Gateshead-based ICT solutions provider Smart IT has secured contracts with Southmoor Academy and Sandhill View Academy to help them overcome IT and telecoms issues that were heavily impacting productivity and teaching.
Ageing servers, wireless, telecom and network infrastructure as well as expensive IT support costs and a slow and unreliable internet connection, hindered the ability to teach and learn as effectively as possible with both schools struggling with their existing ICT environment.
“Technology plays a vital role in modern day teaching,” said Pam Davison, a Multi Academy Trust Business Manager who works across both academies. “A fast, reliable internet connection, secure data storage, an efficient but cost productive telephone system and 24/7 support in case anything does go wrong is so important. We chose Smart IT because they listened to what we needed – a fast, reliable internet and more robust IT infrastructure as well as onsite IT support – at a fraction of the current cost. In the past, we’ve found that IT partners are great at the upfront stuff – getting the infrastructure and services in place – but lacked in the aftercare. With Smart IT however their aftercare support and guidance is second to none.”
Both academies are now benefiting from a fast high-quality internet leased line connection with MPLS and failover fibre connections, E-Safety Ofsed approved monitoring software Impero, a new cloud based telephone system providing free calls and, importantly, an IT support package to ensure day-to-day IT operations within both schools run smoothly.
“We’ve helped to replace an entire ICT infrastructure for two very large academies with over 2,000 pupils between them. Doing this has solved the issues at both schools that were causing major problems for staff and students alike,” said Simon Bartlett, who manages the academies’ accounts at Smart IT. “They are now able to enjoy and reap the benefits that a state of the art IT infrastructure provides including reliable connectivity that enables fast internet and cost free telecoms. Not only have we been able to solve the ICT problems both academies faced, we’ve also been able to reduce their IT costs substantially – which means the school can use the money they’re saving on ICT resources on other facilities that need a financial boost.”
The school contracts are worth approximately £1 million to Smart IT over a five-year period. With more and more schools choosing to work with specialist IT providers rather than their local authority, Smart IT expects to expand its presence in the education sector by working with other schools across the region who are struggling with similar ICT issues, helping them to improve productivity and reduce costs.