactive in resolving issues rather then bouncing calls between other teams. I'm sure @PhilNeal will disagree of course that this ever happens
Jon Wood, a total legend, if he needs a reason other then being a great Product Manager then let it be for SOLUS3!!! Let's face it, from day 1 this was going to be a nightmare!! 22,000 schools are not going to be setup the same or anything. If the giants like AVG, Sophos and all the others can't get it right, what hope do they have with less resource etc? Well I think the SOLUS3 have done a excellent job so far and the next release promises to be another giant leap forward. Well done to the Team SOLUS3, especially Sally and Mark. Hopefully everyone else will be able to get hold of the developers once I'm gone
When stuff goes wrong and you've utter confused the poor helpdesk and you need a patch (or such) you end up with Escalation. Thanks to James Bruce for always being polite and friendly even when I'm nagging you every 5 mins about a call - I know it can't be easy when you have 999 other people doing the same thing. Rosemary Minney for understanding my nonsense - some how I always get the (horrible) FMS problems and me no likely FMS. I always feel happy when I get the update from the helpdesk saying that horrible FMS problem has gone to escalation because I know Rosemary will be on the case shortly and it'll be all over soon enough
Other Capita stars include Kam Bains, Georgina Trodd, Geraint Edward (only because he used to be in Escalation), Linda Beresford, Katie Howard, David Grashoff, Andy Rose (is he still around? He is\was a SupportNet guru) and the grand master Emma Pugh.
I'm sure I've missing loads of people, so sorry if I have. But just thank you for all your help. Oh and thank you to Phil Neal for, well just being a 100% sale man.
Good luck to @JohnCondon and @GREED at trying to slay the Capita beast. I'm sure when Capita goes over to Azure the playing field will become a lot more level. If I had to bet on who Capita's biggest rival is, I would still say it's Bromcom - just hope the guys at Bromcom follow John's words of not resorting to attacking Capita. We do a good enough job of that already, just show how awesome your product is and it'll come together. Just be patient. The education sector and the public sector isn't well known for its speed. Graham, I'm sure you'll prove me wrong of course! And both of you, don't forget to show the TOC of web based MIS when your selling your wares. Thin clients are so much more energy efficient and the cost of electric is only going up - I would love to see something with a local company like Anglia - Anglia Embedded.
Finally thank you to all you guys for such a great community - even though we've not always seen eye-to-eye I wish you all the very best and all the success in the future. I hope you will of course still spam me with your new innovations as I am still a geek at heart and love hearing about new IT things.
I will of course post my (old) job up in the jobs section when its advertised. I would highly recommend it to anyone with a technical background who wants to evolve into something more. I've been given a excellent opportunity to learn and gain skills and although at first you may question change control and all the paper work, in time you understand why you need it and how good change control and policy and make your life better and gives a better service. I know someone of you will be reading this and thinking, yer another drone in a large company. But it isn't. They is always something going on, generally ever week we've moving a server in a school. Or some fashy new kit is going in corporately. Or something interesting, you just have to be proactive. The staff here are friendly and willing to help you and management are willing to listen to new ideas.
@matt40k - wow this must signal the end of an era, you've been here since i got this job.
Good look in your future role, i hope it's something bigger and better, taking advantage of your insight and coding skills.
I hope you'll continue to tweak the stuff you've produced, like TidyBackups, and make sure you sort out the bulk importer before you retire from SIMS entirely, i'll gladly guinea pig if you lose SIMS access.
Now some general housekeeping:
1) I hope you've double posted on SupportNet too
2) At the rate SIMS advances, your help will still be required here at least for the next few years, especially with SOLUS 3, so don't go AWOL.
3) Lastly, don't think you can leave us , you're part of the clan now. We're bigger than education, i expect you in the other forums.
Will be sad to see you go mate from here and SupportNet. Your always one of the first to get in with advice to queries.
Thank you also for your epic tidy backup app that's been a life saver in Somerset schools for keeping disk space under control when the backups are concerned! And for your assistance with automating the SOLUS3 install in CentraStage! Saved us loads of man hours with that!!
I wish you all the best in your new role mate and am sure you will excel at it. Of course, if it is still in the IT sector, there is no need to be a stranger on here!
Last edited by Rawns; 4th September 2012 at 08:53 AM.