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Maybe you don’t, but maybe you just don’t realise that you do as you are coping OK, but coping isn’t managing, it is more a survival rather than a preparation; read through our guide below, it will help you ask questions and get the most out of your IT support, either the company you are with, or the one that you will choose.  

How did you, historically, select your IT Partner?

Image by Ernesto Eslava from Pixabay“>Ernesto Eslava from Pixabay

So – How did you? Did you ask at the school gates, to see if a mum or a dad could help you out; Did you choose the person who supports the other small businesses in the village or in the high street, hoping they would get how a school works; Did you do a little research first, but are still not happy?

However you chose in the past, maybe this year, you can look at it a little differently.  Use our guide below, so you can whittle out the ‘Half Job Harry’s’ or the’ Know it All, Do Little Albert’s’ or the ‘Promise the World – but can’t fit you in Wilbur’s’.  Find someone who understands how a school works; Who can work with legacy equipment; Who knows that a classroom can’t get by unless that interactive screen is doing all it can to support the teacher; Who understands that SIMS isn’t just a computer game about virtual people…

A general IT Support Partner may have a good grasp on how a business operates, and how a computer is built and maintained, and for an office environment would be second to none, but for a school you need an IT Support Partner – Plus.  They need to understand how the school works – what happens at 9am and 3.15 and why being available through those hours is the most important part of the service you provide.   

Preparation is key – Start looking well before your renewal date is up (if you are in a contract), give yourself time.

Strategise

Set up a strategy if you haven’t already.  It can be a year’s plan, a 5-year plan, or even longer if you want.  This should work alongside your school business plan – where will you be next year, are your staff and pupils all going to be back in the school, are you working on a contingency in case your pupils have to work from home again?

Whatever your needs, make sure you look at what is working well now, and what isn’t, have a look at all the changes that had to be made during the Pandemic.  Are you now able to transition from office/school base to home bases without worrying? How did your telephony system work when we all had to work from home – or didn’t it?  Could the teachers and TA’s get things printed when they needed to?  Ask your staffthey know what they struggle with, and what would make their daily working routine work better in the school or at home.

So, what are the top 8 reasons that people want to make the switch?

1. Are you seeing tangible, understandable results?

Return on investment is everything. Especially right now. You need to be able to see at a glance exactly how hard your IT partner is working for you. And what benefit that work is bringing to your school.

Tech talk can be tricky, but your support service should be able to make sure you understand what they are talking about without using every abbreviation under the sun – your specialism is teaching our young people. Ours is to keep that teaching machine running!

Everything presented should be relevant to your school, should be reflected in your plan and be easy to understand.  You should be able to see what has happened throughout the year in relation to your IT support, be it regular site visits, back up checks, ticket times, etc.

2. Do you have good communication with your IT Partner?

When you are working with an IT Support Partner, they will be able to help you identify the right hardware and software to help the school operate. They will make recommendations based on the way you work, and the vision that you have for the school’s future.

How do they communicate with you? Are you receiving regular emails giving you information about potential security issues, about products going end of life that will need to be scheduled in, do they give you notice of when your maintenance is due?  Are you receiving communications about new innovations, about things that will make your day easier? 

Do you know who works for you, do you know the names of the support team?  What would you improve with a new team? Make sure you put it into your plan.

3. Do they take data security seriously – are they training you to keep your school safe?

OK, so we’re not expecting your IT support partner to teach you their job. You don’t need to be an expert in IT – that’s what you’re paying someone to do for you. However, there should be a certain element of learning when you partner with an IT company.

For example, you need to learn about cyber-security; how to avoid scams; and how to protect your data.  Your support team needs to educate you on the ways you can reduce the school’s vulnerability to external attack.

Today, data security is of the utmost importance, since Covid, hackers and chancers are trying to look for more ways into systems, to cause havoc, or to tie up a school so that they have to pay a ransom to release the data.  If your IT Support Company does not see this as a priority, they will not be able to ensure your data is safe

The National Cyber Security centre’s website gives good support for schools 1 – so when you ask your IT provider how they ensure your data is held safe, and if it is in compliance with the NCSC’s guidance, you can ask this with confidence and knowledge.

Research from Marsh, Wavestone and law firm CMS2, highlights the number of cyber insurance claims growing 83% by 2020.  Whilst this report is all industry wide, the threat to schools is increasing, we, just this year, know of three separate attacks that have crippled local education providers. (see Ref. list for citations3).

4. Do you sometimes need support ‘outside’ of your contract?

A reputable IT Support Partner for schools will never shy away from something that is outside of their agreed business, that is not to say that they should be walked over, however, they should be flexible, have a clear pricing strategy, and be able to manage the odd deviance to contract.  

“Sorry, we don’t cover that.”

