School ICT News Bulletin No. 168 - 27/09/2010

Published by Children’s Services


Outage to the MySuite and it’s learning (Netmedia) during October Half Term

Please be advised of a scheduled outage to the MySuite learning platform and it's learning (Netmedia) LA Applications - MyPortal Suite, which will take place over the October half term break.

 

Date/time of change:

00:01 Monday 25th - 00:00 Monday 1st November 2010

 

Impact:

All MySuite learning platform and LA Applications (MyPortal Suite) products will be unavailable throughout the change

 

Reason for change:

E2BN hardware infrastructure is being reloacted to another data-centre

Author: Tanya Allen

BT Monthly Schools Usage Reports to commence October 2010 – Supporting Handbook available

As many of you will have seen at the ICT Conference at John Innes Centre in March 2010, ICT Solutions has been working with BT to provide you with a concise and easy to read monthly report determining the usage of ICT applications and services at your school.  These will be delivered to your nominated email address from early October 2010.

 

In preparation for receipt of your first report a handbook has been created to aid your understanding of the information they contain and provide an explanation of the elements that make up the individual NCC school reports provided by BT to Norfolk County Council.

 

The hand book is available at BT School Reports Handbook

 

For further information please contact ICT Solutions on 0845 303 3003 or via ictsolutions@norfok.gov.uk.

Author: Lynn Parvin

Network Managers Event

 

The next Network Managers event takes place at Barnham Broom on 14th October commencing with lunch at 12.30. There are a still a few places available so if you wish to attend please contact Alice Greig as soon as possible by ringing 01603 475621 or by email to alice.greig@norfolk.gov.uk

Author: Jenny Tallent

Photocopier and Telephone Systems Contracts.

 

The contract procedure for photocopiers and telephone systems to support schools to ensure contractual arrangements comply with good financial and procurement practice procedure has been revised in recognition of the fact that a significant number of non-approved contracts have been subject to investigation by Children's Services and Legal Services. These investigations have been carried out on behalf of schools over the last few years. These contracts have caused the schools problems due to unexpected costs and failure by the supplier to maintain the equipment.


ESPO have approved contracts for photocopiers and telephone systems for schools which are recommended to be used to achieve best value for the following reasons:

 

· 

ESPO's approved suppliers have participated in a competitive tendering process that is fair, transparent and designed to meet the needs of schools.

· 

ESPO contractual arrangements provide a significant measure of protection and peace of mind for schools by eliminating the risk of poor terms and conditions as well as inadequate maintenance agreements.

· 

Contracts are let on a best value basis and can save money over the period of a rental contract for either a photocopier or telephone system.

· 

There are no hidden or additional costs - all toners, maintenance and service are included within the contract. Prices are fixed for the period of the contract.


The suppliers listed below have all been checked by ESPO and Norfolk County Council. Their prices and services have been approved to ensure they offer cost effective solutions.

ESPO suppliers for photocopiers are: (This includes duplicators)

 

ESPO Contract 272D

Konica Minolta
Ricoh UK
Canon UK

 

 

ESPO suppliers for telephone systems are:

 

ESPO Contract 393A

Daly Systems
Network Connect
1st Callcom


Full details of these arrangements are featured in the ESPO Dealing Direct Catalogue.

ESPO and ICT Solutions can help and advise with providing price comparisons for these companies. This advice helps schools to comply with financial and contractual procedures and saves money by ensuring that equipment purchases are cost effective and have no hidden extras, costs or clauses. The above suppliers do not use a dealer network to supply or maintain the equipment.

Non-Approved Suppliers
There are many non-approved suppliers for photocopiers and telephone systems who use various methods to persuade prospective customers that their products and services are cheaper and better than their competitors.

Some non-approved suppliers give schools the impression that they are part of an ESPO approved supplier or on a waiting list. There is not a waiting list and a company cannot be part of an ESPO approved supplier.

The prices from a non-approved supplier will inevitably be more expensive and the contracts could be for a longer period of time.

Reasons to Avoid Using Non-Approved Suppliers:

Photocopiers - Common Practice Includes:

· 

Additional supplies are charged for e.g. toner and spare parts if volumes exceed a set volume of copies in the contract.

· 

Copy/print costs and rental charges can be increased within the period of contract.

· 

Maintenance and service are charged for as an extra.

· 

Some suppliers offer a rebate for signing a contract or to buy out existing agreements, however this will be incorporated into the new contract pricing even if it is not visible in the agreement.


Telephone Systems - Common Practice Includes:

· 

Schools are asked to sign 2 different contracts for the system and maintenance which inflates quarterly costs for the telephone system.

· 

New parts are charged which should be included in the contract free of charge.

· 

Purchasing additional handsets has in some cases resulted in hidden signing of a contract extension.


Non-approved suppliers may under or over specify photocopiers or telephone systems to the school's requirements and upgrade contracts very early within the contract period which lead to consolidated interest which means increased payments.

Using a non-approved supplier may not be the most cost effective solution for the school.


Contracts should never be signed on the same day a supplier visits the school. You should be given time to read the terms and conditions carefully and to make sure the costs and information that have been provided on the forms is correct.

If you do receive a quote directly from a supplier, before agreeing and signing the document the quote and contract must be sent to ICT Solutions' Contracts Team for scrutiny and approval to protect you from hidden clauses and ensure you are achieving best value.

Alternatively you can contact the Contracts team direct who will supply a quote for the school. The information and costs are checked with the school to ensure that they are correct and that this is the best value photocopier or telephone system for the school.

For more information please refer to Annex C of Norfolk's Scheme for Financing Schools

If you require help, advice or would like a new photocopier or telephone system, please contact ICT Solutions' Contracts team on 0845 303 3003.

Author: Leah Fletcher

MIS for Norfolk

 

As a result of the recent tender and evaluation process a new supplier, Capita, has been selected for Norfolk.  Their SIMS product will be rolled out to schools as part of the Implementation Phase of the MIS for Norfolk Project.

 

Capita Children's Services is the UK’s leading supplier of Management Information Systems to the education and children's services sector.  Capita provide a range of software and services to over 21,000 schools and over 150 local authorities, meeting their information management and administrative needs.

 

The implementation phase of the project will be managed by Carole Barwell, who is currently working with Jo North (Project Manager – Procurement Phase) to ensure a smooth handover to the next phase.  A Project Initiation Workshop is being held on 24 September, and this will be followed by a major planning exercise.

 

Some 70+ schools have already approached Jo or Carole to show their interest in being an Early Adopter.  Part of the planning exercise will be to prioritise these schools, in order to fit them into the roll out plan.  Roll out is expected to start in November, with the aim of getting the majority of schools trained and live before

1 April 2011.

 

An area of the ICT Solutions website is being developed for the project.  This area will be kept up to date with information on the roll out, as it becomes available and with FAQs.

 

If you wish to be added to the Early Adopter list please email Carole on carole.barwell@norfolk.gov.uk

Author: Carole Barwell

Google Mail is replacing RM Easymail – Rollout Week 3

 

The Google Project is on track and as of today, ICT Solutions have set up 64,000 accounts for those schools in the Week 1-3 rollout.  Reports show that 2,327 accounts have been actively used this week, this figure is double that of Week 1.

 

Any questions?

 

This is an exciting development and hope your school soon begins to enjoy the benefits of using Google Mail.

Author: Kerry Henry

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