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HomeAugust 2014 Issue 96

Catholic Education Office Leading the way with technology

“Better performance at a cheaper cost is a great combination”

The Catholic Education Office faced a huge challenge when it set out to find a new IT solution to support its 59 schools, with 24,476 students across 88,000 square kilometres in both the Australian Capital Territory and NewSouthWales.

As with most organisations, the Catholic Education Office faced the challenge of providing the best possible services and outcomes in the most economical way. The cessation of the Digital Education Revolution funding brought some budget challenges. The Office needed a robust and reliable IT infrastructure and a strategic IT partner to provide ongoing exemplary IT services.

OPC has had a long term relationship with the Catholic Education Office and over the past few years has worked closely with OPC Network Manager, Tim Addison and his team to upgrade its IT infrastructure to a Dell centric solution. This has included providing advice on implementing Dell blade servers, Dell storage solutions and, most recently, Dell AppAssure™ which has been a major success.

Dell AppAssure provides advanced data protection that unifies backup, replication and recovery in one, easy-touse software solution.

“I spent some time at the Dell Solutions Centre where they demonstrated AppAssure and I was impressed with what it promised because our backup footprint and storage requirements have always been substantial. When we investigated AppAssure further, we found we could essentially halve these,” Tim explains.

“Our old solution was becoming expensive from a storage and licensing cost, plus there was the additional cost and time of training our staff to use an utdated system. AppAssure’s user friendly interface removed the need to train our staff. When looking at the overall investment, AppAssure will provide us with a 60-70 per cent saving over 4-5 years,” Tim adds.

 “It’s great we now have a streamlined process. The Catholic Education Office and our schools are backed up locally and then replicated to our off-site datacentre. This makes backups redundant and provides us with a full disaster recovery of the production environment. While we could potentially achieve this with our previous solution, it always proved too complex and we could never get it working properly. AppAssure makes that all very easy for us; it is very streamlined and that gives us peace of mind,” says Tim.

OPC’s Technical Services Director, Clinton Henderson, explains that AppAssure also gives the Catholic Education Office more confidence in its data restoration process.

“The Catholic Education Office staff used to have to visit the school site to complete their recovery operations and, due to the vast geographical area they service, timeframes were always an issue. Now with the introduction of AppAssure they have the ability to complete these tasks remotely and can recover data and systems in minutes.”

OPC has also provided the Catholic Education Office with Dell server solutions, which now comprise 70 percent of its servers. “Dell pricing is very competitive without there being any compromise on quality or performance and the warranty support is second to none,” Clinton explains.

“Yes the Dell servers are great. The delivery times are much quicker and we’ve definitely noticed greater reliability compared to our previous servers,” Tim said.

Another area where OPC has helped the Catholic Education Office save money and improve performance has been the provision of a Dell™ EqualLogic™ storage solution.

The Dell™ EqualLogic™ storage provides affordable capacity for highly consolidated environments. It is designed to grow with data demands while providing simple management and seamless expansion using innovative FluidData™ technology.

 “Again, when we went through the exercise of comparing various solutions, Dell™ EqualLogic™ went beyond what the other solutions offered and still had a lower total cost of ownership. Better performance at a cheaper cost is a great combination,” explains Tim.

“At the end of the day, we are always looking for the best solution for our business but we have to be mindful of the cost. We’ve built a really good working relationship with Clinton and the team at OPC IT. We have confidence in the advice they are providing us and we never really have any issues because, as our strategic partner, OPC works really hard to make sure we have the best solutions in place.”

The aim at OPC is to simplify the clients entire IT experience. By incorporating all facets of IT, taking a proactive approach, OPC can provide a single end-to-end fully managed IT solution, reliably and consistently. OPC is pleased to have been a trusted advisor to the Catholic Education Office for many years.

“I’ve been working with OPC IT for more than 10 years and they have been fantastic,” Tim concludes.

For more information on how OPC can revolutionise your business, contact the team on 1300 788 616 31-37 Townshend Street, Phillip ACT 2606
www.opc.com.au

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