Education

Blackbird IT | A trusted partnership drives better learning and business outcomes for St Michael’s College


WHO ARE ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE? 

St Michael’s College is a Catholic school located in Adelaide, South Australia. The college consists of two campuses – a primary campus located at Beverley for students from Reception to Year 6, and a secondary campus at Henley Beach for students from Year 7 to Year 12. The college caters for approximately 1,950 students and 250 staff across both campuses. 

Through a quality Lasallian education, students of St Michael’s College are empowered to better choose who they become as people, learners and leaders in the world.  

The college is committed to providing an outstanding contemporary learning environment where students and teachers are afforded the very best opportunities to develop their skills and effectively utilise available technologies to improve learning outcomes. This includes a comprehensive 1:1 program of supplied devices for students and staff. 

THE CHALLENGE

The partnership between St Michael’s and Blackbird IT has spanned several projects, each of which was executed to address the challenges inherent to operating a large school with a growing cohort of students and staff. Critically, everything needs to be efficient, scalable and reliable to enable 24/7 learning.

Key challenges include: 

  • The scale of the college’s 1:1 program (4,000+ devices) means they need strong ongoing relationships with suppliers. Devices need to be procured on time and configured quickly and reliably. 
  • Lots of components in the technology ecosystem need to be considered to deliver effective learning outcomes for students. 
  • Growing student and staff numbers make forward planning an imperative.
  • Managing the whole of IT for St Michael’s College means there are lots of moving pieces and the IT manager needs trusted advisors and long-term partners to achieve success.

WHY BLACKBIRD IT

With a demonstrated history in delivering successful outcomes for the education sector, Blackbird IT was first approached by St Michael’s College to assist in rectifying a critical issue with their existing system. 

When Blackbird IT tendered for our server infrastructure replacement, that was my first real technical dealing with the business and I was impressed with how in-depth we went with the discussions. Although they weren’t successful in their tender at the time, 12 months later I had problems with our chosen supplier and that’s when I rang Blackbird IT.”  – St Michaels, Ashley Morrison, ICT Manager

THE SOLUTION & PROJECT EXECUTION

After consulting with St Michael’s College and unpacking the challenges they were facing, the team at Blackbird IT proposed a solution that would not only meet the college’s technical requirements but also help achieve their overall objectives.  

Since then, the partnership between Blackbird IT and St Michael’s College has grown to encompass a range of solutions of services, and importantly, advice from the entire Blackbird IT team. One of the college’s key measures of success is reliability and uptime, and Blackbird IT helps them achieve that through a trusted long-term partnership. 

Over the years, technical solutions provided by Blackbird IT have included: 

  • Extensive device procurement and configuration 
  • Multi-site backup and disaster recovery 
  • Configuration of Veaam backup for Microsoft 365 
  • Microsoft 365 email migration project – over 2,500 mailboxes moved to the cloud 
  • Integration of Microsoft Office and Teams

“For me, it’s about the approach – the willingness to listen to what we want out of our solution rather than just focusing on the technical aspects. For instance, implementing a management platform, which makes it much easier to manage the hardware – versus isolated hardware and software. The focus is around the solution: what’s my end goal and what do I want to achieve?” St Michaels, Ashley Morrison, ICT Manager

THE BUSINESS OUTCOMES

Over the course of the partnership with Blackbird IT, St Michael’s College has seen a number of key outcomes emerge: 

  • Everything is integrated and now communicating in the cloud, together behind the scenes 
  • Learning can happen 24/7 thanks to the cloud migration and robust backup 
  • Microsoft 365 suite of tools enables blended learning between the classroom and home 
  • Repurposing older equipment as on-site DR saves costs while providing peace of mind

I now have peace of mind, and I’ve been able to pass that on to my leadership and college board. Knowing we’ve made best efforts using industry best practice to protect the college’s data in every way we can, not only from failure but also attack. There’s trust that Blackbird IT have done everything the correct way.”   – St Michaels, Ashley Morrison, ICT Manager

MOVING FORWARD

In light of the trusted relationship between St Michael’s College and Blackbird IT, the college’s IT team of five now have the time to explore innovation and new technologies that will continue to enable strong learning outcomes for students. 

“If you don’t keep innovating you’re going to die out. So I’m always looking for what’s next but I’m cautious about making sure it’s reliable.” – St Michaels, Ashley Morrison, ICT Manager

To learn how Blackbird IT can help you thrive amidst disruption, get in touch with our friendly team today by visiting blackbirdit.com.au/contact

Tags: , , , , ,

Related Projects