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Koraunui School wanted to create a more cost effective system that was fully integrated and virtualised to provide staff and students with remote access to school information. They also wanted to be the showpiece for other schools in the region. The software was changed to a virtualised platform running Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Server, Windows 7, Live@Edu and Office 2010 in June 2010. This has allowed for greater integration of its software and virtual access to information for its students, teachers and staff.

Starting from scratch....

Koraunui School is a decile four, co-educational state school situated in Lower Hutt, Wellington which caters for years one to six. It is a contributing school with a Maori bi-lingual syndicate for years zero to six. According to the school’s IT Manager Sharron Browne, the school’s previous IT solution was archaic and problematic. “We pretty much had nothing – not even a proper domain name for the school. There were different bits of software that weren’t integrating properly, and it wasn’t straight forward to maintain in-house. We also had the added expense of different licensing agreements and relying on an external provider,” she says. “The lack of access to training and information combined with the technical problems meant the existing system just wasn’t meeting our needs.” The school needed a cost effective IT solution that maximised its existing system, could fully integrated its existing software and provided virtual access to information for students, teachers and staff. A straight forward solution that was easy to manage and update internally was required, and it also had to reduce costs by removing external providers. “We needed a simple solution that integrated all the software and provided virtual access for students and teachers whilst being easy for me to manage in-house.” From a broader perspective, Koraunui wanted to be considered as a showpiece for other local schools facing similar IT issues in the region. Because of this, it was important that the solution was cost effective and easily implemented, as well as the benefits being quickly evident.

Process of selecting the best solution.....

Sharron says selecting Microsoft as the solution provider was the logical answer. “I believed in Microsoft products and saw the benefits of keeping the process simple, and to do this meant continuing to use Microsoft products across the board to save on licensing costs. Also, its competitors were unable to provide any compelling reasons to go with them.” She says the additional benefits of using Microsoft were the access to training and online information. “The Microsoft for Schools agreement provides access to training online which has meant that I can manage the system in-house and constantly upskill myself – a huge benefit compared to our previous arrangement.” The school chose a new software solution with a virtualised platform running Microsoft 2008 R2 Server, Windows 7 and Live@Edu with the add-on of Office 2010.

Fast and seamless implementation....

Because the school was acting as a test case for local schools it was crucial that the implementation process was as seamless as possible. “When it came to a partner we needed the best in the country and Business Mechanix was recommended,” she says. Sharron says she could not rate them more highly. “The process only took two and a half weeks and there were so few hiccups that students and teachers were hardly aware that a major systems implementation was underway.” “Business Mechanix went over everything with me thoroughly and worked out the best way to utilise what the school already had and what Microsoft had to offer.”

Endless possibilities...

Business Development Director for Business Mechanix Lyndal Stewart says Koraunui School is a shining example of a technology advocate for the education sector. “They essentially went from having nothing to being able to offer the latest packages like Office 2010 to their staff and students. Because the school has been so keen to embrace the technology, the possibilities for them are endless.” she says. The seamless implementation resulted in cost reductions, greater access to information for students, their families and teachers, a


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