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Network and Classroom Management Thread, CC4 in Technical; This is my first post, so apologies if the answers to my questions are somewhere else on the site. We ...
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    rok
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    CC4

    This is my first post, so apologies if the answers to my questions are somewhere else on the site.

    We are a one-form entry primary, with a decent central fileserver server (also running SIMS) and around 50 classroom PCs, of varying specs from exceptionally weedy to not all that bad. We are about to buy a new server for use as the central fileserver (and use the existing server for SIMS only), plus a bunch of new PCs.

    We currently operate entirely vanilla Windows. We have previously avoided any RM tie-in. We are, however, under a certain amount of sales pressure to "upgrade" to RM CC4 alongside the new server.

    I would be very grateful for information from anyone who has experienced the move from vanilla Windows to CC4. In particular, things like:

    - What are the licensing costs for CC4?
    - What is the minimum PC spec, if there is one?
    - How long did the conversion take?
    - Was it worth it?

    [I should probably come clean and admit to my own bias against educational software, ie software produced for and sold into the niche educational market. In general, it seems to me that educational software is expensive, low function, old fashioned and unreliable, compared to the mainstream equivalent. RM EasyMail or Outlook, anyone?]

    Any help and advice would be very welcome.

    Thanks.

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Would have to be a very good reason to move to cc* if the current system works - what pressure is it and why? is it that any form of deceison maker is tied to rm or have a personal interest in that happening ?? if so why?? the deceison should be made on cost, usability and the best interests of the school not because someone thinks its the right thing to do or sales pressure forcing a sale!!!

    Dont do it if it isnt right!

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    we had RM CC4 on in the summer pmail me if you want an honest opinion as I wouldn't want to post on here what I think of RM

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    rok (23rd March 2010)

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    When you say you are coming under "sales pressure" what do you mean? As the customer, you are in the driving seat so my sugestion would be to document exactly what you want and what you are willing to spend and then give it to a range of suppliers to fight it out, highlight the need for value for money, support and innovation.

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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    we're a pioneer skl and are currently undergoing a case study i believe. If you would like to look at our setup u may, PM for details. Min spec for a machine, 3GHz P4 or dual core 2GHz, at least 2 GB ram for all workstations. We have clients with varying specs from 2.4GHZ with 512 RAM, they DIE and take hours (liturally) to login.

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    rok (23rd March 2010)

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    rok
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    Sorry, I should have been a bit clearer. The "sales pressure" is actually a drip-drip of suggestions ("ah but with CC4 this would be easier...") rather than anything more forceful. I'm looking for real experiences for use in calibrating the sales patter.

    Thanks.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Feel free to send me a PM about CC4. Happy to discuss.

  10. Thanks to Edu-IT from:

    rok (23rd March 2010)

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    ngreenwood's Avatar
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    IMO CC4 can be a useful tool once it is established. Getting there can take a while though.

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    ButterflyMoon (30th March 2010)

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    you can counter attack the sales persons arguments by proving you can achieve the same things without cc4.


    wds for deployment
    italc or abtutor or netsupport for remote support/classrom management
    simple vbs scripts for printer installs
    simple vbs script for user logins
    wisesoft password control- freeware that allows multiple password changes and bulk active directory changes, very usefull indeed
    steadystate or deepfreeze to ensure every student pc when rebooted is perfect at restart.

  14. Thanks to Jose from:

    rok (23rd March 2010)

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    IMHO

    There is nothing that a CC* network does that cant be done better/cheaper or easier with an alternative.

    Thanks

    James

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jose View Post
    you can counter attack the sales persons arguments by proving you can achieve the same things without cc4.


    wds for deployment
    italc or abtutor or netsupport for remote support/classrom management
    simple vbs scripts for printer installs
    simple vbs script for user logins
    wisesoft password control- freeware that allows multiple password changes and bulk active directory changes, very usefull indeed
    steadystate or deepfreeze to ensure every student pc when rebooted is perfect at restart.
    To counter balance that.

    Do the school give you enough working hours to get this into place and support it once it's in place rok? You'll not get the 'perfect network' from the word go so you'll need to keep working on it.

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    I'm looking for real experiences
    Ballpark numbers: £10-12,000 for server + CC4 server licences + perhaps around four days commissioning including peripheral detail. Then very roughly £50 RM licence per workstation (there are different licences with different feature levels), plus those above PC specifications are realistic so there's the costs of getting your workstations up to scratch, plus costs for any new curriculum software and possibly packaging existing software into MSIs, plus an annual support contract. Given that public spending is being squeezed you also need to consider long term costs and sustainability, same way you might consider mpg, insurance, tax, servicing and cost of parts when buying a new car. [<= Wow! A motoring analogy that works!! ]

    It's certainly not that cheap on a Primary budget. Whether the cost is worth it really depends on what you've got now and how much time=money it takes to support: The basic principle in a system like this is that the cost is offset by reducing the amount you need to spend on having someone looking after it.

    Some early adopters seem to have had a rough time with CC4 but it's nearly two years post release now and more stable. Couple of schools I've talked to this year think it's great, but their former IT was dire so almost anything would be an improvement and they get their support from some company signed up to the [RM] Affiliated Technician Support Scheme who have a bit of a clue about proper care and feeding.

    Alternatively I could put a better, cheaper, more reliable, fine on older 512MB workstations system into your school but you've only got my word for those claims and I might get hit by a bus next week (Problems: Other people might have trouble supporting it without trashing everything. Documentation? What's documentation?).

    In part CC4 is about assurance you wouldn't get with someone like me and sadly RM don't appear to have any serious competition for an "off-the-shelf" system. I do think it's OK and it's a lot better than most of the home-brews I've seen, but there's too much management code and overhead, and there's a kind of inertia and complacency to it: Must be at least three year's professional development now and on my planet that is three times too long.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 22nd March 2010 at 10:27 PM. Reason: typo

  18. Thanks to PiqueABoo from:

    rok (23rd March 2010)



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