Ever heard that from your IT support provider? Lots of schools do.

“We don’t cover that” suggests a real lack of concern for your school’s operation. And that is not what a partner is about.

Being a partner for a school, means that you need a lot of hats to cover a lot of IT roles.  A school needs their IT equipment to last – you need to be able to fix it if you can.

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

‘A partner actively spends time looking at new ways to improve your network; your data security; and your infrastructure. They won’t be working rigidly to a one-size fits all contract.’

5. Are you kept in the loop?

Understandably, many IT problems can’t always be fixed immediately. Some issues take a while to get to the bottom of. Other problems are rare and may take a little more diagnostic work.  However, whatever happens, you should always be kept in the loop. 

Being left in a void is frustrating and can cause mistrust. So ensure that there is a way to communicate with your IT Support Partner to follow up items awaiting resolution.

6. Taking ownership

How many times have you been told by your IT company that it was a third parties’ device that has caused the problem and you need to contact them to resolve the issue – Stop right there… The device is related to the IT? Then your IT company need to help resolve it for you.

Whilst it is imperative to make sure Warranties are valid (and this needs to be done by the school if they have purchased the tech), your IT Support Company should be able to help sort out the dismantling, sending off and re-instating when returns. 

7. Do we really need new hardware?

It’s nice to have the very latest technology in your school, but it’s certainly not vital. There are lots of other things to consider before upgrading equipment and devices. Especially today when value for money and return on investment are critical.

Most schools will have plenty of legacy tech, setting up a rolling renewal will ensure that new tech is constantly coming in as old tech reaches end of life, ensuring that the children can learn off the same operating systems and using the same updated software.   By rolling your renewal of kit, you are not looking at a huge spend to replace, but a more planned approach which is easier to manage.

For most schools it is important to get the infrastructure right before considering additional hardware.  Do a stock take of what you currently have and see if it is all used/useable, redistribute, recycle or re-purpose items that are no longer need, and then set up a schedule to replace.

A good IT Support Partner will help you to create an IT roadmap, which should detail at which points in the years ahead you need to budget for upgrades or additional devices.

8. Have you outgrown your IT Company?

Now, this last one isn’t necessarily a bad reason to switch IT support partners.

Sometimes, your school has simply grown too big for a smaller IT company to deal with, a school may have joined with an academy group, so need an IT support company that can aid multiple sites over a larger geographic area.

The difficult part can be knowing when to make the switch.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

If you’ve noticed you need more support, your IT support partner has probably noticed too. In fact, if they’re good partners, they may even discuss this with you first. Trust me when I say there will be no hard feelings. No company wants to be out of its depth with clients. If you’ve ever felt any of these gripes, perhaps now is the right time for you to make the switch too?

When you place your technology at the heart of your School’s growth strategy, you see why it is important to have a partner you can trust.

SMART – BENQ – EPSON – NEC – ROTH – PROMETHEAN – Warranty Procedures for 2015

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Vendor Warranty Information

Cablers are fully committed to our customers, and we believe this commitment should not stop once the sale has been made.

Cablers have a warranty agreements with all of our vendors, providing our customers with peace of mind when purchasing any item from us. As a reseller, the vendor warranties give Cablers the opportunity to offer our customers reassurances and guarantees that, should there be a technical issue with their purchase, there is an official support procedure to rectify the problem.

 

Cablers also have our own team of support staff and a dedicated support portal which can be accessed here: http://support.cablers.co.uk/ Or by emailing us at: support@cablers.co.uk

Support portal

Through the Cablers support portal you can register any fault and track its progress until it has been rectified to your satisfaction. Cablers will of course do all that we can to help you pursue your in warranty claims but we are also here to help assist with your out of warranty products too and we have a team of trained and fully qualified engineers and technicians available for on-site call outs to assist with all your audio visual and IT related issues.

Below you will find some helpful contact details to assist you with any warranty claim you may need to make. If the manufacturer you need is not listed please contact our customer service team on: 01787 221166 or email support@cablers.co.uk and we will provide you with the details you require.

 

 

 

 SMART Warranty      Smart extraordinary made simple Steljes technology with purpose

An excellent range of SMART warranties are available through Steljes

SMART provides a return-to-base warranty but with the Steljes warranty services, you gain the advantage of a free upgrade to an onsite warranty.

Please contact the Steljes warranty support team who will be able to assist you with any queries on 08450 747007 or alternatively email: warranty@steljes.co.uk

Contact Steljes About Your SMART Warranty
Their expert team are happy to help. Just pick up the phone

Steljes support helplines are open between 9am–5.30pm Monday-Friday (excluding holidays).

Please have the serial number of the product when you call or email  to ensure Steljes can assist with your warranty claim.

