With over 750 pupils, representing well over 50 nationalities, the British School in Paris is one of the largest and longest-established British international schools in the world, delivering a high standard of education based on the National Curriculum for England and Wales.
The school is located in the western suburbs of Paris in the small market town of Croissy-sur-Seine, where the junior and senior school campuses sit adjacent to each other on the river bank. The campuses include a nineteenth century manor house, indoor sports hall, all-weather pitch, dedicated and well-equipped science laboratories and purpose-built junior school, which was opened in 2010. All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and we were the first school in France, from 2012, to issue all pupils from Reception Year to university-bound Year 13 with iPad digital tablets to enhance learning across the curriculum.
Matthieu Goblet is the Information Systems Manager at the school and explains the reasons for needing an Asset Management System and how it has helped them.
Before the school implemented Parago, all ICT inventories were recorded in Excel using blank sheets of paper to walk around the school. The ICT team would then check this inventory against the licences and see if the number of computers tallied with the licence quota. ICT audits have always been the responsibility of the IT department, and it would take two weeks of personnel time to perform the inventory audit on the two school sites every year. This is only ICT equipment as currently non-ICT equipment is not audited.
Getting a proper inventory system has never been a top priority in our school, although in the background, persistent need was there. We never really had time to properly test one of the numerous packages on the market.
The situation cleared itself when the school changed their Management Information System to Pearson e1 and they strongly recommended Parago. We had a look at it, and thought it was innovative and more than able to do the job. I really liked the visual aspect of the product, and the online availability was a plus. It gave the opportunity to work on each of our campuses.
I initially thought it difficult to assess the cost and time benefits, since Parago completely changed the way we worked. However, it is definitely an improvement and the licence manager is a fantastic tool! For instance, it only takes a few clicks to see if we have the resource when a teacher asks for a software installation.
We have not had to add much information regarding our assets as the discovery agent automatically gives us the information we need on the computers and software. I remember we had to rebuild a laptop from scratch after a user had lost his machine. Thanks to Parago we were able to get the exact configuration and did not lose time trying to figure out the necessary software.
The school also uses Parago Mobile which proved its value for the initial inventory! We now tend to put assets in the system as they arrive.
Regarding the software itself, the ICT team find Parago very easy to use, and very intuitive. It only takes seconds to get the information we want, whether it is a computer or a classroom set. This is exactly what schools need from a system. There are many systems in the commercial sector but unless you can easily see the information you want, when you need it, it does not save you time and money.”
There is little else I can think of that is needed. The latest developments to the reports interface make it more flexible and customising a report is a lot easier.
We are just starting to use the Power Consumption and CO2 Calculator and this should prove invaluable next year when we look at our costs and emissions.
Last but not least is the latest addition to the Software License Manager; software metering. We are just starting to look at this. Apart from seeing savings from usage across all managed titles, if teachers request upgrades to software we can see if this is justified by checking that they are using the current system!
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