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Five Benefits of Managed IT Services (MITS) for Schools and Universities

Discover the five benefits of Managed IT Services (MITS) for Schools and Universities in the Education Sector, delivered through a trusted Managed Workplace Service (MWS) provider.

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Five Benefits of Managed IT Services (MITS) for Schools and Universities

As part of our ongoing Case Study series with Craven College on their deployment of Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed IT Services (MITS) within the Education Sector at Apogee, we wanted to look at the Five Benefits of Managed IT Services (MITS) for Schools and Universities in the Education Sector.

Across the UK, whether spurred on by the adaption to the Covid Pandemic or a realisation within the UK education sector of the importance of technology to a complete learning experience, the prevalence and expansion of a digital learning environment within schools and universities have continued to grow. From the delivery, installation & implementation of a school's technological infrastructure to the security and management of a university IT estate, a Managed IT Service (MITS) provider can be an essential and necessary component of a successful technological overhaul.

For many students and teachers, technology devices have evolved from being exiled from the classroom to now a necessity to furthering education. Gareth Dixon, VP of Craven College, highlighted this transition speaking to Apogee when he exclaimed, "We're finding that every curriculum area that we work in has got an increase in dependency upon technology. So having a reliable technology base on which to operate from has proven essential."

Through the development of hybrid and remote learning instead of a traditional classroom, as well as digital literacy evolving as an essential facet of education, IT infrastructure, its provision, maintenance, and security has become critical. While there is a multitude of benefits that stem from a well-equipped IT infrastructure, it also presents several hurdles. Anything from device deployment to imaging services can place undue strain on a school or college's IT department, resulting in a service that underperforms for students and teachers. Due to these unforeseen strains, a reputable Managed IT Service (MITS) provider for many educational institutions is essential to any IT estate's success. For this reason, we have compiled five benefits of Managed IT Services (MITS) for Schools and Universities below.

Benefit #1 – Simplifying the deployment of an IT infrastructure

The first of our five benefits of a Managed IT Service (MITS) provider in the education sector is simplifying the deployment of an IT infrastructure. 

Implementing any facet of an IT infrastructure can be a costly, time-consuming task for an internal IT department. Whether through the need for Operating Software and Support, device deployment, laptop/pc imaging, or device tagging expanded across several hundred devices, it can place a small IT department under undue strain in the education sector. All of these issues arise before an IT department could even consider undertaking the remote monitoring and management of devices that have been deployed, exemplifying the vast array of challenges faced. For this reason, many schools and universities look to a Managed IT Services (MITS) provider to implement a solid foundation for their IT estate, simplifying the deployment of an IT infrastructure for their internal IT department.

As we have learned from Adrian Lawson, IT Manager at Craven College, this benefit of simplifying the deployment of an IT Infrastructure was a key reason for using Apogee as their Managed IT Service (MITS) provider. Adrian explained, "So we literally couldn't have done the project without Apogee, we've only got a small team. It's probably the same across all the education sector. We've got a small IT Department. So Apogee came and installed all the devices. They did a lot of the leg work, removing the packaging. This all takes a lot of time. So taking all that pressure away from my team, it's been excellent. I think managed services in education, it's difficult to have the bigger teams in education and the specialist skills. So manage services, it's only going to grow within education. It makes sense to outsource some of those skills to manage services."

We literally couldn't have done the project without Apogee, we've only got a small team
– Adrian Lawson, Craven College

Benefit #2 – Reduction of Internal Operating Costs

 

The second in our five benefits of Managed IT Services (MITS) for schools and colleges centres on the reduction of internal operating costs. A Managed IT Services (MITS) provider such as Apogee can not only perform the same tasks as an internal IT team, but they can do so remotely with a larger, more experienced team of IT experts versed in an array of solutions. This team of IT experts are supported and complemented by a dedicated team of 200+ engineers at a price that remains transparent and cost-effective for the duration of your contract.

There are several areas where a Managed IT Services (MITS) provider can save an education sector organisation money through the reduction in internal operating costs. Through the deployment of a Managed IT Services (MITS) provider, schools or universities do not require staff or resource-heavy IT departments to run their IT infrastructure and network, as they offer remote operation. Rather than hiring and managing a large IT department, schools and universities gain a reliable, trusted professional team of IT experts. With this remote deployment of a Managed IT Services (MITS) solution, IT services become easily scalable without substantial resource investments.

Avoiding these considerable resource investments becomes even more applicable to the education sector, which relies on a limited operational budget for technology and device investment. Gareth Dixon, VP of Finance at Craven College, succinctly explained this issue facing schools, colleges and universities when he explained to Apogee, "In my opinion, we don't get paid as much as we should do from central government, and that makes a large capital investment unaffordable. Technology can also cost money when you're least expecting it. With Apogee, we know exactly how much we'll be paying for the next four years."

Apogee's wide-ranging Managed IT Services (MITS) offering can reduce operating costs in the education sector across schools, colleges and universities throughout the spectrum. From Skipton to London, Apogee realise the vital role they play in enabling education establishments to offer the best learning environment they can to students at a cost they can afford. Paul Rylands, Director of Managed IT Services (MITS) put this best when he said, "Over the next five years, we'll see each area of education investing in technology. In that case, we play a major part in providing the hardware but also the services which ensure that when it's in situ, it continues working to the levels that they expect and the levels of service that they require to make sure they can do their core job, which is to educate."

