CASE STUDY IN EDUCATION: DENTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE

PC Edutech was recommended to Denton Community College via a trusted 3rd party partner, with their good reputation preceding them, to undertake a site wide overview of the existing setup and service provision for the college.

The initial engagement between the MD, Phil Burrows, and the school was to get to grips with the fundamental issues, understand their experience and highlight potential gaps in the service with the Chief Financial Officer. A follow-up visit was undertaken by a Senior Technical Manager, for a full day, to dig deeper into the existing systems and infrastructure to create a full gap analysis service comparison.

Denton Community College were part of a national framework, called Building Schools for the Future (BSF), many of which had onerous or complex contracts (PFI) for services or supplies making movements and autonomy of service provision difficult. Denton’s PFI was dissolved in 2016, which left the school with a large investment into infrastructure to contend with, along with strategic future proof planning which was previously maintained under the PFI contract.

The complications of these contracts often carried through to pricing structures and became a more corporate approach to what should be a personable service.

PC Edutech were having regular communications with Denton before their existing contract had finished. Part of that engagement explored options around development plans for the school. BSF Schools were fully funded and included 6 figure investments into the IT build. The lifecycle of the equipment would mean replacement falling at the same time. However, there was no plan to ease this investment, or budget to cover it. The relationship with PC Edutech was solidified when we were asked to price-match hardware as the differences started to naturally become apparent;  so as soon as the renewal was ready, the school could already see the benefits of refreshing their service provider.

To ensure a smooth transition of what was a substantially embedded solutions provider, PC Edutech appointed a dedicated engineer to manage the handover alongside the MD and Senior Technical Manager. Within a matter of just one week, the Senior Leadership Team had already noticed a substantial difference in the support provision.

PC Edutech with The Holker Group are now currently working on a robust and all-encompassing development plan for a full site integration of technology, focussing on consistency and efficiency in IT support and how this plays an essential part in the delivery and administration of education, supported by PC Edutech/Holker Group fully managing Denton’s IT and helpdesk.

Due to the size of the site, a dedicated PC Edutech Network Manager was scheduled to be onsite full time, at Denton Community College and this is backed up by their help desk 2nd and 3rd line support, along with automatic monitoring of critical IT equipment ensuring service continuity.

The takeover from the 1st September 2020 had its challenges, but the feedback speaks for itself, further highlighting the difference in service delivery and the focus of the provider. PC Edutech made sure appropriate resources were available before, during and after transition at what is usually a very challenging time for schools with staff and pupils’ movements, and IT developments over the summer period yet to be embedded. So, from 1st September, an engineer has worked on site, but even before then, PC Edutech made sure that whenever an engineer have had any free time, they sent them to Denton, as there was a lot of maintenance required and a backlog of IT calls.

The Holker Group and PC Edutech has a dedicated Education Account Management Team to supplement the full time Field Engineer, which means they are available whether that be a technical fault, a business question, or a policy issue. This is where the Holker Group stand out from the competition, as we take customer service very seriously.

An example of this business model in practice is when Denton required some digital signage, for the start of the school term, PC Edutech guided Denton’s key management team to secure the right product and took away the legwork. Bringing in 3 different suppliers, they were able to translate and simplify the functions and costs against the needs of the school to allow them to reach a fully informed decision, that was right for Denton Community College as a whole.

Seeing this project through to conclusion, Holker Group and PC Edutech then project managed and installed 15 screens for digital signage that allow instant messaging across the school, communications with all staff and students, and announcements whilst walking down corridors. This was initially motivated by the ‘Stay Alert’ Covid-19 messages to make sure all staff and students are adhering to the rules.

Now that PC Edutech are part of the Holker Group, this opens Denton up to more expertise and knowledge, as well as resource.

Looking to the future, Phil Burrows of PC Edutech said,

“With Denton, we have created the next level of corporate and Cloud provision that’s shaping the future of education today”.

Rachel Marsland, Chief Financial Officer from Denton Community College concluded,

“I do like to give praise where it’s due and Pete [PC Edutech Engineer] has been amazing so far. We would have really struggled on site without his support. I am getting positive feedback from the staff already regarding things they have just had to live with previously and Pete has easily resolved issues which may seem small to you guys but not to our staff. We are looking forward to the future with you as our IT team”.

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