Network for Learning (N4L) has named 12 New Zealand technology companies tasked with helping the country’s schools get up and running on its managed network.
The companies will form part of a panel of N4L-approved IT support companies that will assist the Crown company meet its goal of connecting more than 700 schools to its managed network next year, while ensuring schools have the support they need while making the transition.
Today, 23 schools are using the managed network, which offers free, uncapped, high-speed internet services, content filtering and network security services to schools.
Through a competitive tender process, N4L put together a panel of IT suppliers representing technology companies from across the country with extensive experience supporting technology projects in schools.
All N4L-approved IT support companies will be funded to transition schools to the managed network. This includes assessing the school’s existing IT infrastructure, configuring and testing the network connection, and setting up network services such as content filtering in a way that meets the needs and preferences of the individual school.
The companies are expected to work with schools over a period of two to four months to ensure a smooth and successful transition. The timing will depend on the location of the school and whether it will connect to the managed network over the government’s UFB or RBI infrastructure.
“We recognise that many schools have built up trusted relationships with local tech companies they regularly use to help support their systems,” says John Hanna, CEO, N4L. =
“Many of these companies have been appointed to our IT support panel and their local knowledge will be invaluable to the rollout.
“Every school has different support needs, and it’s very important that our panel is made up of highly-skilled technology providers which have proven track-records of achieving results and working successfully with schools.
Schools can choose to use an N4L-approved IT support company, or use their own resources to manage the transition themselves, whether that be hiring their own IT company or using their in-house IT manager (if they have one).
While 12 companies have been successfully appointed, N4L will be considering further applications to join the panel through an open RFP process beginning early in the New Year.
To date, N4L has signed more than 155 agreements with schools scheduled to connect to the managed network during the school first term of next year, when more than more than 200 schools are expected to be connected to the managed network.
All of the country’s 2,500 schools will be able to connect to the managed network by the end of 2016.
The 12 companies currently appointed to the N4L panel that will be helping schools transition to the managed network from 2014 are:
• Cyclone Computers
• Glenn Cook Technologies
• IPC Computer Solutions
• New Era IT
• RCG Creations
• Technology Centre