Education: 08450 724999
Corporate: 08450 724888
From Ireland: +353 (0) 1 6464000

BenQ Warranty    Benq logo

BenQ provide a 3 year onsite warranty for their projectors and interactive Flat Panels.

Please contact Steljes regarding faulty products on 08450 724999 or email service@steljes.co.uk

 Please have the serial number of the product when you call or email  to ensure Steljes can assist with your warranty claim.

 

 

Epson Warranty          Epson logo

Please contact Epson regarding faulty products on 0871 4237766

Please have the model and serial number of the product when you call or email  to ensure Epson can assist with your warranty claim.

 

 NEC Warranty     NEC logo

Please contact NEC regarding faulty products on 0870 120 1160 or email the team on ukcrtlcd@emea.nec.com

Please have the model and serial number of the product when you call or email  to ensure NEC can assist with your warranty claim.

Roth Warranty      Roth logo

Roth provides a 3 year return to base warranty

​Please contact Roth AV Ltd regarding faulty products on 01753 682782 or email: support@rothaudio.co.uk

Please have the model and serial number of the product when you call or email  to ensure Roth can assist with your warranty claim.

VIVIDtouch Warranty               Vividtouch logo

All VIVIDtouch interactive flat panels are covered by a ​5 year onsite warranty as standard

Please contact Steljes regarding VIVIDtouch faulty products on 08450 724999 or service@steljes.co.uk

Please have the model and serial number of the product when you call or email  to ensure Steljes can assist with your warranty claim.

HITACHI Warranty      Hitachi logo

Hitachi provide a 3 year de/re-install hardware warranty, as well as a lamp warranty.

Please contact Hitachi regarding faulty products on 01684 290000 or email the team on: Service.admin@equinox.co.uk

Please have the model and serial number of the product when you call or email  to ensure Equinox can assist with your warranty claim.

Promethean Standard Warranty & ActivCare      Promethean logo

Promethean offers two warranty options, including:

ActivCare Standard Warranty: Their basic warranty offering, automatically provided for all Promethean products
ActivCare+: Their Premium purchasable warranty extensions and enhancements available for registered Promethean products

Technical Support Number  0844 249 2077

Open: 08:30 – 17:30

ActivCare Standard Warranty

The Standard Warranty is a basic warranty offering, automatically provided for all non-registered Promethean products.

Promethean hardware products should be registered to obtain a certificate and upgrade to on-site warranty.  Registration starts the warranty from the date of installation and lets you take advantage of toll free telephone numbers.  Registration must take place through Promethean’s Registration Portal within 90 days of the date of installation or set up.

In order to provide quality support, Prometheans Customer Support team will need the product serial number and/or the proof of purchase. They offer free online support through their Knowledgebase, as well as access to telephone support charged at a national call rate (where geographically available).

Please note:

Priority support lines are available for holders of registered products. Please refer to your ActivCare warranty documentation for access details.

Email support will be available throughout by visiting www.prometheankb.com and completing the “Contact Us” form.

The Standard Hardware ActivCare Warranty accompanies all products shipped from Promethean.

To see all Cablers products and services
visit our website cablers.co.uk

 

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Cablers Ltd
The Business Centre
Earls Colne Business Park
Earls Colne
Essex
CO6 2NL

FREE 5 year projector warranty on the EPSON EB-X20

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EPSON EB-X20 projector

Epson EB X20

 

 

FREE 5 year projector warranty on the EPSON EB-X20
This offer is valid for orders placed with Cablers between 16th June and 31st August 2014.

Purchase an EPSON EB-X20 projector between 16th June and 31st August 2014 and receive a 5 year extended warranty free of charge.

Any unit purchased during the promotion period will automatically be registered with EPSON by Cablers.

This offer extends the standard 3 year PROJECTOR warranty to 5 years.

The projector lamp warranty remains as 1 year or 1,000 hours as standard. Public sector customers can register for a lamp warranty extension from 1 year to 3 years at no extra cost at www.epson.co.uk/lamp-warranty

This offer is only available while stocks last.

 

Contact our education team for details.

60wi2.ashx

SMART LightRaise™ 60wi2 to launch later this month (June)

My last Cablers post for interactive projectors has had quite a few views which indicates that schools are seriously considering interactive projectors as viable option for delivering multimedia resources in the classroom.

Steljes will be adding the new SMART LightRaise 60wi2 interactive projector to the product range in June allowing Cablers to provide you with a greater choice of interactive projector models this summer.

The new SMART LightRaise 60wi2 should captivate users, providing interactivity on virtually any solid flat surface or dry erase board. The improved model is brighter at 3000 lumens and enables up to four people to simultaneously write, touch and interact within the inclusive SMART Notebook collaborative software (with one year SMART Notebook Advantage subscription also included). The unit also introduces compatibility with the Crestron® RoomView® room management system.

