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On-boarding for St. John’s Primary Academy

St. John’s C of E Primary Academy is a one form entry primary school situated within the town of Wednesbury, and a part of the St. Chad’s Academies Trust. The school aims to give every child the best start possible start to their education and to provide an inclusive and loving environment for their young students to thrive and learn in. St. John’s Primary Academy is an Ofsted “Good School” award winner and are “Music Mark” and “Primary Science Quality Mark” holders.

St. John’s Primary Academy approached Supreme Systems to tender to provide IT Support services when they felt they had outgrown their existing provisions and wished to engage an IT partner able to provide the resources they need as the school continues to grow and evolve.

After the initial interviewing process was completed, Supreme Systems were shortlisted to provide a detailed proposal and budgets, and this culminated in the award of the contract to provide IT support and managed services.

As with all new IT support engagements, Supreme Systems then begin a period of “on-boarding”. The goal of Supreme Systems’ on-boarding process is to ensure a smooth, disruption free commencement of IT support and managed services and typically will run over 6weeks consisting of the 4weeks prior to the agreed “go live” date, and the first 2weeks following. However, St. John’s requested that we condense our on-boarding period from 6weeks down to just 2 as they wanted Supreme to commence services sooner. This we did.

The first order of business was to begin to collate all the information that we will need to manage the school’ IT estate and began with the opening of communications with other relevant 3rd parties, to handover or share any details that they might hold. We also began an onsite audit of the school site to record details of the infrastructure, create sitemaps and an asset register and examine the configurations of various critical devices, such as networking and servers.

All this information is recorded in a secure, encrypted, knowledgebase so that our technical team can quickly call on relevant details in the future to expedite the resolution of issues as they arise.

Alongside the onsite audits our Service Delivery Team (SDT) scheduled an induction meeting with the key contacts at the school. Usually, these are done face-to-face but due to Covid restrictions at the time this one was done via a Videoconference. The induction meeting covers the details of our IT support processes identifies any quirks of the organisation so that we can tweak aspects of how we provide our services to meet the specific needs of the school. During these meetings, the Service Delivery Team are always conscious of keeping the conversation jargon-free and non-technical.

Meanwhile, Supreme Systems’ engineers began to deploy “software agents”. These are small programs installed on workstations and servers that integrate our own Monitoring & Management systems with the client’s IT infrastructure. These “agents” not only allow us to monitor for issues remotely, alerting us to potential problems, but also enable us to quickly take remote control of a device and to deploy and manage various other IT services, such as antivirus and backup/recovery applications.

The technical team also installed various other components, such as the hardware we use as a part of our backup and recovery services.

While all this technical work was underway, Supreme Systems’ Service Delivery Team welcomed the school faculty as a whole and provided information to them on how they can access our services directly to log issues, on their agreed service levels, such as response and resolution time guarantees, and relevant processes, such as escalating the priority of an issue, and so on.

In the closing phases of our on-boarding process we will resolve any outstanding and on-going issues that the organisation has and create a “Findings & Recommendations” document that includes a 3year plan. This is a living document that evolves with changes to the IT estate and is intended to ensure that the school remains compliant and can plan and budget for future developments according to their goals.

The on-boarding period for St. John’s C of E Primary Academy was completed in the period requested by the client and Supreme Systems were able to begin delivery of all services without any disruption on the date the school requested despite the shorter than usual handover period.

Sarah Cockshott, Executive Principal for St. John’s C of E Primary Academy, commented: “An incredibly smooth transition, carried out in the upmost professional manner.  Any works that needed to be carried out were done at our convenience ensuring we were able to continue our core purpose.  All engineers and staff we have had contact with since have listened and then been more than helpful to resolve any IT issues.  Every single one of these engineers or supreme staff have been polite, friendly and carried out their work with a smile. Thank you Supreme!”

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