Tell us about Fulston Manor School…
Fulston Manor is a non-selective, mixed secondary school. We have approximately 1400 pupils on roll, including sixth form students. In our classrooms, we have over 800 devices with a mixture of desktop PCs, laptops and iPads.
What were some of the main IT challenges you faced, before NetSupport DNA?
Before NetSupport DNA, we knew we weren’t as effective as we wanted to be regarding online eSafety and safeguarding. In addition, we knew that a remote support solution could help us fix machines across our site much quicker than us going to each one individually.
How has NetSupport DNA helped you solve these?
The eSafety module and monitoring is extremely helpful. Previously, we did a lot of filtering and then created reports from it, but NetSupport DNA has given us much more granular monitoring of the things that students are looking at in real time. Another plus point is that our safeguarding leads can monitor and manage the safeguarding side of things – and, as technicians, we only need intervene on that when necessary. It’s great that we can actively manage rather than react to things that have been brought up, so now we can safeguard both our staff and students. NetSupport DNA has also given us additional tools that enable us to look at hardware and software inventories of each machine. We love the ability that it gives us to remote in and fix issues – and that has saved us so much time. We bought it mainly for the safeguarding but after buying it, we quickly realised there’s so much more to it. I use those tools all the time now; it’s brilliant.
How have you found the remote support tools in NetSupport DNA?
They’re a godsend! NetSupport DNA works seamlessly; it allows me to just connect. We didn’t have anything beforehand, other than old-school VNC which didn’t always work. I’ve had many a student come up to me from the other side of the school and say ‘Can you just have a look? I’ve just done this…’ and I can just remote in via DNA. It just saves me time – and a ten minute walk there and back! When you add all that time up, it means I can be so much more efficient.
What do the other technicians think of NetSupport DNA in terms of usability?
Our first and second line technicians love it. They use it all the time and it’s made their lives so much easier.
We had some remote training from NetSupport when we first installed DNA – and even from that remote demo, we picked it up pretty easily.
What is it like working with NetSupport?
Our transactions were really seamless. When we initially began investigating solutions, I spoke to several different vendors and the NetSupport sales team was the easiest to work with. They weren’t pushy and simply told us what they could offer. They weren’t trying to force us into a sale; they were just helpful.
NetSupport’s Support team is brilliant. I’ve spoken to them several times and they’re just so helpful: they’ve remoted in and fixed things for us when we’ve needed it – it’s a testament to them. If I ever have a problem with DNA (which is rarely!) I know I can phone them and they’ll help me out.
How do you see NetSupport DNA supporting the school’s IT into the future?
In the long term, I’d like to look at pushing it out across the Trust (Fulston Manor Academies Trust) because we have other member schools that don’t currently use it.