“We screened a bunch of providers and probed what Compnow could do for us. Right from the start, Compnow’s approach was clearly different. Everyone we deal with truly wants to understand our needs and build the relationship. And the after sales service has been the highlight. We started with a few small projects and have ended up with Compnow as sole supplier of devices for all students and staff,” Meagan says.
As Australia’s largest Microsoft Surface reseller in the education sector, Compnow was the first authorised, national Surface repair agent, with onsite break and fix services. This accreditation minimises the time students and staff are without their personal device.
“Compnow’s SustainIT lifecycle program helped get our business case over the line. And its professional learning and development services were a point of differentiation,” she says.
Sessions with teams across Compnow’s expertise “provoked us to think differently about the rollout & training,” Meagan says.
Compnow proposed a Proof of Concept (POC) pilot with group training for 12 teachers as a litmus test for success, before introducing the new technology environment to students. “This was the smart way to go. We were particularly keen to have our teachers understand the power of the Surface pen, as well as productivity tools like OneNote and cloud based collaboration,” she says.
Vanessa says: “We relied on Compnow’s trainers to bring on everyone, from fully excited teachers to those who were reticent. The POC was fantastic for staff to practice, be supported and feedback to colleagues.”
From there, bespoke training was designed for each department. “Because Compnow’s trainers are teachers, they understand our context – all training is very realistic, with the understanding that classrooms have multiple things going on. They know maths and physical education use tech very differently and structure the sessions to suit,” she says.
These exercises developed the impressive skillsets of MLC’s professional cohort, creating a group who became champions for the move and developed internal thought leaders who continue to make best practice decisions for the school.
With this initial success, MLC’s Council gave approval for the rollout of 230 Microsoft Surface Pro 8s to staff, and the first stage of devices to students covering 380 Surface Pro 8s & 130 Surface Go 3s, with Compnow deployment assistance.
With Compnow having an office and warehouse in Perth, stock for MLC’s large order – of devices and a PC Locs FUYL Tower charging station for the boarding house – was procured over time and held for MLC in readiness for the rollouts.
From a financial perspective, Compnow secured Microsoft funding through their Power-Up Program for additional services to enhance the new Surface fleet integration. The College used this bonus “to maximise the bank of hours we could call on Compnow’s team to provide weekly opt-in training sessions for staff and engineering, works like upskilling our IT team on the InTune end point manager and AutoPilot,” Meagan says.
Compnow’s full lifecycle offering included its SustainIT buyback service portal for parents to on-sell their children’s old iPad devices. This provides value back to families and ensures the extended life of equipment. Vanessa says: “We’re very conscious of the e-waste issue – in terms of the environment and cost. We had to act to save hundreds of laptops & tablets from landfill, and parents had made serious commitments to existing iPads and MacBooks. So Compnow’s SustainIT buyback option is very important.”
From 2023, the SustainIT scheme will extend to all school purchases, including student device refreshes & AV equipment.