Software support & consultancy
turn IT on help schools to maximise their investment in ICT and use technology to its full potential. When their in-house developer left, they needed help to maintain and develop their internal and customer-facing software systems.
System development has improved efficiency and usability in many areas.
Ongoing consultancy services continue to fix bugs and develop new features for the systems.
Improved reporting provides a real-time view of customer issues, which can then be resolved as quickly as possible.
The software was built and managed by their own in-house developer, who left after a few years.
With no in-house expertise, turn IT on needed a company that could provide them with the help they needed. Turn IT on Managing Director, Tom Welch, says, “When our in-house expertise left, we needed a company that could provide us with ongoing support and development of our internal and customer-facing systems. I selected Alberon because of their technical expertise, and experience of supporting legacy systems”.
turn IT on work exclusively with schools, providing hands-on ICT support and training. They fix things when they go wrong, but also proactively help schools by providing tailored ICT development plans.
turn IT on have a bespoke software system to manage their data and provide customer-facing services. It covers many areas of the business, from a ticketing application that tracks customer support requests, to a staff portal and CRM system. The aim of the software is to provide a better service to their customers, and improve staff access to information.
The bespoke system consists of several open source and commercial systems linked together, including a CRM system, ticketing system, HR system and bespoke applications for the staff and customer portals. A key part of the system is a synchronisation module called “the Hub”.
While most of the work was completed by the previous developer, there were issues with the way the synchronisation worked, some other bugs that needed fixing and one project still in development.
The Oxford-based Alberon development team provides turn IT on with two days of software consultancy per month. The time has primarily been used to fix a number of tricky bugs, develop new features and make improvements to the systems. “The Alberon team were able to quickly familiarise themselves with the various systems and provide the support that we needed”, says Tom. “It has been really useful to have them on-hand to not only fix any bugs to make the system work more efficiently, but also provide advice and expertise on how we can develop and improve the system further”.
Since working with turn IT on, Alberon’s support team has ensured that their software system continues to work effectively. Alberon has completed a number of updates and fixes that have resolved many issues including bugs in the sync code. This is especially important as those bugs had previously resulted in bad data that caused problems for marketing, HR and turn IT on customers.
Alberon also finished building the Real-Time Scheduler system. This is an application that includes calendars and timesheets for each member of staff. Having all this information in one place means that staff time, and the allocation of tasks, can be monitored and managed more efficiently. A report has been set up in the system that provides a quick overview of what is being done, when, by whom and at what cost. This data is used regularly to identify any issues that need resolving and to manage costs. It can then be fed into future planning to allocate staff and ensure customer requests are dealt with as swiftly as possible.
In addition, we added several new features to their staff and customer portals. The ‘Computing and IT Development Plans’ feature replaced an existing paper-based system that allows turn IT on to review their customers’ IT systems and complete development plans for each school. A new file sharing system allows turn IT on staff to share files with customers through the staff and customer portals. Tom says, “This new file sharing system makes the whole process far more efficient and professional, providing a much more positive experience for our customers”.
Finally, we added a new user-friendly front end for ‘TIO Active’, their in-house server monitoring solution. TIO Active allows staff to see an overview of all the systems they manage for each client and be alerted to any problems. Tom says, “The new interface makes it easier for internal teams to manage any customer issues. We find the live update feed particularly useful as it helps to keep staff informed of anything going on with our customers and allows us to quickly address any issues”.
Since taking on support of the system, Alberon has made it easier to use in many areas and stabilised the system. By making the various applications work together more efficiently, we have gradually reduced the amount of time needed to manually resolve synchronisation errors. “Through Alberon’s knowledge and expertise we have been able to design and develop systems that allows our business to be more efficient and effective”, says Tom. “Their service has been excellent”.
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