When we speak to schools for the first time it is often difficult to convey what it is that distinguishes us from the thousands of IT companies out there. So I thought I’d write a quick post to answer those questions ahead of time.
Firstly, and I personally think most importantly, Gridserve are not ‘tech focused’; that’s not to say that we don’t know about technology. Instead, we focus on the customer, the service that they require and the value that we are able to provide. If we don’t believe we can offer better value to a customer, we’ll happily walk away but not before we encourage them to share their experiences with us and their peers. We are constantly look to broaden our partner community and if you’re receiving a great service, then we’d love to hear about it.
On most occasions, this isn’t the case. IT companies will present themselves in many forms; as a reseller, hardware provider, IT ‘partner’ or simply tech’ support (along with many other titles!). Basically, the services they provide will likely be very similar and this is no bad thing as similar services creates competition and keeps pricing affordable for the customer. Most will take into account what a customer needs, how much budget they have available and what an appropriate solution looks like in each situation. Not many will work with the customer to reduce their IT spend (and I mean actually work with them, sitting on their side of the desk, understanding the budget constraints they face and providing a concise plan of how to get more out of the existing IT estate and how to reduce ongoing costs) because, quite frankly, it doesn’t make fantastic business sense to the IT provider.
Let’s take IT support as an example; if you pay for bundle of support tickets every month to cover the needs of your end users, is it in the interest of the support company to work quickly and use as few tickets as possible? Is it in their interest to educate your staff so that they don’t raise as many tickets in the first place? Do they look at your IT estate and inform you of potential consolidation or perhaps propose ideas of what else you could do with your existing IT? If you’re purchasing unlimited support, are you getting best value for money; is there still interaction from your support company to improve your infrastructure and staff knowledge?
Gridserve breakdown the IT Partnership into a very simple format.
We focus on you and your school, to ensure you are compliant, supported and cost effective whilst meeting the curriculum needs of IT. Once this is covered, our value-add service begins.
Value add comes in many forms; ensuring that Gridserve contribute to CPD is prominent in our service. Staff are key to ensuring the success of a school and similarly, they are integral to ensuring successful use of ICT. We’ve represented schools when working with the ESFA and guided schools on existing partnerships to gain better value or service. In some circumstances we’ll work with larger organisations employed solely as their IT Director, working with other partners to provide IT services.
If you’re considering how valuable your existing IT partnership is, or wondering how on Earth you are going to deliver your curriculum on a shoe-sting IT budget, give Gridserve a call