Upgrades, maintenance – and new technologies
When it comes to IT, Rutherford College uses enough devices and software to rival any medium-sized business. The school has been working with Isometric Solutions for the past four years to upgrade and implement a list of IT solutions – general infrastructure, a virtual phone system, and the implementation of BYOD (devices for learning) – to ensure the school’s IT runs effectively. And to help the school manage their IT day-to-day, Isometric have provided a full-time, on-site technician.
Deputy Principal Moira Kopittke calls Isometric the cog that keeps the school’s IT wheel turning. She describes how Isometric has helped them take a more strategic and synchronised approach to their IT. Rather than replacing things when they break, they’ve co-created a strategic maintenance plan to keep the school’s tech up to date.
“We meet with the team regularly to assess what maintenance and upgrades are needed, and in between helping our students with their IT, Sithara (our on-site technician) will work on those projects for us. If the work is too much for Sithara, Isometric will send another technician along to help support her, so the project is delivered on time.”
IT critical for teaching and learning
Isometric started off by helping the school upgrade its general IT infrastructure. They’ve shifted the school’s phones over to VoiP (phones that use the internet), managed the annual upgrade of hardware, implemented new software like Adobe, dealt with any viruses in the background, and taken care of ongoing improvements and day-to-day issues.
They’ve also implemented BYOD – bring your own device management – installing the system into the school’s network, while taking care of security and performance.
Since Rutherford is a big school, Moira says they needed to work with someone who could cater to the needs of an education provider, as well as a larger business.
“IT providers don’t often appreciate how big schools are. Our staff and students use a lot of devices and software,” she explains.
Using software like Adobe – which has recently changed its licensing plans from school-level accounts to individual – the school is thankful to have someone on site full time.
To Moira, Sithara is the school’s ‘IT angel’ – approachable, friendly and incredibly good at what she does. She’s even set up an email helpdesk to help filter staff and student IT requests.
“There isn’t a day that goes by where Sithara is sitting there twiddling her thumbs. I mean, I can only imagine how many times our students have forgotten their passwords!”
The way forward
With their new strategic approach, Moira says Rutherford and Isometric will continue with the school’s annual IT responsibilities – lots of computers to upgrade – as well as looking into ways of moving forward. Things like balancing out what can be cloud-based and what needs to stay on site, implementing back-up systems and even putting crisis management plans in place.
“Last year when we had that massive power cut in Auckland, we didn’t have the right plans in place to manage it, and we were unable to get internet to our servers. From our point of view, that puts our community at risk, and we need to be better prepared for situations like that,” she explains.
“We’re so lucky to work with such a great provider with competent and capable technicians. They’re great problem-solvers and have the school’s best interests at heart when supporting us on how best to move forward.”