Managed Print Services (MPS) evolving to Managed IT Services (MITS) in the Education Sector
An Interview with Adrian Lawson, IT Manager at Craven College, on Managed Print Services (MPS) evolving to Managed IT Services (MITS) in the Education Sector
As part of our ongoing Case Study series with Craven College on their implementation of Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed IT Services (MITS) within the Education Sector, we had the chance to sit down with Adrian Lawson, IT Manager at Craven College. Through Adrian and the relationship built between Apogee and Craven College, across the initial 18 months of deployment of a Managed Print Service (MPS) solution at the College, Craven made the decision to pursue a Managed IT Service (MITS) solution. This evolving relationship with Apogee and Craven College through the CPC Framework, expanded from a Managed Print Service (MPS) evolving into Managed IT Services (MITS) resulting in a complete and expansive technology refresh at the College.
At Apogee, we pride ourselves on our industry-leading "Service Excellence" but also on being a company you can trust. As part of our ongoing commitment to providing genuine insight into our Managed Workplace Services (MWS), you can read from Adrian in his own words below or watch his case study here. This interview covers several aspects, but most importantly, it gives true perspicuity on the importance of having a trusted Managed Service Provider (MSP) as a partner while implementing Managed IT Services (MITS) in the Education Sector.
Hi Adrian, can you tell us how Craven College and Apogee came to work together to provide a Managed IT Services (MITS) solution?
So, Apogee won a contract for our Managed IT Services (MITS) via the CPC framework. They're basically a pre-existing client partner through their Managed Print Service (MPS) offering. Craven College was Apogee's client for about 18 months on the Manage Print side of things before we took the step to laptop devices and PC devices. It started with an initial conversation between myself and Tom (Proudfoot), literally as we were rolling out the Manage Print devices. I literally asked him, do you also do laptop and PC devices? Literally started the meetings with this. We must have had a dozen meetings about specifying the laptops, what kind of offering Apogee can do. That's where it started, with that relationship.
Can you tell us perhaps the main concern Craven College faced in their IT estate that they hoped to address through Apogee’s Managed IT Service (MITS)?
Yeah. So I started in 2019 I came from a retail background and there was no plan for investment. There was no refresh cycle for devices. So a lot of the machines, they were twelve years old, but some old Zoo Storm machines. So they really started to struggle with Corvette and remote teaching. They were really struggling with video calling on Microsoft teams. So we had to do something.
Adrian, could you explain how in your role, alongside Apogee that you decided on what devices to implement within the Managed IT Services (MITS) roll-out?
So, I was looking for best of breed, something reliable, something secure. It really needed to guarantee the performance over the duration of the contract. So, we looked at HP just from knowledge in the sector. We have other HP equipment, alongside print devices. We also had previously got three mac suites again, ageing they were late 2012. So similar issues, performance impacting students and teaching and learning. So, we needed to upgrade the Mac’s as well, which Apogee could supply.
Adrian, as the IT manager of Craving College, how has Managed It Services (MITS) facilitated your job and made it easier?
Yeah. 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.
Can you tell us how do you see the IT sector, specifically the IT Sector across schools, colleges and universities within the education sector evolving over the next number of years?
So I see it changing more to cloud based systems and specifically in education, a lot more focus on edtech in the classrooms, getting the most out of the technology. We've only started scratching the surface with some of the devices. We're trying to embed the use of the Microsoft product as well. So some of the Apogee and the HP products, helping us with the stylus and touch screens and getting the casting technology with the screen beam, getting the students to engage and participate in the learning. So I can see a big shift towards that. Students, yes. So the feedback from students has been great. It actually shifted the problem from so we had a lot of performance issues on the old equipment and the performance of the new machines have been so good, we've had to stop students gaming. Yeah, they're really good. Performance of machines, but yeah, the feedback has been good. They're far superior than what we had.
Within the teaching staff, alongside IT support staff, have you seen a change in how they feel about the deployment of Managed IT Services (MITS)?
Yeah. So mainly for the teachers I found ‘shock’, shock that they were getting such good equipment. I don't think they've been used to getting nice new capable equipment in the past. So, yeah, pure, mainly shock. And they're all really appreciative of the devices. For IT support staff we were spending a lot of time supporting some of the old equipment, basically performance issues, primarily just not up to scratch and not up to being able to cope with teaching and learning. Remote technology, video calling. That is now gone.
Has this investment with Apogee helped you prepare for the next five years at the college? Would you recommend a Managed IT Services (MITS) solution to other education providers.
Yes, definitely. Trying to think of a way to word it properly, but we don't have to focus our attention on solving some of these issues that we had. They should last the duration of the contract. The team for a start, 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 willing to go the extra mile. I think I mentioned Lee Marples was particularly awesome. I think we called him the Machine. He just kept on going. Apogee for other education bodies, definitely, yeah. I would recommend Apogee for other education providers.
We thank Adrian Lawson from Craven College for giving us his unique view on Managed IT Services (MITS) in the Education Sector. You can read the Craven College case study here if you would like to know more about how Craven College implemented Apogee's Managed IT Services (MITS) into higher education. Apogee provides Managed Workplace Services (MWS) across the entire Public Sector, from Education to the NHS. You can read our interview with Apogee's Director of Public Sector, Paul Rylands, or watch our series with Craven College on YouTube to learn more.