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March 17, 2017

Launching Schools into the Cloud

Recently the New Era Team attended a session hosted by the Ministry of Education around their recently launched Cloud
Transformation Project. Much of the
session was focussed on the Ministry’s future intention to move all schools into a public cloud to promote efficiency,
collaboration and data-driven decisions.

The good news for you as a New Era client? You are well on your way.

The Ministry of Education’s Cloud Transformation Project is now in phase two where it is working with New Era and other integrators to implement a cloud-first strategy for you and your school. Key aspects of this have been tested with a few pilot schools, but the next stage will test a wider diversity of schools – geographically, socio-economically and roll wise. New Era currently supports almost 100,000 students in hybrid cloud networks and utilises public cloud services in all of its client schools. Schools ranging from 26 to over 1500 students utilise the New Era Hybrid Public Cloud Service and reap the benefits in their classrooms and the at the bottom-line.

What is important for you to know?

It’s a Journey

Due to the complexity and diverse nature of what schools are running, not all legacy applications are ready for “the cloud”. Many New Era schools are currently utilising its cloud platform augmented by public cloud offerings. As SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings evolve and become more robust and available, the utilisation of the public cloud will be complete. New Era continues to work hard on integrating these public cloud solutions so that the quality of the end-user experience does not suffer. The Ministry of Education advises that those of you that have onsite servers that are coming out of warranty in the next two years should consider shifting to the cloud. Resultantly, you should come and talk – New Era can save you significant money and provide you with a robust and agile solution.

There will be choices (forks in the road)

In the current phase of this project, there is no direct financial contribution available towards migration services to the cloud or for any network upgrades that may be required. However, if you feel that you may be in the situation where you need support around one or the other, please come and talk to us. There are ways that we can assist you with this journey. In particular, the ongoing support to manage the network itself so that you can get on with the important stuff of teaching and learning. There may also be some choice around legacy applications that don’t really “play nice” in the public cloud and have no particular roadmap to change. This is apparent with certain financial packages and bespoke software. The Ministry are providing information and resources to help integrators support schools along the journey, but the choice is ultimately yours when you take the first step.

Building a plan and capability is important

Of all the things I could advocate for it is (and always has been): Have a plan. One of the key findings of the Cloud Transformation Project pilot was the need for teacher support once changes had been implemented. As those of us that have worked in schools know, we rely upon buy-in from the whole school community. Change can take time and ensure the highest chance of success we rely on support from the majority. Having a plan need not be painful and arduous. There are free services such as the Connected Learning Advisory that can give free independent advice on the roadmap for your school and the things you should consider. Part of this advice will be around planning financially for change in terms of technical things and pedagogical support.

New Era is embracing the public and hybrid cloud

There is not one New Era supported school that doesn’t utilise aspects of the public cloud. We have been integrating the public cloud into a hybrid cloud model or with on-premise services for over a decade. Many of our schools already enjoy the total cloud experience with a fixed price and unlimited capacity in a hybrid cloud service. The New Era journey is aligned with that of you and your school and we are excited to be able to work together to be able to help schools use their valuable resource on programmes that support teaching and learning, rather than legacy hardware. Our vision is to utilise the public cloud more and more without compromising on the tools that schools need. This will build a true foundation of collaboration, efficiency and rich-data for schools to drive success.

So where are you on the journey and when would you like to take the next step? Get in touch, we’d love to chat.

Tony

tonyg@newerait.co.nz

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