Mater Christi College

Current and reliable technology showcases all possibilities at Mater Christi College

The experience of CompNow’s managed services at Mater Christi College is creating confidence in its critical technology environment. There are no longer concerns about “we don’t know what we don’t know” as the College benefits from expert planning and new resilience in support of its evolving technology roadmap.

Mater Christi College (MCC), a Catholic secondary school in Belgrave, Melbourne, has a reputation for excellence in all-girl education. Its student cohort of 700, supported by 100 staff, learns within a 1:1 MacBook and iPad program, contemporary learning spaces and a fully WiFi connected campus.

The Challenge

As a technology dependent school, the complexity of running its ICT had out-stripped the bandwidth of MCC’s business managers. The College needed expert help in developing platforms to match the requirements of its students & staff. The school wanted to outsource the management of the evolving environments.

The Solution

CompNow set about solving the immediate issues of stabilising the College’s software and hardware. Then began the work, with MCC’s executive, to design a staged path to a robust, technology enhanced future.

The Benefits
  • High staff and student satisfaction with CompNow service
  • Paperless device procurement
  • Vastly improved budget predictability
  • Staff productivity gains

Our students are our focus. For them to thrive, we’re heavily dependant on technology. Compnow is the difference in terms of technical, financial and efficiency improvements across our IT environment.

Tatum Mitchell Business Manager,
Mater Christi College

The Challenge

Spurred by a government funding initiative in 2012, MCC became the first school in Victoria to complete a full 1:1 Apple rollout. But IT administration fell to a teacher-librarian, and later MCC’s two business managers. With a growing dependence on technology, there was an ever-widening gap in staff expertise and capacity.

Tatum Mitchell, the Business Manager, Finance at MCC said the school looked to an outsourcing contract in 2018 to support its rapidly evolving technology environment. The College was introduced to CompNow and “we immediately saw that they understood the specifics of the school sector. That gave us the confidence to move forward with them,” she says.

The Solution

An efficient, simplified regime for the handling of its total technology resources, as well as Mobile Device Management (MDM), were high priorities for the school’s service agreement.

“With CompNow, all we had to know was what we needed as a school in terms of pedagogy and business dictates. From there, they brought the supporting services and technology solutions to the table,” Tatum says.

CompNow immediately undertook a full audit of MCC’s IT environment – including its licences and equipment warranties. The initial focus was to stabilise and reduce risk from ageing elements of the school’s software & hardware.

Then, over 18 months, a program of change was established to take MCC to the latest standards, that would be transformational to its teaching & learning, as well as the school’s administration.

In addition to the MDM, the project stream covered server/storage, core switching and security upgrades.

“The CompNow people were great in presenting everything clearly. They were conscious of not overwhelming us or trying to introduce too much too quickly,” Tatum says.

With its systems mapped and stabilised, the College & CompNow were then able to look to the future and at productivity gains – from how best to use technology in the classroom and for administration.

That has seen the migration to cloud offerings for such elements as backup and recovery; the introduction of Office 365; and a cashless campus now streamlining student and staff use of photocopiers and the canteen.

In the process of ongoing advances, an upcoming switching and fibre update will take MCC’s environment to a consistent, reliable Tier 1 standard. Next in the 2021 strategy is a Wi-Fi project to ensure equitable, efficient coverage for students and staff; and a new firewall will further protect the school from threats to security.

As the school expects to cater for a student population of 800, the continuous improvement of MCC’s IT environment “can’t afford to stop, this is very much a work in progress,” Tatum says.


The Benefits

Under its MSA, the College is supported by two fulltime CompNow technical staff on-site, backed by the help desk. The automated, end to end device ordering system – from placement and user agreements, through to reconciliations – is smoothing the procurement process.

“Nothing falls between the cracks. Ordering and help desk support is very responsive,” Tatum says. Students simply use the online portal to log support tickets and receive help from CompNow’s very approachable team.”

“It says a lot that CompNow secured a female technician as part of the team they allocated to our all-girl school. And with Fiona Griffith and myself as business managers within the school’s STEM environment, it’s helping promote and provide role models,” she says.

MCC is experiencing vastly improved budget predictability with the renewed service program. From the MDM, right through to scheduled professional development, all aspects are included in the managed service agreement.

The efficiency drive saw new printers introduced throughout the school. “CompNow’s involvement in the selection, price negotiation and implementation was very effective,” Tatum says.

Tatum also requested an assessment of the school’s AV situation. CompNow introduced its AV team to MCC, with excellent results. The hall and other staff and student areas at the school now have an audio and visual platform – with integrated drop-down screens, microphones, cameras and speakers – that is simple to use and manage. “Anyone can walk in, follow the instruction steps and rely on whatever sound or projection they need to be operational immediately,” she says.

Both Business Managers can now productively focus on core roles, having comfort that CompNow can assist with making strategic and tactical technology decisions.

Professional Development days ensure maximum productivity gains from the introduction of new technology and to smooth any change issues. As part of the drive to a paperless environment, CompNow was vital to the successful move to Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. “We’ve had exceptionally knowledgeable and personable trainers here,” she says.

Another advantage of CompNow’s management is that MCC retains all the IP, and so maintains independence in all of the systems developed.

The College has expert advice on hand to put longer term planning and life cycle management in place. It has the flexibility to ramp up specialist expertise to complete specific projects at the school.

“When you develop a relationship and have access to a partner you can trust – in so many different areas – everything becomes possible. CompNow’s managed services have put us on a consistent, always advancing technology path that we can rely on,” Tatum says.

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