Coomera Anglican College is a co-educational independent school located on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Founded in 1997, it occupies a centrally located 15-hectare site in Upper Coomera, and offers education from the Early Learning Centre, right through from the Preparatory Year to Year 12.
Since opening its doors to students 21 years ago, the College has prided itself on its effective use of information technology. With over 1,400 students and 200 staff, the College proactively develops its IT systems with two broad strategically focused aims. The first of these is to support educators in delivering productive and innovative teaching and learning processes in its classrooms. The second is to support the development and execution of best practice administration and business functions. The College constantly challenges what it does and looks for opportunities to innovate in pursuit of its Purpose, which is to ‘inspire excellence’.
About 12 months ago, the College was faced with a challenge. The College’s technology infrastructure had grown to the point where ongoing maintenance and management was becoming a burden and potentially exposing the College to greater risk.
The infrastructure comprised 41 virtual servers running on Dell PowerEdge and HP ProLiant D360 physical servers, 37 HP 2920 network switches and an EMC SAN providing 100 terabytes of capacity.
IT team members were finding themselves having to devote a high proportion of their time to ‘keeping the lights on’ rather than contributing to the innovation and improvement of our core educational functions and processes. Strategically focussed projects involving IT were increasingly being compromised by the support effort required to manage and maintain our technology infrastructure. The diversion of IT effort away from the classroom was something the College could not continue to accept. As our IT Services Manager said at the time, “We realised that changes had to be made to enable us to focus our team on activities that would deliver more value to our teaching team and our students.”
Despite initial attempts to address this issue by embarking on significant work with an external service provider, the College was not seeing the level or rate of improvement that it needed. As an organisation, we were failing to move forward effectively. Our teachers, administrators and technology support staff were frustrated. We had a clear strategic direction and were confident in our vision of what IT should be contributing to our College. We were keen to find an alternative solution to our IT service needs that would reduce our infrastructure management headaches, improve our core educational functionality and make us more effective and proactive users of technology.
The College began the search for a new service provider who could take over responsibility for the management and maintenance of our server and networking infrastructure. After evaluating a number of alternatives, a decision was made in September 2016 to retain the services of ASI Solutions.
The College had a pre-existing relationship with ASI Solutions which had been ongoing for more than five years. However, this had only covered the supply and installation of hardware as it was required. Once we assessed ASI Solution’s abilities as a managed service provider and strategic partner, we knew they were best placed to support us and help us move toward our IT vision and achieve Strategic Purpose.
In considering a range of service providing companies, ASI Solutions stood out from other contenders due to their proven experience, technical expertise and demonstrated service response times. The company demonstrated a clear understanding of the College’s requirements and how it could deliver the needed IT infrastructure management support.
With a comprehensive managed services agreement now in place, ASI Solutions has assumed responsibility for the College’s back-end IT infrastructure. The agreement covers all physical and virtual servers, the storage array and both wired and wireless networks across the campus.
Infrastructure management is delivered through a combination of remote support and visits by ASI Solutions staff to the College campus. This provides both flexibility and the guarantee of system availability at all times.
With the managed services agreement now in place, we no longer have to worry about the management and performance of our underlying IT infrastructure. Our internal IT support team can now focus on delivering high-quality services to the classroom to support end-user devices and the complex range of educational and corporate applications.
The College has found that its working relationship with ASI Solutions is collaborative, proactive and highly effective. The company demonstrates on a daily basis, through its day-to-day break-fix work, planning, design and system management activities, that it understands our objectives and what we are trying to achieve.
“ASI Solutions have demonstrated repeatedly that they have the processes and capacity which enables them to react quickly to any IT related issues. As a result, the College is now enjoying improved and reliable performance of its IT infrastructure.”
Importantly, ASI Solution’s depth of industry experience also means they are able to provide guidance on issues related to future investment and the development of future-focused and leading edge educational technology systems.
ASI Solutions have demonstrated a comprehensive understand of emerging trends within the technology space and are well placed to contribute to the College’s ongoing efforts to be a leader in the development of excellent teaching and learning and highly effective and innovative technology systems. All this means that our focus can be on providing the best possible, modern learning environment for our teachers and students and thereby support our work to prepare our students for satisfying and successful futures.