The market for schools internet connectivity has changed, there’s no doubt about that. We hear from schools on a weekly basis that have been presented with lower and lower connectivity prices. On the surface they can appear to be an excellent deal. After all, every school wants to save money. But are they really too good to be true? And why is it so cheap in comparison to what others are offering?
Apples and Oranges
The key thing here is comparing like for like (or apples with apples, rather than apples with oranges). We have seen examples of offers that overcharge for support and bury the costs of other services (connectivity for example) to make those services appear cheaper. Does saving £500 on your connectivity really save you money in the long run and are you operating as effectively and efficiently as you could be? And what does this mean for your connectivity?
Imagine if your connection enabled you to save £1,000s in physical support costs, reduced warranty, maintenance and licence fees not to mention being able to get rid of that cupboard full of servers.
In the Cloud
As more and more schools move towards cloud-based solutions, the requirement for IT support changes, including the costs associated with contracts for maintaining the equipment at the school premises. Having a better connection, which includes the speed, but also the security and support can enable these cloud services to work as well as they can, meaning you require less onsite support resulting in lower support charges. For a primary school, some of the common elements are:
|Cloud Approach||Traditional Approach|
|Increased number of hosted or cloud services (including various key applications and functions)||One or more on-premise servers (with maintenance, warranty and support costs)|
|Hosted filtering (removing the cost and burden of on-premise devices, and increasing resilience)||On-premise device (with maintenance, warranty and support costs)|
|Hosted firewalling (with expert management and lower costs, spread across a wider user base)||On-premise device (with maintenance, warranty and support costs)|
|Flexible support (systems are managed more dynamically at lower cost)||Scheduled (e.g. fortnightly) visits from engineers (with associated costs)|
Some traditional IT support companies may effectively discourage schools from moving to a cloud approach as it reduces the demand for their services and therefore their charges.
Of course, for many the cloud approach is daunting prospect, and that’s to be expected. If you don’t have IT support, who will help you when something goes wrong? There’s always a need for IT support, but it needs to adapt to support a newer type of service delivery, that helps your school to save money as well as benefit from advice that is impartial, and has the school’s best interests at heart.
Our network and services are specifically designed for education settings. They are safe, secure and include a fully managed service, and help you towards a cloud-based approach.
What’s more, because we are a not-for-profit charitable trust dedicated to the advancement of education and wellbeing through the safe and effective use of technology, we secure the best pricing for the connections themselves, and pass this saving on to our customers with 0% profit margin. There aren’t many other providers out there that can say that.