Would your teachers like to be able to get to their files at school when they are not in the building? Do your support staff need to get to some IT in the school building when they are at home? Perhaps you already do this via an existing remote access capability. Are you happy with the way this functions, or do you get frustrated with slow performance, and sessions that constantly time out on you?
The good news is that your new network provider, Updata, has designing a brand new service for you, on new infrastructure. We know how critical a good service is in today’s mobile, flexible and security conscious world. So we have listened to what you said and based our solution directly on Norfolk schools’ feedback.
‘Simple, fast and reliable’ is the key message we are hearing for our new RAS solution. So these are the ‘must haves’ we are designing our solution around.
‘Simple’ means no tokens to worry about or lose. There will be only a single sign-on, so you won’t have to authenticate a second time. Your school’s designated authentication service will deal with checking you in to the VPN (remote connection).
‘Fast’ means being able to log on quickly, whether it’s to your PC at work, or your files, or a server your technical team need to support. You should then be able to work as fast and seamlessly as your local internet connection permits - whether you are at home or even on holiday.
‘Reliable’ means you can count on your connection staying up while you want it. We will not be enabling any arbitrary timeouts, which will cut you off without warning and cause you to lose your work. Reliable also means resilient, and we are designing our solution to achieve the highest possible availability.
Security is also important, so we will be offering to create up to 4 groups for each school (for example, Teachers, Students, Support staff) and you can choose the areas that each group will be able to see on their home page.
What will it look like?
In the interests of simplicity, the portal you see will not be very different from the one you currently log into.
The user may access their School’s VPN service using their Web Browser and entering either the Generic URL or Specific URL.
Schools Generic URL (e.g. https://schoolsRAS/)
School Specific URL (e.g. https://schoolsRAS/sunny01)
A school’s Generic URL provides a Welcome screen containing school dropdown, username and password fields. This is useful for a user who accesses different schools, for example in a Trust. The Specific URL Welcome screen contains just user and password fields, avoiding the need to select the school from a list.
The Gateway will authenticate the user with the school’s authentication service. If successful, the user is presented with their Group Portal page.
If you decide you want anything changed, there will be a simple online process to request changes.
We are confident that the Updata service will be a huge improvement on your old system, and at a reasonable cost.
How to sign up for the service
To get the ball rolling for this service please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org stating the number of teaching staff you have.
Terms and conditions *
• Schools that take up the service will sign-up from 01 September 2016 or the day of commencement, whichever is sooner, to the end of the Updata contract 31 March 2020.