Located on the border between England and Wales, Oswestry School is an independent, coeducational day and boarding school for pupils aged 4 – 18, boasting ‘six centuries, 50 acres, one philosophy’.
Founded in 1407, Oswestry School prides itself on building confidence and character and, as one of the oldest educational establishments in England, is keen to balance its heritage with a forward thinking, proactive philosophy of evolving with the times and promoting its motto as ‘We learn not for School, but for life’.
Over the centuries and as time has marched on, so has technology. To ensure Oswestry School continues to provide its pupils with the highest standards of system functionality to mirror its teaching excellence with high quality printing, scanning and copying facilities needs to be treated as a vital part of the everyday infrastructure of the school.
B2 was given the go ahead to produce a full audit, encompassing both the main school and Bellan House, the preparatory department of Oswestry School, located a short walk from the main secondary school building. The B2 team identified where cost effective solutions could be introduced and although this involved heavy investment including a new network and fleet of new fast colour machines for certain areas of the school, the proposal was approved.
The new, streamlined solution incorporated PaperCut, a managed print software solution to improve the ability to monitor and control their print. This results in the network identifying and tracking printing, copying and scanning activities by user, device or department thereby enabling the monitoring of usage and wastage patterns and more importantly, costs – ultimately, providing the tools to take appropriate action if necessary.
Some initial areas to improve included a number of desktop and multifunction products from a wide range of manufacturers – not only incurring high maintenance costs, but also multiple consumables that all had to be stored somewhere on site.
Not only this, but many of the existing printers were not networked therefore there was very little control over costs and usage. It was also becoming apparent that both teachers and pupils were increasingly using their own devices, such as smartphones and tablets, as study tools. The School had encouraged the ‘bring your own device’ trend but had not dealt with the issue of lack of functionality with their print based machines.
In addition to this, the ability for pupils and staff to download the Mobile Print & Scan app on their smartphones and devices makes the investment in the network an obvious choice to gain the largest advantage possible and retain a cutting edge mentality towards technology within the School.
B2 then detailed an implementation plan, involving site plans for both school buildings and logistical planning put in place to deliver to multiple floors and the movement and installation of multiple machines.
In order to make life as simple as possible the installation was booked for the summer holidays – thereby creating as little disruption as possible to the pupils and staff.
A period of time was set aside for post-install niggles. Feedback was requested a short time into the Autumn term when each department and members of staff all gave their feedback. On the whole, this was very positive and Phil Bowd, the school’s Bursar, was particularly delighted with the result.
“At that time, we were pleased that the team had literally informed us of the best solutions available and implemented them, working closely alongside Dan our IT Manager and myself so that we were both comfortable with the whole process – from conception to implementation.” commented Phil.
After the initial installation was complete, regular customer liaison meetings were held with Phil – common practice between B2 customers and their account managers. Towards the end of Spring 2015, it became apparent Oswestry School needed more capability, particularly in the print room which was seeing more requests for A3 mono and colour printouts together with stapled documents.
So, a new audit was undertaken. This highlighted that some of the machines installed previously were underused – and others overused. Any remaining older appliances were removed; others swapped from higher usage departments to lower usage areas to prolong life and now, the majority of the printers were from a single manufacturer to further streamline continuity and simplicity.
All of this actually meant that there was only a marginal increase in costs and the savings made through running costs were absorbed through these new solutions.
The current agreement with Oswestry School is based on a cost per print basis which includes a service programme and all consumables, except paper. Auto systems are in place which means that meter readings can be taken remotely and each machine has been set up to notify the team at B2 when toner is running out so that a new supply can be despatched.
B2 feel that it is an important part of their own ethos to support their customers at all times – not only with their managed print solutions but also in their charitable and community endeavours.
Oswestry School has benefited in this manner as B2 has supported their charity events by sponsoring and paying for a table at their functions, cricket events and Speech Week – helping to raise in the region of £1,200 on each occasion.
“In summary, our network is measurably faster; we are able to prolong the life of both our new and existing printers; our network and systems are far more efficient and finally, we have moved with the times to continue to provide outstanding technological advancements that benefit our pupils and teaching staff every day – befitting a school of our provenance and stature”, commented Phil.