The new unit will complement the existing SMART LightRaise 60wi Interactive projector, which provides a dual touch experience at 2500 lumens brightness.

If you have not read my previous blog about interactive projectors you can find it here.

For details contact our helpful education team.

Promethean provide some great options with their interactive whiteboards

The other prevalent interactive white board Cablers supply to schools are from Promethean who have also refreshed their range recently. (You can read my first post about Interactive Whiteboards here.)

promethean-activboard 500                      Promethean-ActivBoard-500-Pro

They come in three different varietys which are the Activboard500 Pro, Activboard300 Pro and the new entry level ActivboardTouch. Promethean no longer supply the Activboard100 to UK schools. Each  of these Activboards is then offered in a range different sizes to suit all class rooms. (78″ 87″ 95″ 88″) As with most other class room multimedia solutions you can mount these boards to a wall, on a mobile stand or you can opt for a height adjustable option either fixed or mobile. We will be able to advise on the best solution once we understand how you want to use equipment.

Promethean bundle their boards with ActivInspire software.  Using it teachers transform traditional, lecture-based classrooms into learning environments infused with imaginative, interactive experiences that captivate students’ attention while granting them the freedom to take ownership of their achievement. Designed to foster collaboration and active learning, ActivInspire empowers users to blend real-time assessment and real-world experience into the learning process.

ActivInspire provides you with everything you need to create differentiated lessons filled with rich, hands-on activities in a fraction of the time. With it you will simplify lesson preparation and delivery. Its intuitive interface allows teachers to easily create lessons, enhance collaboration and engage students through interactive tools.  With curriculum-based templates and an assortment of tools, images and activities, ActivInspire provides you with all the building blocks you need to create an interactive learning environment. Connect with Promethean Planet, one of the world’s largest online educator communities, to discover a wide variety of free resources for use in the classroom.

Although you can order your Promethean board to be bundled with one of Prometheans own brand projectors, either short throw, ultra short throw or extreme short throw. We would recommend that you speak to your installer about having your board supplied with a projector that has a dedicated education warranty from a third party such as Epson. It will often save you money and it allows you more freedom to specify which connections you want with your installation that will best suit your existing class room equipment and the new technology coming through.

Promethean utilise capacity resistive touch technology for their board control which senses a pen or finger with infra red. What ever ActivBoard you pick it will require installation by a Certified Promethean Installer like us here at Cablers.

Why not give us a call on  01787 221166 for some friendly advice about your class room multimedia options.

We can also help get the most out of your IT investment by training your staff to use Activinspire.

(Please see the Promethean board comparison chart below)

Product Comparison

 

ActivBoard 500 Pro

ActivBoard 300 Pro

ActivBoard Touch

Installation Options Mount, Adjustable, Fixed, Mobile Mount, Adjustable, Fixed, Mobile Mount
Board Sizes 78″, 87″, 95″ 78″, 87″, 95″ 78″, 88″
Dual User Yes Yes   Yes
Dependent upon application software and operating system
Types of Interactivity Touch and ActivPen ActivPen Touch
Integrated Speakers and Amps Yes Yes Add ActivSound System
Wireless Connection Option Add Wireless Upgrade Pack  –
Two USB Ports Yes Yes  –
Software Included ActivInspire Professional Edition or  Promethean ActivOffice;
Promethean Apps
ActivInspire Professional Edition or  Promethean ActivOffice ActivInspire Professional Edition
Operating Systems Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux Windows
Standard Warranty Three Years * Three Years * One Year *

 

 

* Extended Warranty available. Terms and Conditions apply.                                             http://www.prometheanworld.com/gb/english/education/products/

 

 

 

 

Cablers are an Official Epson Partner

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Print

Cablers are pleased to announce that our status as an invited member on the Official Epson Partner Program continues in 2014.

About Epson
Epson is a global imaging and innovation leader whose product line up ranges from inkjet printers and 3LCD projectors to sensors and other micro devices. Dedicated to exceeding the vision of its customers worldwide, Epson delivers customer value based on compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies in markets spanning Education, enterprise and the home to commerce and industry.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 75,000 employees in 97 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates. To learn more about Epson, please click here.
Why we partner Epson
Epson occupy the number one market position in Europe for projector sales, largely due to technologies like their 3Lcd projector engine which delivers superior results that the competition find hard to match. Well sell and install a lot of projectors and its our experience that Epson also offer one of the best projector education warranties out there and they back it up with a level of customer service that needs to be commended.
By working more closely with the market leader we will be able to pass on to our customers more of the feature rich technologies that will allow your school or business to work better. We will also have an opportunity to sell these Epson products a significant competitive advantage, which we will be passing straight on to our customers.

Epson product

 
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