Avila College

A CompNow MSA is ‘Enriching, Enhancing and Extending’ I.T. at Avila College

CompNow is Avila College’s proven technology partner with a 360-degree solution – from a baseline audit through networking infrastructure, to AV and environmentally sound, cost-effective end of life management via CompNow’s SustainIT.

Avila College, nestled in the leafy green suburb of Mt Waverley, is a leading Catholic secondary school for 1,100 girls in years 7-12. Established in 1965, Avila aims to empower their students in all areas whether intellectual, spiritual or physical, focusing on innovation, diversity and engagement.

The Challenge

Avila was to determine what technology upgrades were essential for current needs, as well as designing a roadmap for continuous improvement and ensuring effective capital expenditure over the next four years.

The Solution

A CompNow audit established Avila’s baseline from which the College could plan its IT strategy. A comprehensive MSA was the chosen delivery mechanism to achieve the school’s aims.

The Benefits
  • IT audit identified baseline technology status
  • Under MSA, technology in tandem with pedagogy
  • MSA streamlining management
  • Roadmap for IT environment best practice
  • Effective capital expenditure over 4-year plan

Avila’s culture recognises the imperative lynchpin of technology in terms of student outcomes. Our MSA with Compnow has given us a robust digital foundation, a 4 year roadmap and effective control of our expenditure.

Kristen Steer Business Manager
Avila College


The Challenge

A strong technology foundation is essential for Avila College to support the unique talents and abilities of every student. The College’s digital environment empowers its 170 staff as they work closely with students, to enrich their learning experiences through programs with differentiated options.

Kristen Steer, the Business Manager at Avila College, says: “Our digital environment is there to support learning and pedagogy. In today’s world, a robust underlying communications infrastructure is essential, as are advances in class technologies.

“When Aaron Hammond, the IT Manager, and I commenced at Avila, we inherited disparate technologies that were getting long in the tooth, were unsupported and not appropriate for a contemporary learning environment.

“As the school’s business manager, I wanted an external professional opinion and assessment of our IT status, future needs and opportunities for improvement. An audit would be the starting point. It would identify the baseline from which we could upgrade our technology, set a roadmap for best practice, streamline our IT environment, and ensure effective capital expenditure over the next four years.”


The Solution

Avila commissioned CompNow – as an expert, objective external adviser – to undertake a comprehensive audit of the College’s environment.

Kristen says: “With the audit data, I could work with our IT team and executive to lay down plans for improvement and investment. The objectives were to use best practice in support of learning and teaching outcomes. We’d have a structure for our technology future that could be built into Avila’s strategic plan”.

The audit result’s first priority was to refresh Avila’s server and Wi-Fi fundamentals for future scaling. The solution was to create a consistent, centralised infrastructure layer, to be supported by CompNow. The reliable backbone reflects contemporary practice in an educational setting.

The Wi-Fi network was unable to cope with the increasing number of devices that students and staff were bringing to school, in addition to Avila’s fleet. CompNow’s introduction of Extreme Network switches and wireless access points has secured uninterrupted connectivity throughout the campus.

Avila also made significant changes to their device management. The College ran a 1:1 MacBook program based on an outright purchased model. “That was no longer best practice for resource use. It was a far better use of funds to lease the devices. The savings are now channelled back to curriculum and student benefits. And it means we are no longer holding onto older, inherently risky devices,” she says.

Avila’s MacBooks had to be individually and manually prepared for each student or staff member. CompNow worked with Avila’s IT team on streamlining its Apple fleet, specifically device deployment methodologies, with Jamf Pro adopted as the security & management tool of choice.

Aaron Hammond, Avila’s IT Manager, says: “The Jamf initiative was pivotal for us – in terms of time and money savings, as well as improved security at the end points. Our devices now effectively build themselves. We can rollout in a timely way, with less effort, at the start of a school year and at lease change overs.”

The school has an IT team of four and calls on CompNow engineers to fill gaps to cover leave or peaks: “They are all highly trained and adapt easily to our environment. At the start of a new school year and rolling out one to five cohorts at a time, everything has to be efficient and smooth, and CompNow always delivers,” he says.

Aaron cites the difference in managing device repairs: “No student is ever without a device. CompNow provides the best break/fix support. Turnaround time is fast, whether we need onsite or remote help. That’s important for students – a loan MacBook is good, but they get attached to a particular one with their own settings.

“Staff or students can return a loaned computer when their new or repaired device is ready. The loan is wiped clean and ready to go again for the next person in only 10 minutes. That’s great service.”

Avila’s IT team has benefitted from CompNow’s expertise and knowledge sharing, particularly around Jamf and Apple. “CompNow’s encouragement and our achievements with the new environment, has spurred on our IT team’s professional development and take up of technical certificate training,” he says.

The College has recently completed a three year classroom technology refresh and are currently considering CompNow’s ZTouch interactive panels, with their ability to revolutionise collaboration and learning, as part of their new flagship senior learning centre.


The Benefits

“During the Covid lockdowns, the perceived value of technology and its profile increased enormously. Avila’s culture now recognises the imperative lynchpin of technology in terms of student outcomes. IT is in step with the expectations of our teachers and students. And it’s ready to scale with our school’s growing student numbers,” Kristen says.

“We couldn’t have achieved the transformation at our school without CompNow. They are our first port of call for everything IT. And you know you have a good partner when they are open to feedback and never shirk if there’s an issue.

“CompNow has vast experience in the education setting, they know what technology is coming, what will fit well into our environment. They bring ideas to us that mesh with our strategic plan. Because they understand the classroom dynamic, they demo the advantages of new technologies from an education perspective. There’s no time wasting, nothing that doesn’t fit our budget or our curriculum needs,” she says.

“The perception of value our internal team drives is now seen as vital to the College. Staff are confident they can come to us with a problem. Together with strategic IT leadership, the initiatives we’ve partnered with CompNow on have improved our internal IT Support ‘brand’. We’ve proven we can be relied on and can fix it.”

On top of all this, Avila and CompNow are increasingly alert to IT’s waste generation. All packaging is dealt with appropriately. Via its SustainIT division, CompNow operates a lifecycle program with an end of lease buy back scheme. Kristen says: “CompNow collect end-of-lease devices from us which are securely wiped, assessed for value and redeployed. It’s great knowing so much is saved from landfill.

“From a very disconnected legacy structure, CompNow has equipped Avila with a managed IT environment that’s
up to industry best standard – from every perspective.”

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