Technology can also cost money when you're least expecting it. With Apogee, we know exactly how much we'll be paying for the next four years.
– Gareth Dixon, Craven College

Benefit #3 – Service Excellence for IT maintenance

Apogee's Managed IT Services (MITS) for schools, colleges, and universities are at the fore, defined by the foundation they provide for an education establishment's IT department. With 200+ engineers cross-trained across all of Apogee's Managed Workplace Services (MWS) offerings, it is the ideal way to ensure that the maintenance and up-time of your IT estate remain not just reliable but exemplary for your students and faculty. At Apogee, the provision of our 'Service Excellence' for IT maintenance and up-time is a vital element for all education organisations in the UK sector.

Gareth Dixon, VP of Finance at Craven College, epitomised the difference Apogee's 'Service Excellence' can make to a college's IT infrastructure issues. "We've seen a significant reduction in the number of queries, or tickets as we call them, coming through our IT Help Desk. We have had in the region of an 85% reduction off the back of that. Most importantly, we saw a 15% increase in student satisfaction with the equipment - this was whilst the rollout was happening - it's now at 91% satisfaction with the new IT devices."

Apogee's Managed IT Services (MITS) enable your IT infrastructure to evolve, backed by our 'Service Excellence', containing a reliable, trusted and secure deployment of technology and devices. As with Craven College, which is about to embark on the deployment of a 'Laptop Locker' system, providing laptops for every student who requires one, this task, from device imaging to asset tagging, can all be achievable through Apogee without impacting the day to day operations of the IT estate. Undertaking the necessary adaption of new workflows and technologies can be burdensome, even before considering IT maintenance. Working with a Managed IT Services (MITS) provider such as Apogee enables the design of an efficient and reliable device and network architecture. When this scalable device and network architecture has been deployed it remains consistent and secure with our 'Service Excellence' for IT maintenance, provided through our Apogee Care Packs.

We've seen a significant reduction in the number of queries, or tickets as we call them, coming through our IT Help Desk. We have had in the region of an 85% reduction off the back of that.
– Gareth Dixon, Craven College

Benefit #4 – Evolving into a digital classroom

Through a Managed IT Services (MITS) provider such as Apogee, your school, college or university can begin evolving into a digital classroom. From ScreenBeam, which Craven College adapted 50 devices into their classrooms to complete Mac Suites, Apogee can provide the basis for this evolution in teaching.

Managed IT Services (MITS) for schools, colleges and universities remain the ideal pathway for the evolution of the classroom. Interactive devices such as ScreenBeam allow both teachers and students to connect effortlessly and wirelessly to displays with a touch of a button for presentations and workflows. At the same time, Managed Print Services (MPS) will allow teachers to print worksheets and educational materials in the most cost-effective manner available. These services running in tandem enable an eco-system that has evolved to impact teaching uniquely whilst keeping overheads to a minimum. In the case of Craven College, this evolution into the digital classroom came through the CPC Framework, specifically Lot 2, concerning 'Digital Transformation' in schools, colleges and universities. Apogee and our Managed IT Services (MITS) solution value our accreditation on this Framework as part of our efforts to provide a service that enables educational organisations that are evolving into the digital classroom the best devices and services they need to succeed.

As seen from the Craven College case study for Managed IT Services (MITS) in the UK education Sector, the adaption of new devices and technologies can make a remarkable difference in student satisfaction. Gareth Dixon made this point speaking to Apogee when he said, "Most importantly, we saw a 15% increase in student satisfaction with the equipment whilst the rollout was happening. It's now at a 91% satisfaction rate with the new technology."

It's now at a 91% satisfaction rate with the new technology.
– Gareth Dixon, Craven College

Benefit #5 – Security for your IT infrastructure 

Security for your IT infrastructure is the fifth and final benefit on this list for utilising a Managed IT Services (MITS) provider such as Apogee for your school, college or university.

From our initial infrastructure audit to ongoing IT maintenance, Apogee place security as one of the pillars of our Managed IT Services (MITS) offering. From student and staff data, which is stored and routinely accessed within the college, to device security, vulnerable data is protected through Apogee. At the same time, a device that comes to the end of its life cycle undergoes our Data Sanitisation before it is disposed of, whether through Hard Drive Shredding or other methods. From beginning to end, we place security for your IT infrastructure to the fore of our IT Professional Services, maintained through our Apogee Care Packs.

The security for your IT Infrastructure features across all four of our previous benefits that are on this list. Simplifying the deployment of an IT infrastructure, we are there with our asset management and tagging alongside device imaging, creating a secure infrastructure. For the reduction of Internal Operating Costs, we are there with our 200+ cross-trained engineers providing device and infrastructure security without the need for your own large internal team. With Apogee's Service Excellence for IT maintenance, we offer IT security through our device management and guaranteed uptimes and SLAs. While you are evolving into a digital classroom we are also there, providing security for your IT infrastructure with best-of-breed equipment supplied and monitored by Apogee's in-house team of experts.

By utilising Apogee's Managed IT Services (MITS), whether in your school, college or university, the security of your IT infrastructure remains a priority, one which impacts each of the benefits of engaging with a Managed Workplace Services (MWS) provider. It was why Adrian Lawson, head of IT management at Craven College, decided on the Apogee solution; he explained, "I was looking for best of breed, something reliable, something secure. It really needed to guarantee the performance over the duration of the contract." He went on to tell us, "The Apogee tender was far superior to all the other tenders we received via the CPC framework. And the team in their help and their ability and willingness to go the extra mile."

I was looking for best of breed, something reliable, something secure.
– Adrian Lawson, Craven College
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