CompNow began a collaborative consultation process with Verlaine and Principal Ali Thomson in 2015. This resulted in a comprehensive assessment of the overall school environment and what technology and support was needed.
The priority was for CompNow to assist Pooraka with the supply and management of its Apple fleet, in a phased rollout which has taken the school from a mix of ageing devices to standardising on iPads for all year groups.
As CompNow took on a more active role, a specifically designed Managed Services Agreement (MSA) became a logical step. “The driver for the MSA was to get everything replaced over time, to ensure our technology had a positive impact on teaching and learning. The plan put forward covered from where we were, right down to new comms cabinets,” Verlaine says.
This MSA has cemented a relationship covering every aspect of Pooraka’s ICT programs. CompNow handles all procurement: IT devices, peripherals, AV and networking. This extends to negotiating any licences that are outside those supplied by Departmental central stores.
The MSA also provides the school with access to CompNow’s accredited experts, across all technology areas, as well as its purchasing power. As a partner, CompNow ensures continuity and relationship building by committing dedicated account managers and onsite technicians to its client schools.
General engineering, such as keeping the school’s server operational, became CompNow responsibility. “We had lots of remedial work just to keep us running until we were able to update our server in 2018,” Verlaine says.
In addition to 24/7 remote access to the school’s systems, Pooraka’s MSA includes a 4-hour per week onsite visit to help manage the school’s environment and undertake scheduled work.
“During the visits CompNow does all our laptop and server upgrades, distributes apps to our iPads, and any other jobs on the list. Now we never fall behind. We can rely on our technology,” Verlaine says.
Intermittent network failures from its ten year old mix of wired and wireless infrastructure were plaguing the school. There was no capacity for any extension of its environment, such as increasing its device numbers or adding interactive screens.
During the July 2020 school holidays CompNow completed a whole-of-school WiFi project that marked the completion of the transformation work at Pooraka. “We had to have it done during the holidays. There could be no delays.”
“We went from being years out of date to current in just two weeks. As soon as you walk into anywhere in the school, you can be connected – people used to stand at my office trying to find signal. Now we have stable and consistent end user experience. Everyone is very pleased with the result,” she says.
The first purchase as a result of this modernisation was ZTouch wireless, interactive touch screens for three classrooms. These are deployed on a mix of wall mounts, and on trolleys. Having experienced their successful introduction to the learning environment, a further 11 were purchased to create a uniform experience across whole school, including shared learning areas such as the Library and Performing Arts.
“We now have solid, up to date systems supporting our work at Pooraka. From here on in we can go full steam ahead with integrating ZTouch and iPads that will help us encourage a love of learning in our students,” Verlaine says.