Langley Grammar School is a co-educational selective school that gained Academy status in 2011. When the school started to experience major issues with its web-based email system, which had very basic functionality and as it didn’t include a calendar didn’t allow any of the staff to set up meetings or appointments, the decision was made to appoint Selection who had recommended Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services) as the solution to the school’s problems.
Assistant Headteacher, Simon Cook, explained that it was really important to them that they had an integrated system that would allow distribution lists to be created and central access to the school calendar. Microsoft BPOS includes includes Microsoft Exchange Online for email and calendaring; Microsoft SharePoint Online for portals and document sharing; Microsoft Office Communications Online for presence availability, instant messaging, and peer to peer audio calls; and Office Live Meeting for web and video conferencing, so met all of the school’s needs.
Simon said of the implementation project: “It was an impeccable changeover. Selection managed the project really well and everything went very smoothly.”
Since the school started using Microsoft BPOS internal communication processes have vastly improved. A lot of time that was previously spent trying to organise meetings without access to other people’s calendars has been saved. Simon said: “We are so much better organised now that we are using Outlook – the sharing facility means that everyone can see what everyone else is doing, and also access the school year calendar so knows what the term times are and who is teaching when.”
Having an integrated email and calendar system has helped the school to operate as a more professional business, and they were so pleased with the way that Selection managed the project, and the after-sales service that they provide, that they have used them for several other IT projects. The most recent being the virtualisation of five servers, which the school expects to deliver multiple cost and environmental benefits in the long-term, but immediately has benefited from all of the applications they use working more efficiently and having just one back-up to do.
Another benefit that the school is realising through its relationship with Selection is having an expert team of professionals to rely on for advice and assistance. The school has two very competent in-house ICT (Information Communications Technology) professionals but the knowledge and experience of the Selection team is much wider, meaning that the school’s technicians are free to concentrate on other projects knowing that the Selection team is available to resolve any issues for them.
Simon said: “It’s the confidence factor that Selection delivers for us – we have peace of mind as we know we can rely on them. I can honestly say that the Selection team has never let us down.”