FishCustard: I've just remembered that someone senior in support gave me his contact details to cover any situation. I emailed him, but he's on leave until next week. I emailed the person referred to in his Out of Office, but he's on leave until Thursday. In his Out of Office there's a group address, so I've emailed that...
Being the only person in a large primary school I can say that having an RM network has been a godsend. Like some of you I dont have the tme to go investing in, setting up and troubleshooting loads of third party solutions or the time to go experimenting with policies and security settings. Their products are designed to work out of the box and in conjunction with all their other products. And if Im not happy with a product or think its too expensive I can always switch to someone else.
I think RM will be around for a long time yet. Most schools still do not have enough of an IT support team and many do not have enough experience to handle all the aspects of a network on their own. For example building computers onto the network and the drivers being supplied as Hardware Support Packs from RM. Something RM and Misco have promised to continue to do.
There is nothing nicer than knowing that if I cant get to the bottom of a problem, that I have someone the other end of the phone or the chat window that can help reslve the issue or at least point me in the right direction. They always get back to me within two hours and nearly always solve my issues the same day.
You are certainly very lucky.
Unfortunately I have found that RM only promote their own products and will try to shoe horn one to fit your requirements rather than identify one that would be most appropriate. I don't think they understand Microsoft licensing fully or correctly and have noted that their fit for our school has resulted in us overpaying for years and on agreements that are not suitable.
I would strongly suggest that although it is working for you, a quick half hour phone call to some of the major software companies would result in your views changing dramatically.
As for their support, they are quick at getting back to you, but their solutions do not work - or your support contract doesn't quite cover it. I've found more joy using this forum and google than RM support.
However, each to their own I suspect :-)
Other than that I have found their solutions do normally work. They have happy for me to alter settings on the network. Batch files, scripts, registry fragments, GPO's. It doesnt have to be kept the way that they set it up. And if I have made changes and something goes wrong, for me they have always continued to offer help or at least advice.
I do shop around for cheaper hardware. Misco we have already used as a supplier for years. I have had the same helpful account manager for the past eight years.
Misco/Systemax have been around for a *very* long time. I was perusing their adverts in Computer Shopper in the early 90's. Chances are if you've been quote hunting or using Google Shopping you've probably seen some of their results. In this part of the country at least they have been one of the main educational hardware suppliers for many people and have quite a good reputation. But as above, all they do is shift boxes. Their educational staff have typically been quite good.
Specifically they buy in OEM hardware and put it together. I do that as well but I've yet to scribble my name on the front of a computer Typically intel/gigabyte kit and the chassis are available to purchase OEM.
I haven't said anything about a problem, we're happy with the kit we have from Stone. Solid machines with good warranty. Was just a clarification.
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