"It allowed us a proven route to market for us to access what we've now got across the College, and it was something that we knew we could rely on"
– Gareth Dixon, Craven College
Why should education establishments use the Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) Framework?
Gareth Dixon, VP of Finance and Resource at Craven College, speaking about their investment in Managed IT Services (MITS), ascribed, "It allowed us a proven route to market for us to access what we've now got across the College, and it was something that we knew we could rely on". This proven route to market epitomises the benefits of utilising the CPC Framework for schools, colleges and other educational establishments. It was why, in June 2021, Apogee, in its ongoing investment in the Public Sector, was proud to become an accredited supplier of the new Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) framework agreement.
Paul Rylands, Director of Public Sector at Apogee, illustrated the importance of the CPC Framework to educational institutions when he expressed, "The frameworks allow us access in a compliant manner to education". This compliant manner for access to the Education Sector creates trust between the organisation and supplier. This trust benefited Craven College when they launched their endeavour to revitalise their IT estate. The college wanted a partner they knew could deliver and provide the service that would facilitate their digital transformation, but also one they could depend upon always to be there.
Managed IT Services (MITS) supported by the CPC Framework tender process for the Education Sector
Apogee had been Craven College's Managed Print Services (MPS) provider for almost eighteen months when they began to embark on their journey to rebuild their IT infrastructure through the CPC Framework's tender process. The transformation of the college's "aging IT estate" was a priority, with their current equipment being "on average, seven years old", crippling their effectiveness as educators. It was through the relationship built with Apogee on the Managed Print side that when Craven College, as Gareth Dixon attests, "discovered Apogee was on the framework of which we were looking to put the tender out through", provided the perfect opportunity for them to continue with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) they could trust.
Gareth proclaims wholeheartedly, "We benefited from our previous working relationship with Apogee on the print side" when they decided to utilise the Crescent Purchasing Consortium's Framework. Gareth goes on to state it was "through the tender process, we discovered Apogee could offer the same level of service on our devices as well, which is helping us–as well–that we can link our print and our devices as one through one relationship". Tom Proudfoot, Apogee's Deployment Services Manager, expressed, "They saw what we were made of" throughout their burgeoning Managed Print relationship with Craven College, which aided the tender process for a Managed IT Solution.
When choosing why the CPC framework is valuable for the digital transformation Craven College wishes to achieve, Paul Rylands explains, "The framework chosen was CPC, which is a Crescent Purchase Consortium. It is open to all education establishments across the UK. Craven College put the bid out to tender using Lot 2 because of its specific nature to bring technology forward and to go through a technology transformation".
Paul adds, however, that the most crucial aspect of the CPC Framework and Lot 2 is clear "This is about allowing the College to start from one area and move forward but not take everything on day one". He acknowledges that "The digital transformation is a transition for them (Craven College), so CPC was the perfect Lot for the college, and it will follow them on this journey because they're still at the start as they continue to invest in technology. Lot two will provide a compliant way to ensure the college fulfils its needs."
"This is about allowing the College to start from one area and move forward but not take everything on day one"
– Paul Rylands, Apogee
The CPC Framework delivers Digital Transformation within the Education Sector backed by Apogee's "Service Excellence."
"This investment is key to our success as we advance", revealed Gareth Dixon. He continued to elaborate, explaining, "Every course will be touched in some shape or form, whether that be through the classroom that we've deployed the equipment in, whether it be in the Learning Resource Centre, where we carry out our directed study sessions and also through the staff that are teaching those students with the technology that we've now given".
With the investment of £1.5 million made by Craven College through the CPC Framework in their deployment of a Managed IT Services (MITS) provider, they utilised Lots 1, 2 and 4. These Lots within the framework enabled Craven College to create the perfect Managed Workplace Solution for their educational organisation.
Through Lot 1, "Desktop PC Solutions", Apogee provided Craven College with over 400 desktop positions for students, whilst Lot 2, "Portable Device Solutions", enabled the provision of HP laptops for the faculty. The laptops were provided, imaged, and asset tagged through Apogee's Managed IT Services (MITS), which Gareth Dixon says "they never had before, previously all faculty worked off fixed desk positions". Whilst Lot 4, "Apple Solutions", enabled the college to acquire a Mac Suite that Apogee refreshed with Apple iMacs with Retina 4.5k displays. This deployment of a Mac Suite was an essential aspect of the contract to bring their wide-ranging Art and Design course offerings up to an expected standard but also one that exceeded expectations.
After the initial deployment, Gareth had this to say regarding the implementation of Managed IT Services (MITS), "We've seen a significant reduction in the number of queries, or tickets as we call them, coming through our IT Help Desk. We have had in the region of an 85% reduction off the back of that. Most importantly, we saw a 15% increase in student satisfaction with the equipment - this was whilst the rollout was happening - it's now at 91% satisfaction with the new IT devices." Gareth illustrates that a huge factor for this success and this satisfaction is Apogee's "Service Excellence".
Craven College and their experience of a Managed IT Solution concluded that "Apogee was brilliant, incredibly flexible, very accommodating" continuing "Absolutely fantastic quality from the HP laptops and on all of the equipment we've been provided as part of the contract. The other thing I'd say is the service that we've received from Apogee; the whole deployment team was absolutely fantastic, very flexible, and very approachable."
You can learn more information about Apogee and the CPC Framework for the Education Sector here, or you can delve deeper into our case study with Craven College here.